2008 Audi A5 Preview – Geneva Auto Show: The Audi A4 is a well-respected sport sedan, competitive with the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes Benz C-Class. But Audi's competition with these two cars has always had a shortcoming: the lack of a coupe version. For 2008, Audi will rectify this longstanding absence with the introduction of the A5 and S5 coupe. Based on a new platform – but still looking a lot like a two-door A4 – the A5 will fill a hole in Audi's otherwise competitive lineup. Offering V6 and V8 engines, as well as front or quattro all-wheel drive, the A5 will bring the usual array of Audi-ness to the luxury sport coupe game. It also brings with it Audi's signature styling, for better or worse.
Why it Matters
Luxury sport coupes like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class – not to mention the Infiniti G35 and rumored Cadillac CTS coupes – don't make up a large portion of a particular vehicle's sales mix. They do make up a large amount of cachet though. A coupe is less practical than a sedan – less head room, less rear seat room, often less trunk room – so the sheer act of sacrificing practicality for style is a luxury. By offering a mid-priced luxury coupe, Audi increases its luxury cachet and also gets to introduce its all-weather quattro capability to drivers who would otherwise shop BMW and Benz showrooms.