HITTING on a winning design can create problems as well as plaudits.
Without doubt, one of the most elegant coupes of recent times was the first Audi A5 - smooth, suggestively powerful and purposeful. It was a car that visually fulfilled its promise.
Fine, but what does the designer do when it's time to be replaced? Well, despite the A5 remaining fresh - looking for a full nine years, advances in engineering and production meant it had to be remodelled to face competition.
Fortunately, some of the progress made in steel manufacture has allowed a lighter structure with crease-lines that were impossible just a few years ago.
The new A5 of 2017 is immediately recognisable, in fact it looks remarkably similar, yet better somehow. More of-the-moment with greater road presence thanks to a lower roofline and a squatter stance.
There's the usual full array of engine choices between petrol and diesel. I went for a 3.0-litre diesel in lower 215bhp tune which offers a happy compromise between pace and economy.
With quattro four-wheel-drive standard in the larger engine A5s, secure and leach-like road-holding is a given. Another standard feature which suits a mile-eater of this nature is the seven-speed automatic gearbox.
No shortage of grunt from the V6 three-litre which has oodles of torque and provides silk smooth acceleration. Sixty-two mph comes up in just over six seconds and the maximum is restricted to 155mph. All this and fuel consumption around 40mpg plus a low CO2 of 123g/km allowing low road tax.
Ride is more plaint than the old model with a degree more athleticism due in part to a 50kg weight loss. It is firmer than the A4, on which it is based, but not to the detriment of comfort. Roll is almost non-existent and it goes virtually where it is pointed without attitude. Steering is somewhat more live than Audis of past years, but still not as communicative as either Jaguar or BMW.
No surprises in the cabin where the usual meticulous care in choosing materials with style and panache has been applied. We have become somewhat used to Audi's pleasing fascias and inevitably blasÃ© but this should not detract from its appreciation.
Obviously you don't expect a coupe to be a roomy as a saloon. And on that basis the Audi is perfectly acceptable. Leg and shoulder room front and back is more than adequate for four. Headroom less so in the rear. The separate boot is regularly shaped and more commodious than most rivals. The rear seats split and fold for extra versatility.
A seven-inch touch screen with sat-nav is standard but you'll have to fork out extra for the virtual cockpit, 12.3in screen which takes the place of conventional dials.
Noise levels are subdued with little wind noise and just a murmur from the big diesel even when revs rise, making the A5 easy company over long journeys.