It truly is something you can take to work every day and hit the track on the weekend
Audi is known to shell out some stellar luxury cars, for varying sizes of the (fat) wallet.
However, most of these luxo-barges from the manufacturer focus on the ‘saheb’ in the backseat and not the guy piloting the car. But if you want that four-ringed emblem at the front and a bit of tickle in your guts, all while being surrounded by luxury - let me introduce you to the Audi S5.
The S5 is a spruced up version of the A5, which is, in turn, based on the Audi A4 saloon. It follows a sportback design, wherein the roof simply flows into the tail in one clean swoop.
Being an ‘S’ car, it does get subtle differentiators. Up front, the large hexagonal grille gets a platinum finish and a tiny ‘S5’ badge.
Other trademark S elements include a brushed aluminium finish for the mirror caps, a subtle lip spoiler, matte silver on the rear diffuser, and those gorgeous 18-inch alloy wheels.
Lest we forget, it also gets quad exhausts that do a mighty good job of singing a V6 opera. But, more on that later.
If you've been inside a big Audi in the recent past, the S5 will seem familiar. The quality of materials used, be it the leather on the seats, the plastic on the dash or the switches - everything feels top-notch.
There are elements exclusive to the S5 on the inside as well. We love the chunky flat-bottom steering wheel and the cool round gear knob. Other updates include a slightly revised instrument cluster, optional sport seats draped in Nappa leather and a garnish of carbon fibre inlays around the dash.
Like we said, the driver's seat is definitely the one to be in when it comes to the S5. Our test car came equipped with the optional sport seats that are supreme on comfort and cushioning.
If you still insist on sitting in the rear seat, though, prepare to be disappointed. Legroom is limited; there's very little under-thigh support, and headroom goes for a toss thanks to the sloping roofline. Run for the driver's seat or call shotgun and you will enjoy the car.
How does it drive? Well, it's a jolly good blend of practicality and performance. It houses a 3.0-litre V6 motor that has a supercharger strapped on for good measure. The result is a completely usable 333PS of power and 440Nm of torque.
We call it 'usable' since it is all the power you will ever need. It is perfect for the occasional highway blitz you've always dreamt of doing.
The S5 also gets drive modes that alter the behaviour of the engine, steering and suspension to let you tailor the performance according to your needs.
You can choose between 'Auto', 'Comfort', 'Dynamic' and 'Individual'. We left it in Auto most of the time and the vehicle figured out everything by itself perfectly well. Of course, when we did attack the twisties at Amby Valley, we duly set it to Dynamic to get all that the engine had to offer.
We have to say that the S5 masks speed very well. Unless you look down at the speedo, you wouldn't realise you are doing illegal speeds.
The cabin is extremely well insulated as well. Sadly, it also manages to cut out the bellowing exhaust note as well. Thankfully, the raspy engine note is quite enjoyable, especially when it is at its 6,500rpm redline! We love how well the 7-speed S-Tronic automatic channels all the power.
It is amongst the key things that lend the S5 its dual personality. Then there's the Quattro all-wheel-drive tech as well. What it does is let you attack a corner over-zealously and still ensure that you make it out alive.
There's an insane amount of grip through the corners and you can carry quite a lot of speed. That said, we wish the steering was slightly better. It feels slightly vague and that might make you guess what the front wheels are upto.
To sum up, the Audi S5 is a delectable blend of usability and performance. It truly is something you can take to work every day and hit the track on the weekend.
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