After almost 10 years since the Audi S5 was introduced, it is back with a new look, a new engine and a totally new vibe. Not that it’s sharp, subtle, and fine iconic design, gangster appeal, and 40-valve V-8 that gave us 3,500 rpm all up to 7,000 weren’t enough to make jaws drop. Its gangster appeal is forever remembered through a manual-transmission, turning this sports vehicle into an adorable, brutish hooligan. We used to enjoy its sturdy and smooth ride made more appealing by its super modern bachelor-pad interior.
Now, we have a 2018 Audi S5 model that still has that grand-touring spirit, which is another way of saying it still has its bachelor looks, but this time coming across as more intelligent and discreet in a grown-up way.
Don’t get me wrong. The new model isn’t boring. Think of it as Tony Stark. He wasn’t at all that debonair before he became Iron Man. With a 369 lb-ft of peak torque from a very low 1,370 rpm, its new 3.0-liter twin-scroll, single-turbocharged V-6 is powerful than neither the V-8 nor its 2013 supercharged V-6 replacement were. This 31-pound-lighter-model than the previous S5 coupe has more-than-enough-to-have-fun-horsepower that peaks at 354, more than the one before it. It’s got a healthy 500 Nm of torque. Likewise, it has an all-wheel drive with an available sport rear differential. Reaching 60 mph from a standstill only takes 4.4 seconds. With intricate engine lurking under the hood, a smooth wave of torque takes over once your foot lands on the pedal.
An executive type of coupe striking an exceptional balance between youthful sportiness and mature sophistication? Yeah, you got that right.
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Sophistication and sportiness are trademarks of Audi’s S5. Redesigning its interiors using exceptional materials, the inside is made stunningly smart, light and refined by its comfortable, supportive and adjustable seats in supple leather with good-looking diamond stitched coverings on its wraparound dash with an unbroken panel of brushed aluminum, and a three-dimensional interior inlays. When you’re in this class competing with other luxury car manufactures these are all the little things that help put it over the top when comparing to the 2018 Mercedes, BMW, or Lexis.
Another thing I like about this model Audi is its spacious front doesn’t deprive full-grown adults’ comfort in the back. The center console also has enough space and is unobtrusive for car controls. For its virtual cockpit (an option), S5 has Audi’s TFT-screen instrument cluster, that communicates available navigation, audio and compatible phone, has a 3D surround-sound system and gives passengers 4G LTE connectivity. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto plus an Audi app are available and enables you to put some car functions on your phone, Apple TV or smart-watch.
Missing two doors than most cars, outside, the hood has subtle air channels that gives it a speedy look even at a standstill. Its aggressive looking furrowed hood is pulled down over its sculptured Single frame grille. It has satin finish wing mirrors and has four exhaust pipes. Gone are the straight cut lines breaking up gentle contours. The new model has rounder through-lines, even running in its gas cap, complimenting the larger fenders’ curves and rear, giving it a sportier look. In the back, there are the contoured full “3D” LED taillights. Its flared wheel arches, housing 19-inch wheels, give it a wider, ground-hugging look for that sporty appeal.
Simply put, this coupe’s overall vibe is more conventional, a sure attraction for luxury buyers who understandably stay away from modern flash but loves practicality and cleaner aesthetics instead.
More Ingenuity Inside
S5’s cockpit technology is running at 60 frames per second a 12.3-inch TFT dash interface, through an NVIDIA quad-core processor. No problem with Google Earth navigation maps. Likewise, its easy to use Traffic Jam assist works using radar and ultrasound sensors with the vehicle’s front camera.
The Drive Select Modes can get remapped on the steering wheel. But, if you have the optional “cold weather” package in, that button is replaced with a toggle for the steering wheel heater.
Under the Hood
The common “hot V” setup wherein the turbine is being fed by reverse-flow headers, nestled into the space between the heads or scrolls, with each scroll having a separate bank of cylinders is found in the new Audi S5, guaranteed for improved response. This 30-pound engine sits on top of a closed-deck aluminum block with bonded cast-iron sleeves.
Audi replaced the S5’s seven-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch transmission with a ZF-derived eight-speed, quick, and precise Tiptronic. This is more suited to the turbo’s new, lower-end torque curve, which S5 buyers prefer because of its smooth power.
Driving the Coupe
Boasted as one of Audi S5’s best traits, suspension damping, is perfect. Proof is the S5 takes in corners and keeps steady before launching out of fast bends at full throttle. Driver adjustment modes include: Dynamic, Eco, Comfort and Individual. Its active system makes any ride, even the aggressive “Dynamic” mode, a quality one without any wheel-locating and introduction of excess lolling concerns. The eight-speed automatic transmission is crisp in its smooth shifts.
Audi engineers had also perfected balance. The vehicle’s sensors-and-software-actuated clutch packs, with torque-vectoring, makes the S5 rotate despite the engine weight. This was made possible by replacing the front, five-link suspension with lighter parts and refining the electronic steering-boost calibration for precision.
The quattro system enhances traction. Rear-biased 40/60 default split, the center differential alters front-to-rear torque split and an optional sport rear differential gives it more flexibility when cornering. Driving a straight line, the car launches with a surge of power even without activation of the hidden launch control mode. The torque-vectoring sport rear differential enables the S5 Coupe to stick in corners. Brakes are of course, strong and willing. The S5 tracks well and is easy, supple and quiet to drive fast. Long hours driving is no problem for any lover of this four-ring sports coupe.
The new design comments are subjective because of sports cars lovers’ preference for the modern dash. Though this is a 349bhp coupe, some might feel bored driving it because it doesn’t feel very adjustable. Some find also find the hollow plastic feel of its paddle a little off.
When it comes to cost, Audi hints that there would be a minor increase over the current MSRP of $53,100.
Still leaving its indelible mark on drivers and car enthusiasts with this revamped Audi S5, intending to settle is never an option for the auto industry’s one and only four rings.