So what do you do as a car manufacturer when it’s time to update a very successful model that has proved a sales success, already has stunning design and is packed with standard features? Well if you are Audi and the vehicle in question is the stunning S5 coupe, you add even more features boost power and torque output, reduce the weight making it faster, make subtle changes to the design and do all that at a reduced price.
Audi has just released the updated S5 coupe. It’s stunning. According to Audi they have added about $10,000 worth of additional feature over the outgoing model and it’s about $17,000 less expensive. While that is awesome lets spare a quick thought for those that just bought the previous model. They bought a brilliant vehicle but this one is better.
The newer lines of the S5 accentuate the bolder design. It has a broader squat look with horizontal lines across the rear and a rear boot lip. The bonnet now has a power bulge that runs down to the single frame grill which looks great and sits slightly lower than the newly designed contoured headlights. Running along the length of the car sits a ‘tornado’ line that accentuates the shoulder.
The overall effect is a slightly more busy design than the previous model but one that works and continues the bold, yet elegant design of the ‘5’ series.
As beautiful as the body of the Audi S5 is, at the core of S5 is the engine, transmission, drivetrain and chassis combination. This is the heart and soul that brings life to the inanimate object.
The Audi S5 is powered by a newly developed turbocharged 3.0 l V6 TFSI engine that produces 260 kW of power at 5400 rpm and 500 Nm of torque between 1370 – 4500 rpm. These figures are both up on the previous model. Top speed is a governed 250kmh and 0-100 kmh is a spritely 4.7 seconds (claimed). The Audi S5 has an ADR combined fuel usage of 7.5 l/100k. However on the test with a number of ‘enthusiastic’ drivers the real world figure was closer to 10.1 l/100k. Considering the style of driving this figure is still pretty good.
The S5 transfers all this power and torque to the renowned Quattro drive system through an 8 speed tiptronic transmission that is mated perfectly to the smooth engine to extract the maximum efficiency in power delivery and economy.
This quattro system is the perfect partner for the newly developed five-link front and rear suspensions that features on the S5 models. It is further complemented by the standard adaptive dampers that can be adjusted for a more comfortable ride, focused dynamics and everything in between via the Audi drive select system. The modes are ‘comfort’, ‘auto’, ‘dynamic’, ‘efficiency’. and ‘individual’, with which the driver can further customise the individual systems such as the steering and suspension. The brake system on the S5 Coupe is suitably powerful, with 350mm ventilated front discs clamped by six-piston calipers.
As an enhancement to the standard quattro driveline, it is also possible to option a sport differential on the rear axle that can apportion even more torque to the wheel with the most grip. This effectively ‘points’ the car towards the apex of a corner. Our test vehicle was fitted with this option.
This all translates to the drive experience, which in the S5 is just plain FUN. The steering isn’t quite as direct as you might expect but provides enough feedback to feel completely in control. The revised suspension soaks up bumps and holes with compliance while providing a firm ride. The Tiptronic transmission is responsive enough, especially in low revs and downshifting. It always manages to find the right gear without fuss and without feeling rushed. I actually prefer it to the dual clutch style as it suits the S5 better. I also leave the self-shifters alone, believing that the transmission is smarter than I am. The S5 is more – grand touring rather than outright sports car, despite the fact that it has excellent sports car credentials.
Fuelling the grand tourer feel is the dynamic handling. You can select the driving style you want, but on the launch we fiddled a little bit but mostly left the selection in Dynamic mode. I felt that in this mode there was the best balance between ride and handling for the tight twisty roads we were driving on in northern Tasmania. These were a driver’s delight and the S5 excelled. It is here that the S5 transforms into more than the inanimate vehicle. It becomes light, lithe, taught and engaging. These type of roads immerse the driver totally and the S5 delivers leaving you with a huge smile on your face.
Inside the S5 is typically Audi. Everything is top quality with simple styling. The front sports seats provide massage function, adjustable side bolsters and wings along with multi electronic adjustment. The thick rimmed flat bottom leather steering wheel frames the virtual cockpit dash that has a unique central tacho and lap timer that provides plenty of information.
The Audi virtual cockpit is fast becoming the standard that others are measured against. Unfortunately the steering wheel adjustment is manual. The Audi heads up display is also excellent. One thing I really dislike is the inability to turn off the ACC. I am all for safety features however object when they override good driving ability.
One complaint I had is that the window sills are a little high for the lazy elbow on the window driver. Also there was a hard ridge on the door below the window line and above the arm rest that really was out of place but intrusive. I hit my elbow many times on it.
The car sits low and those that are mobility challenged or have a bung right knee like yours truly will find it a little difficult to slide onto. However once inside its exceptionally comfortable. Audi advertises this as a coupe plus 2 however, while the rear seats are very comfortable, entry and egress and even sitting in them with a tall driver is just plain ridiculous.
This is a car for two people only. There is a reasonably large boot of 465 L and the rear seats fold in a 40/20/40 format to increase that.
We had a brief interlude with the revised Audi S5 and to be honest it was FUN! The vehicle we tested had the optional Technik package, quattro sport differential, metallic paint and a gloss black package. The price was $117,626 including taxes but not including dealer delivery.
The S5 is a beautiful design that somehow manages to balance the competing aspects of performance, ride handling and occupant comfort to provide an excellent grand touring coupe. I am really looking forward to a longer test drive.
What is good?
- Value for money (not something usually associated with European sports cars)
- Beautiful design and style
- Performance ride handling balance
What is not so good?
- Can’t turn off ACC
- Ridge line inside door
- Manual steering wheel adjustment
Model: Audi S5 Coupe
Model Price: $117,616 MLP (RDAP TBC)
Engine: 3.0L V6 TFSI
Drivetrain: Quattro 8 Sp Tiptronic
Power: 260kW @ 5400rpm
Torque: 500Nm @ 1370 – 4500 rpm
Safety: 5 Star ANCAP
CO2 Emissions: 171 g/km
Economy: (ADR comb) 7.5 L/100km
0 – 100Kmh: 4.7 seconds
Top Speed: 250kmh
Servicing: Prepaid 15000km or 12 months
Warranty 3yr/unlimited km with 3 Yr. full roadside assist
Overall AnyAuto Rating 88/100
Behind the Wheel 9
Ride & Handling 9
Fit for Purpose 9
Fun Factor 9
Street Cred 9
Value for Money 9