Golden Steering Wheel for the Audi A5 Sportback image

Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper has awarded a Golden Steering Wheel to its choice of best midsize vehicle: the new Audi A5 Sportback, the third model from Audi’s successful core model line based on the modular longitudinal platform. The Audi A5 Sportback’s victory constitutes the 18th award presented to a vehicle with the four rings in the 34-year history of the competition. Audi is thus the most successful brand in the competition.

The Audi A5 Sportback rose above a strong field of direct competitors to build on the wins achieved in previous years by the Audi Q5 and Audi A4.

Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, accepted the award – one of the automotive industry’s most important accolades – in Berlin on Wednesday.

“I’m thrilled by yet another triumph in our key model family and for the Audi brand. In my eyes, this also validates the hard work of our highly motivated team,” said Stadler at the award ceremony.

“This Golden Steering Wheel also shows that the A5 Sportback’s innovative concept – which unites the best of various vehicle worlds – not only means a great deal to me personally, but likewise impressed the panel of judges. For me, the A5 Sportback blends the emotion and elegance of a coupe, the comfort of a sedan, and the practicality of a station wagon.”

The Golden Steering Wheel panel of judges – consisting of VIPs, technical experts, and racing/rally pros as well as, for the first time, the editors-in-chief of the international subsidiaries of Auto Bild – had the opportunity once again this year to put the competing vehicles through their paces on a closed testing ground.

Whereas the Audi A5 Sportback drew the attention of the editors-in-chief primarily via its elasticity and acceleration, it earned high marks among VIPs thanks to its exterior design, interior design, and user-friendly operation. The panel’s technicians were particularly impressed by the vehicle’s perceived quality and build quality, and emphasized the ease of repairs. The motorsport testers praised the combination of an outstanding chassis as well as first-rate steering and braking. They also agreed that the A5 Sportback had the best engine and spoke very highly of the transmission and shifting. And by winning the fuel-efficiency and driving-pleasure categories, the youngest member of the A5 family also proved that these apparent opposites can be combined to excellent effect. The A5 Sportback version which entered the competition was a 3.0 TDI quattro with a 7-speed dual-clutch S tronic transmission.

The A5 Sportback dazzles customers with its emotion-packed design, great everyday practicality, sporty personality, and engines which are both efficient and powerful. It is the third member of the A5 model family after the Coupé and the Cabriolet. Its market launch was in September and its basic retail price is 33,650 euros. An additional version featuring an especially attractive price will follow in 2010. The A5 Sportback will thus become the A5 model line’s entry model.

The Golden Steering Wheel has been awarded annually since 1975 to the best new vehicles. In recent years alone, the Audi A6 (2004), the Q7 (2005), the A4 Sedan (2007), and the Audi Q5 SUV (2008) have each won a Golden Steering Wheel.