With a timeless air that suggests a price point well above its sub-$40,000 base price, the A5's profile is unique in the market. Audi chief designer Walter d'Silva regards the A5 as his most beautiful design to date. Muscular haunches that evoke classic sports cars blend with modern details in a way that gives the A5 (and its sportier, more aggressive S5 and RS5 variants) definite road presence.
If that presence is lacking anywhere on the A5, however, it's at the nose, where the tall, oblong grille that's shared across all Audis these days seems more delicately and without the defining elements that would separate it from a car-bra at first glance. LED lighting helps give the A5 an instantly recognizable face at night.
The A5's cabin is lavish and luxurious, with clean and simple design themes executed in high-grade materials. Ample fine details, such as the intricate instruments and light application of metallic trim on switches and buttons add a high-end touch. There's a definite note of the business world in the dash's expanse, but it coordinates well with the two-tone leather and suede seats and the choice of aluminum or piano-black trim.
Like its more ordinary A5 basis, the S5 is elegant and well-proportioned; unlike the A5, the S5 is also bold and aggressive, with exterior body elements clearly sculpted for sporting aerodynamics and a cabin trimmed in performance-themed accents and equipment. The RS5 is very close to the S5 in appearance, though a mesh grille, LED lighting details, a retractable rear spoiler, and its own unique interior trims (including Nappa leather, carbon fiber, stainless steel, and piano-black plastic) help set it apart for the sharp-eyed.