The figures are impressive. So is the tech. But what makes this car catch your attention is what it serves on the road. The S5 is a ‘sports’ version of the A5 coupe which is not available in India, a car that slots somewhere between the A4 and the A7. The S version of an Audi means more power. A more extreme version would be RS5 but that’s another level. Don’t be fooled by the body-style. This is a notchback with a massive hatch. The front is reminiscent of an A6 with a large grille showcasing the Four Rings. Massive air intakes on the front bumper house the fog lamps. Bumper is noticeably closer to the road, which is the only clear giveaway that under the all-familiar face is a different person. Just so you don’t miss it, an S5 badge sits non-conspicuously next to the rings.
In profile is where things change a bit more. The rear roof slopes seamlessly into the hatch for a classic notchback look. The glass area outlined by a chrome strip highlight the coupe-ness. Yes, frameless doors both at the front and rear for the S5, and in profile is when you realise the long wheelbase and short overhangs all around. From the rear, the S5 get a typical hunkered-down look. The crease running along the bootlid, the massive wraparound tail lamps and dual-tone rear bumper add to the busy-ness. Think BMW 3GT but a lot prettier.
The S5 is powered by a 3.0-litre V6. It is a free-revving petrol engine that is able to send 330bhp to the wheels. It is mostly rear-wheel drive till the quattro all-wheel drive system makes its presence felt when needed. Managing the power and 440Nm of torque is a seven-speed S-tronic gearbox. It is one of those with dual-clutch wizardry that can pretty much make your own gear changing ability obsolete. The S5 is at ease when you are in a hurry or just feel like coasting. There is no lunging from standstill if you are easy on the throttle. But speeds can build up as effortlessly as any political party makes pre-election promises. Show it some urgency and it can accelerate in a manner that would impress most runaway couples. This car can move from 0-100km in 5.1 seconds and you can potentially hit a top speed of 250km. Unfortunately, there is no equivalent roar from the exhaust but those inside will be entertained by a nice exhaust orchestra.
The electromechanical steering isn’t very communicative, but doesn’t leave you confused. At high speeds you won’t be struggling to know what your wheels are up to. Interestingly, for us Indians, this car rides phenomenally well. Ground clearance can be a hamper under full road but going over bad roads does not mean shattered bones and senses. The S5’s suspension is quite capable of handling our pathetic roads. Interiors aren’t fancy. If you have been in an A4 you have pretty much seen all. It is well built, looks plush and busy and geeky but the onus has been to quip the car more with dynamic equipments rather than creature comforts. Of course, the latter are available as optional fitment.
Overall, it’s the right mix of performance and practicality. Perfect if you want a potent machine that isn’t a handful to use on an everyday basis. It is fast, looks smashing and can offer proper luxury to its occupants. It is pretty complete a car.
A solid mix of pace, good looks and impressive interior quality. A Sportback that is sleeker, prettier and more practical than the four-door.
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