Look­ing good

Audi S5 coupe leads in the style stakes

Albany Extra - - Extra News - Ewan Kennedy

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.

Pic­tures: Mark Bram­ley

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”.

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