Audi S5 Sportback

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Editors' First Take

Toyota will happily sell you a Camry sedan, but these days, you can't ask for a coupe, convertible, hatchback or wagon version of America's best-selling car. At one point or another, all were available, but today, it's four doors and a trunk or nothing. Whereas derivatives of mainstream cars have been waning, today's premium automakers have become experts at slicing up market segments and mining new niches, taking one model and spinning off a half-dozen "top hats" or performance variants. The inherently thicker profit margins of luxury cars mean that not only is such diversity possible, it's hard to resist.

Some automakers have taken this reality to absurd extremes, spawning complicated and overlapping family trees (see: BMW's 3 and 4 Series), while others have taken a more measured approach. Among the latter, Audi is nevertheless rapidly expanding its portfolio to include new derivatives, including this 2018 A5 and S5 Sportback range.

Modeled on the success of utterly gorgeous A7 Sportback, Audi's first so-called "four-door coupe," the 2018 A5 and S5 Sportback models append the swoopy five-door fastback formula to the German brand's smaller A4-based range with strong results. The A4 is already one of Roadshow's very favorite cars, thanks to its tidy handling, class-leading interior and massive complement of advanced cabin and safety technology. If anything, the Sportbacks only extend that appeal with added style and utility.

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