Gone are the days when manufacturers made three different models in two different sizes. The ability to make multiple different cars that share the same basic chassis platform means your average new-car brochure is the same size as the Yellow Pages and is chock full of different options.
This is great for customers, but it can get confusing! Do you want a large version of a small car with three doors, or a small version of a large car with three doors? Would you like it to look like an off roader but drink less fuel than a hybrid? Would you like it to look like a family car but go like a race car?
Audi is another manufacturer that we’re very fond of at Imperial Car Supermarkets, so here’s our simple rundown of the cars currently available from the German manufacturer:
First appearing in 2010, the Audi A1 is a stylish supermini; aiming to tempt fashion conscious Mini owners to the Vorsprung Durch Technik side. Now available in both three and five-door variants, the baby of the Audi range is a highly customisable machine and comes in a dazzling array of colours... including our personal favourite, - Avocadogrün Perleffekt.
The A3 was Audi's attempt at stealing some market share from well-heeled VW Golf buyers, initially targeted as a three-door only, upmarket alternative to the popular Volkswagen hatchback. Such was the A3's success that 2015 models are available not only as a three-door; but also as a five-door hatchback and four-door saloon. Both the four and five door models have a slightly longer wheelbase, making them more spacious than a standard A3 hatchback. The first Cabriolet versions of the A3 arrived in 2008, and have seen strong sales ever since.
Although A4 is the industry standard for many British companies, the Audi’s similarities with a size of paper with which it shares a name go no further. The A4 first arrived on our roads in 1994 as a rebadged and refreshed Audi 80. The Audi 80 has routes in the mid1960s, making the A4 a whippersnapper in a long line of German engineering. The grandfather of the A4 was equipped with a 54bhp, 1.3 litre engine – quite a contrast to the 120bhp that the basic 1.8 litre A4 of 2015 produces.
The Audi A5 began life as a large executive Coupe, and is now available as a Sportback (stylish saloon with four pillarless doors) and Cabriolet. Since it's introduction it has fast become one of the most popular cars on UK roads thanks to a combination of high specification, sporty design and economical diesel engines.
Moving up the Audi range, the A6 is a direct competitor to the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. It comes in both saloon and estate form, although where BMW calls an estate 'Touring', Audi calls it 'Avant'. Despite years of debate, the jury is still out on why Audi call their estate cars by the 'Avant' name, considering they are a German company and Avant is a French word. Audi owners will often explain that the word 'Avant' roughly translates to 'Better', but we think that might be biased...
What do you get if you take an Audi A6 saloon and give it a sporty, sloping roofline? An Audi A7! An executive saloon with sports car looks, a range of performance or economical engines and enough space in the back for a baby seat and a bike.
The A8 is a full-size luxury saloon. If you’re the sort of person that likes things larger than life, then the long wheel base A8 L is the one for you. Alternatively, if you’re the sort of person that likes to get shot at, then the A8 L Security is the bullet proof, ballistic ready model you’ll need.
Audi's foray into the Crossover market began with the Q7, and now Audi offer the bulked up four-wheel drive multi-purpose vehicle in three sizes. The Q3 is the smallest version of the Audi Q range. Where the Q5 and Q7 are aimed at family motoring, the Q3 claims to be more of a 'lifestyle/sports automobile'.
Sitting between the Q3 and Q7 cars in the model range, the Q5 is a mid-size soft roader. Rumours that the Audi naming department wanted to call it the QE2 'just to confuse people’ remain unproven.
Audi's largest model in the range, the Q7 is a crossover and a capable soft-roader. The Q7 was the first vehicle to show the world a mass-produced V12 Diesel engine, a 6.0 monster of a power plant producing 493bhp and an astonishing 738 lb-ft torque!
The two-door sports car was an instant hit from the moment it hit showrooms back in 1998. The MK3 version of the TT launched at the tail end of 2014, and has continued the TT's commitment to being a true drivers car. Through it's lifetime, the TT has won numerous awards, including being named What Car? best Coupe of the Year for six consecutive years since 2007.
Continuing Audi's theme of pinching market share from big name brands, the R8 was designed with Porsche firmly in it's sights. Sitting on the same platform as the Lamborghini Gallardo, the R8 is a very usable supercar.
S and RS Models
Performance oriented cars in the Audi range are badged S, with the seriously quick cars wearing the RS badge. Audi offer S and RS versions of the whole range, and use a variety of impressive petrol and diesel engines to push power outputs towards the 500bhp mark.
Imperial Car Supermarkets keep a range of Audi models in stock at our Southampton, Fleet and Northampton locations. If you’re looking to change your car and would like to try an Audi, give us a call today.