Audi carsAfter seven consecutive years of record new car sales in the UK Audi has started 2017 with a record three months of sales and a record new ‘17’ registration plate month of March.

Having grown their model lines from 17 to 52 across 18 ranges in the last 16 years more new and revised models keep arriving. The latest arrivals are the A5/S5 Cabriolets which appear in dealerships from this coming weekend and the all-new Q5 mid-sized SUV with customer deliveries starting now.

The new ‘Fives’ appeared at Audi’s Range Review event for the motoring media which featured the latest versions from most of their ranges, from the A1 supermini to the flagship supercar R8 Coupe and Spyder.

Introducing the new ‘Fives’ Jon Zammett, Head of Press and PR for Audi UK said the A5 and S5 Cabriolets complete the all-new A5 range which includes Coupe and Sportback models as well. “Their introduction has been completed in a short time not seen before by Audi” he said.

He added “although the new A5 range has evolved its new from the ground up with improvements in ride comfort and handling. They have an all-new interior with the latest infotainment systems. With regard to the four seater A5/S5 Cabriolets the acoustic fabric roof opens in 15 seconds at speeds up to 31mph and closes in 18 seconds”.

On-the-road A5 Cabriolet prices, which include the new VED road tax costs introduced from the 1 April, start from £35,235 for the 2.0 TFSI petrol 190hp SE manual and rise through 16 variants to £51,835 for the 3.0 V6 TFSI petrol 354hp quattro S5 version. Turbocharged petrol TFSI engine choices are 2.0-litre 190 and 252hp units plus the 3.0-litre TFSI 354hp S5 engine. Turbodiesel engine options are the TDI 2.0-litre 190hp and 3.0-litre 218hp units. Specification options, depending on the engine chosen are SE, Sport and S line plus the one S5 model.

Marios Alexandrou, Audi UK’s A4/A5 Product Manager said overall the A5 range accounted for around 15,000 UK sales last year and with the run out period of the old version and the introduction of the new we expect sales to be around the same number this year. He said that 60% of A5/S5 sales were for the Sportback five door models, 30% for the two door Coupe and 10% for the new Cabriolet. He added that 70% of Cabriolet sales will go to retail customers whilst the Coupe and Sportback models have more or less a 50/50% sales split between fleet and retail buyers. The most popular Cabriolet version is expected to be the A5 2.0-litre, 190hp TFSI petrol with S line specification costing £38,785 in manual gearbox form. The automatic transmission variant of the same version costs £40,315 and will still be popular despite the fact that it breeches the new £40k on-the-road VED road tax cap. This adds a further £310 per year cost for five years to the new road tax bill for the £140 standard rate which applies for the second year onwards.

Returning to the all-new Q5 mid-sized SUV Jon Zammett said, “the Q5 has achieved 1.6-million global sales since it was launched in 2008. We already have a strong range of Q SUV models – the Q7, Q5, Q3 and the recently launched Q2 and our Directors have indicated that there will be Q4 and Q8 models to come”.

He added that the latest Q5 is an all-new car built in an all-new factory in Mexico for global sales. In the UK there will be three diesel and three petrol powered variants and all have quattro all wheel drive. Currently we have a 2.0-litre TDI 190hp turbodiesel and a 2.0-litre TFSI 252hp turbo petrol unit and all have S tronic automatic transmission as standard. Specification levels for each engine are currently SE, Sport and S line. On-the-road prices, including the new 1 April VED road tax First Year rate start at £37,240 and rise to £41,355

He continued that the new Q5s are constructed of a mix of lightweight hot steel and aluminium and they are 90kg lighter than the previous first generation versions. All offer more agility and have a more compliant ride and all have an electrically operated tailgate. Air suspension is also an option he said.

Martin Baker, Audi’s UK Product Manager for Q3/Q5/Q7 models said “last year we sold 12,680 units and we hope to maintain that figure in 2017 taking into account the changeover period between the two generations. When the range is fully available about 95% of UK customers are expected to choose a diesel powered model with 65% choosing the 2.0-litre 190hp unit. When it comes to specification levels 65% will choose the top level S line, 30% Sport and 5% SE. With the lower running costs and improved emission levels he added there is already an increase in interest from fleet buyers which to date have only accounted for 20% of UK registrations”. The expected best selling version, the Q5 2.0-litre, 190hp, S line costs £40,290. Miles Better News Agency

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