Entrepreneurs’ cars: Audi A5 Quattro
With the A5 his 7th Audi, the budget-conscious Ride25 founder is a creature of habit with running costs and not looking “too flashy” high on his wish list
Name: John Readman
Focus: Cycle challenge holidays
Car: Audi A5 Quattro 3.0TDi (Black Edition)
Typical RRP: £47,000
Owning a car at all might seem unusual for the founder of a company that operates ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ adventure cycle holidays, comprising a series of epic 90-mile-a-day rides – but as John Readman explains, although he “really shouldn’t” have one, owning a car is a necessity if you live “in the middle of nowhere.”
Readman says he picked the latest iteration of Audi’s sleek, powerful coupé because it is “fast, and sticks to the road like glue” – but for a self-confessed “tight Yorkshireman”, running costs are still high on his list of priorities. “It’s still a diesel, after all!” he says.
And this is not a car picked on a whim, either. This is Readman’s 7th Audi and it’s no surprise to learn that he sees himself as a “bit of a creature of habit”; but he describes his A5 as far and away the best model he has owned, superior to the four-door A8 and S4 saloon models he has driven previously.
Seen as a rival to the BMW 4 series and Mercedes C-Class, the A5 is based on the more practical, workmanlike A4 but with added speed, style and panache; Readman’s Quattro Black edition adds an extra layer of quality to the standard models, with a sleek matt exterior and four-wheel drive ensuring that versatility and raw power goes hand-in-hand with aesthetics.
Readman admits that he almost broke his Audi streak before purchasing the A5, giving the high-end Mercedes C63 AMG saloon serious consideration – but that famous Yorkshire eye for a budget proved the decisive factor, as the Mercedes “used too much fuel”.
One aspect that particularly appeals to Readman about the A5 is its ‘Launch Control’ feature – an electronically-controlled aid that allows the car to boost off from a stationary position, setting pulses racing and pushing heads back into seats. Coupled with a top-of-the-range Bang & Olufsen stereo system blasting at full volume, Readman says his two daughters “love” the thrilling experience of the A5 blasting off.
And whilst a two-door German powerhouse coupé cannot be said to espouse the values of a cycling business, Readman says the A5 has proved a reliable companion to his own image when meeting clients. “It’s not too flash – I purposefully left the TDi badges on,” he says. “It certainly doesn’t negatively affect my bargaining position.”