Audi's Coup de'tat : S5 Coupe

Car Specifications
Engine: 
4163cc, 32-valves
Cylinder Layout: 
V8
Top Speed: 
248km/h
Transmission: 
6-speed manual
0-100km/h: 
5.1 seconds
Power: 
354bhp at 7000rpm
Torque: 
440Nm at 3500rpm
Features: 
  • Audi's first fast coupe in a long time
  • tasty styling
  • V8 soundtrack

At first glance, these cars have the phat stance, aggressive snouts and little addenda to set them apart from the rest of the neighbourhood hoodlums. The only thing is we all saw different bits of other marques' cars in the design of the A5 / S5.

Elements from the Bentley Continental GT, BMW 3-series and even Aston Martin could be spotted in the sleek aesthetics of the car, which could even be seen as a good thing - in certain quarters.

The A5 is the first in Audi's line-up to be based on this new platform and the porportions of this coupe seem spot-on, given its rather prominent road presence.

Thumb the ignition button and the S5 awakens to an idling rumble. However, the cabin insulation is so good you hardly hear any of its addictive V8 symphony.

sound byte here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxdOfjrFO58

In fact, to really appreciate the guttural exhaust note and mechanical rasp, one needs to stand by the treacherous twisties of the mountainous roadside as the 'test-pilot' hurtles around switchbacks and straights with reckless abandon!

some short clips here (excuse the quality):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuYmjWy1GMc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzwPayYxcWI

The ride is firm, gosh, but never crashy even when we alternated between the 18- and 19-inch rim options. The clutch operation is heavy and this is a car that excels in the low to mid-range but runs quickly out of puff at 7000rpm.

However, don't let the V8 slip you by, because only the S5 Coupes will be animated by this beast of an engine; the S5 Convertible (recently launched in 2010) will feature a supercharged six-cylinder instead. In terms of performance, there's no denying the 'six' holds its own against this V8, but the snorts, snuffles and grunts of the charismatic V8 are sorely missed.

Smooth shifts are best executed leisurely, since this gear-box does not like to be rushed. Of course, we're all aware that the automatic variant will probably sell in bigger numbers here in Singapore than something as 'hardcore' as a manual transmission.

The S5 is effortlessly fast, even deceptively so to a certain extent, but it never feels special or raw in the same way as a RS 4, with steering that is disappointingly inert for a car with such sporty pretensions.

The quattro drive offers abundance of grip and it's unlikely you'll ever breach its limits unless you're really manhandling the controls. The brakes are stupendous and can be hammered repeatedly without them ever throwing in the towel.

The A5 / S5 are intended to be direct rivals to BMW's 3-series Coupes but personally speaking, the Bavarian propeller offers more driving high-jinks as an overall package. the A5 excels only in quattro guise and the 3.2q is a great all-rounded bundle in terms of driving thrills for those who may balk at bridging the S5's price gap and may want something more than a 325i.

Summary
So, it's easy to see the appeal this pose-worthy car will have for a driver who may enjoy something different from the usual blue-white roundel, yet isnt looking for something that requires a hard thrashing and red-line bouncing during his daily commute... - MP
Photos: 
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