While the RS5 is perhaps a sledgehammer to crack a nut, the S5 is just right. The new 3.0-litre TFSi is superb.
In the metal 5/5
The S5 is the wolf in sheep’s clothing. While its bigger brother, the RS5 is all snarling flared arches, massive wheels and ludicrous intakes the S5 does performance in an altogether more subtle way. While the RS5 uses a 4.2-litre V8, the S5 employs a 3.0-litre V6, which is supercharged, as will future RS models. In the S5, there is 333hp, which you would argue could be more than enough for most. We’ve recently been in the RS5, which is awesome but a little unusable in an everyday context. The S5 looks good, there is no doubt, but it is looks little different to a nicely specified 1.8-litre petrol, aside from some discreet badging. Like the rest of the Audi A5 range, the S5 gets new, more wedged-shaped headlamps, new LED lights front and rear and an improved interior. Google-maps can now be integrated into the satellite navigation and there is improved MMI. The S5 is not just a Coupé of course you can have it on the Cabriolet and Sportback too.
Driving it 4/5
Awesome. The supercharged V6 makes a slightly muted sound on start-up, but at full chat it makes a much more delicious sound. It doesn’t have the ferocious snarl of the V8 from the RS6, but is still an audio treat. It is plenty fast too, with sub-five seconds to 100km/h and a top speed limited to 250km/h. The power delivery is very smooth, without the slight jerkiness of the RS6 and the dual-clutch seven-speed S-Tronic gearbox is ultra refined with no jerkiness at all. With quattto all-wheel drive the grip is outstanding and for us, this is a real-world performance car. This car is absolutely quick enough for a public road, with the RS5 only really necessary if you want to bring it to a circuit or just show off.
What you get for your money 4/5
Audi are much better at goodies in their cars these days and the S5 will get most of the full arsenal of essentials. 18” alloy wheels might be the starting point for some S5 buyers, but you also get LED /Xenon lights, climate control, 3-spoke multifunction steering wheel, leather upholstery, Bluetooth interface, leather Alcantara sports seats and lots more. Naturally Audi offers lots of interesting ways for you to part with your money, including WiFi for your car and a navigation system that uses Google Maps instead of the usual graphic interface. The possibilities for options are only really limited by the size of your wallet.
The new Audi A5 model range goes on sale in November in Ireland and the S5 in Coupé, Cabriolet and Sportback is available from then.
As a real world performance car, the S5 is simply brilliant. The 3.0-litre TFSi supercharged V6 is a great engine and we like the subtle yet sporty styling on the S5.