SPORTS RE­FINED

Audi’s lat­est in­car­na­tion of the S5 Coupé gets put to the test as Kris Karacin­ski spends the week­end en­joy­ing the roads the city has to of­fer

Destination of the World News - - SPEND IT - PHO­TOG­RA­PHY: Haitham El Sha­zly

I’ve al­ways liked Audi, though un­for­tu­nately the S5 Coupé has done lit­tle to make me buy the cap and wear the t-shirt. It’s not that it’s a bad car – far from it. Once again Audi has pro­duced and very sexy coupé. Some re­fined lines along the side of the ve­hi­cle, a raised bon­net (hood for our Amer­i­can read­ers) and the quad ex­hausts at the back all work. Audi has done a fan­tas­tic job of keep­ing the de­sign sub­tle yet ag­gres­sive enough to let other road users know they shouldn’t mess with you, be­cause this car has some punch. The S5 has a 3.0-litre V6 turbo-charged en­gine hid­ing un­der that slightly swollen bon­net. It pro­duces a re­spectable 354hp (at 5,400-6,400RPM) and will pro­pel you to 100 kph in just 4.7 sec­onds. Granted, it’s not a world-record beater and it doesn’t hit you in the gut when you put the pedal down. It’s more a hefty shove. Of course, this is with sports mode en­gaged. In “nor­mal”, it’s a quiet, com­fort­able, near ef­fort­less drive. If you are choos­ing to sit back and cruise the streets, an Audi cer­tainly de­liv­ers a cos­set­ting ex­pe­ri­ence. An­other area Audi has al­ways proven it­self to ex­cel is in in­te­ri­ors. The S5 Coupé is no dif­fer­ent. Even though the model I drive fea­tures S Sports seats (sports seats can be a bit snug or hurt the rear af­ter many hours be­hind the wheel), I find them to be ex­tremely com­fort­able. The steer­ing wheel also feels great and the amount of con­nec­tiv­ity and me­dia play­back op­tions mean you’ll have all of your music on tap what­ever mood you’re in. The S5 also fea­tures the re­cently re­leased vir­tual cock­pit. I first en­coun­tered this a while back in the Audi TTS. It’s es­sen­tially the same set up and still works beau­ti­fully, and is likely the fu­ture of all cock­pits. Call me old fash­ioned, but I still like to set it up so I see some di­als in front of me. De­spite all of these out­stand­ing at­tributes, some of the shine is taken off be­cause, to be hon­est, I’m not quite sure whom this car is for. It’s not a small car. With two re­spectably sized rear seats, you could ar­gue it’s fam­ily size, but it only has two doors that even adult-sized hu­mans can strug­gle to get in and out of. Once an av­er­age-sized adult has clam­bered their way in the back, the leg and head­room is just about ad­e­quate, though I per­son­ally wouldn’t en­joy sit­ting in the rear for an ex­tended drive. So in this case, the car seems to be aimed at a young cou­ple or an in­di­vid­ual that rarely gives lifts to friends, each of whom wants a sporty car. Sporty in ap­pear­ance it may be, but the sports per­for­mance is lack­ing. Yes, it han­dles cor­ners well, but as I men­tioned ear­lier, it’s not ex­actly an en­thralling, getup-and-go ex­pe­ri­ence. Plus, I per­son­ally feel the steer­ing is very light. Too light, and not giv­ing you the en­gaged feel­ing with the road you crave when you’re look­ing to nip around a bend. I’m not sure who is in the mar­ket for a good-look­ing, large coupé fea­tur­ing four seats, two of which are dif­fi­cult to ac­cess and with sporty cre­den­tials that leave you want­ing more. I un­der­stand this may sound a lit­tle damn­ing. Per­haps I’m be­ing overly crit­i­cal; these are sim­ply some of the as­pects that take some of the shine off what is es­sen­tially a good car. There are some def­i­nite ticks, how­ever. It’ll turn heads, it’ll get you from A to B in good time and it’s an ex­quis­ite place to be while driv­ing. The Audi S5 Coupé just doesn’t quite tick all my boxes for a ve­hi­cle I’d park in my garage.

“IT’LL TURN HEADS, IT’LL GET YOU FROM A TO B IN GOOD TIME AND IT’S AN EX­QUIS­ITE PLACE TO BE WHILE DRIV­ING”

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