Although the Audi A5 and S5 are only available in the US as a two-door Coupe or Convertible, in Europe, they have a five-door Sportback version for the modern family.
It certainly cuts the mustard if you need a sensible daily driver with a dash of panache. And that’s precisely what Jukka Nieminen thought when he decided to buy a new Sportback – he already had two show cars and didn’t want anything too extreme.
The problem is, once you know how to improve a car, it’s very difficult to leave one stock. So inevitably he started down the path to creating the stunning machine you see here before he’d even signed the dealer’s paperwork.
Grasping to the concept of a daily that wouldn’t rub or breakdown, the Finn decided to start with the interior, since that’s where he’d spend most of his time and it wouldn’t affect the car’s reliability. “I discovered that a custom interior using genuine Audi leather would cost less than ordering the car with the dull factory leather option,” he told us. “So, of course, I wanted to make it more unique.”
As a result, he ordered the A5 Sportback with a quattro transmission, 240hp 3.0L TDI engine and most of the factory options including the top Bang & Olufsen Audio package but with a cloth interior.
The paint was never in question. Jukka knew it had to be Ipanema brown the very first time he saw it.
Soon after taking delivery, Jukka took the car to Tiiti at a company called TiCaBo where the upholsterer ordered Amaretto brown and Vanilla Audi leather for the job. However, the most impressive modification was actually the new alcantara headliner, which was chosen to match the exterior paint and creates a thoroughly opulent cabin.
To add the final part of the puzzle, carbon fiber details were also added around the instruments, console and door cards.
With a masterplan in mind, Jukka hadn’t ordered the car with the S line exterior package because he was contemplating new bumpers. He liked the Caractere front and decided to matched it to rear bumper from Hofele Design collection.
Unfortunately, when the rear bumper arrived from Germany, it was a Coupe part. Apparently, when Jukka enquired about the oversight he was told the Sportback mold was broken and they didn’t have any left in stock, so sent the Coupe’s instead. Needless to say, the bumper was returned and he switched to Plan B.
He decided to keep car mostly OE, so decided to order Audi’s own S line rear bumper along with a hatch spoiler from the S5 Sportback. The front grille was then swapped to a black RS5 part with honeycomb mesh. “One of my favorite mods was painting the roof gloss-black because it makes the car look even lower and smoother,” he told us.
Pasi Paananen of KE-LE Design added the finishing touch by painting gold pinstripes along the sides, ending at the tailgate where its forms an A5 signature.
There wasn’t much difficulty choosing the wheels. Jukka immediately knew he wanted 20" BBS LMs with black centers. They needed to be as wide as possible in the rear but BBS didn’t offer black centers. However, he found the right wheels at Inden Design, which actually offers them to Mercedes customers but the bolt pattern and offset were perfect for the A5.
As a perfectionist, Jukka couldn’t accept the goosebump finish on the powdercoated wheels, so had them painted gloss black at JP Autotuning – making him wish he’d just done that in the first place!
The car was slammed on H&R coilovers, which have allowed him to get it ridiculously low while still retaining a degree of ride comfort. However, there are already plans to switch to air suspension in the near future, with Harri Suominen at Suotech building him a set-up that uses his H&R struts, Universal Air bags, a Viair 480 C compressor and Accuair E-Level controller.
With the car low enough to scrape white lines on the road, Jukka resisted the temptation to play with the V6 engine for a few months. But in the end he bought Digituning software that promised 275hp at the crank and a ridiculous 428 lb-ft of torque.
With its new momentum, this TDI is no slug. But it’s the appearance that gets most tongues wagging. At a recent Danish car show, the judges noticed the Sportback outside the halls and asked why Jukka hadn’t entered it. They told him it would’ve won a prize without any contest, and we have to agree it’s a show-stopper in our eyes.
et Tech Spec
2010 Audi A5 Sportback 3.0 TDI quattro
Owner: Jukka Nieminen
Location: Tampere, Finland
Engine: 3.0L V6 30v TDI with Digituning software
Drivetrain: S-tronic auto
Suspension: H&R coilovers
Wheels & Tires: 20x8.5" front, 20x10.5" rear BBS LM wheels with gloss-black centers, 245/30 R20 front, 295/25 R20 rear Hankook Evo S1 tires
Exterior: Caractere front bumper, RS5 grille painted black, S line rear bumper with added diffuser section, S5 Sportback rear spoiler, flat-black exhaust tips, gloss-black roof, Pasi Paananen pinstripes
Interior: OE sports seats in Amaretto brown and Vanilla leather, Ipanema brown alcantara headliner, custom mats, Senner Tuning carbon fiber cockpit molding, S5 carbon door moldings
Audio/Visual: OE B&O package