Audi S5 coupe leads in the style stakes
New generation A5 and S5 twodoor coupes were launched in March and have been a hit right from the start, for two reasons.
Number one is undoubtedly styling — Audi is running hot in this vital sales area these days and the S5 is right up with the best.
Number two is a more mundane — A5 and S5 coupe prices have been cut by as much as $15,000 when compared feature-to-feature with the superseded models.
Our test coupe for the past week was the Audi S5 coupe.
The body is all new, though sensibly it carries some cues from the superseded one. It’s as sleek as ever, but now has a sharper, edgier look that ties in neatly with the new A4 range on which it is based.
Something we really like is the “third” brake light extending almost the full width of the roof.
Inside, Audi continues to show
everyone else how it can be done with the usual immaculate attention to detail.
The central 8.3-inch screen displays navigation plus, Audi connect, LTE data transmission, and wi-fi hotspot.
Apple and Android smartphones connect into the display.
Power comes from a turbo-petrol 3.0-litre V6, in the Audi S5 it produces 260kW and 500Nm from a very low 1370 revs to 4500.
Though the A5 coupe uses a seven-speed double-clutch auto, keen drivers will be pleased to know a conventional eight-speed torque converter is installed in the S5. Power is taken to all four wheels through Audi’s quattro drive system.
It comes as no surprise that Audi S5 coupe easily achieved the maximum five-star safety rating from ANCAP.
It has six airbags, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, including pedestrian detection, a rearimpact sensor, cross-path assist and a driver fatigue detection system among a host of other items.
Though the interior has been slightly enlarged it’s still marginal for space if four adults are being carried.
Though Audi likes to call it a four-seater it really falls into the class we call a three plus one. That is, if the two adults on the passenger side compromise they can both have good legroom, but if the driver is tall, it’s best a short person sits behind them.
Performance from the V6 is excellent thanks to the seemingly endless spread of torque and the quick reactions of the eight-speed automatic when you want to chase added grunt.
Those who bemoan the fact that the mid-sized Audi sports models used to run V8 engines are likely to be instant converts when then sample this brilliant V6 turbopetrol.
All Australian imports of the new coupe, A5 and S5, have Audi's “virtual cockpit”. Different modes give the driver a choice between which instruments or readouts they want to focus on. It can also display the satellite navigation, if that is in use.
Handling is impressive, neat and tidy with huge road grip. The electronic aids did intervene a few times when we pushed the cars towards their limits on controlled stages during the launch. Torque vectoring directed the car on to the ideal path again any time we got too enthusiastic.
Obviously the laws of physics will always win in the end, but until then cars such as the Audi S5 will continue to look after their occupants.
Steering feel, never the strongest feature in Audis, could still be better. It’s rather light and there’s not as much feedback as we like.
Comfort is generally good but some rough-ish roads do make themselves felt through the suspension. If you’re going to be driving a lot on so-so surfaces make sure you do your pre-purchase road testing on that sort of road, ideally with fellow travellers.
A gorgeous body powered by an excellent turbocharged V6 engine means the latest Audi S5 coupe certainly deserves a place on your short list.
Audi is running hot in the styling department these days — and the S5 coupe is one of the best.
Australian imports of the new coupe, A5 and S5, have Audi’s “virtual cockpit”.