We’ve all heard that saying “you are what you eat.” The same philosophy applies to your car; “you are what you drive.” What you drive can and does say a lot about you. Minivan/Crossover drivers are the safe carpoolers who barely do 5mph over the speed limit and spend their weekends doing an activity that involves a child. Family sedans/compacts are generally people who work in a cubical and don’t mind bending the rules every now and again; even perhaps get a little funky at the disco bar on Friday nights. But then you have this: the Audi S5 and driving this is like being a business man with a corner office who likes scaring little old ladies with its loud exhaust.
Given the new generation of designs from Mercedes and BMW; Audi decided it was best to leave perfection alone… for now. The 2014 Audi S5 is kept classy and simplistic. Unlike BMW’s M Series the S5 is calm and collective in its styling… that is until you start the engine. It is difficult not to notice the key stylish points that Audi has. Trying to stay modern and fresh Audi revamped the headlamps to have wrap-around LED day-time running lights with xenon adaptive headlights and brash LED taillights.
Fortunately for me, this S5 came in the $6,250 Prestige model shimmering an exclusive $500 Phantom Black with pearl effect that gives it a certain business like attitude. The S5 also came with the $1,300 Black Optic Package that blacks out the typical silver painted side mirrors, adds a high gloss to the paint, and grotesque Titanium 19” wheels.
It’s when you get behind the wheel that things start to change. Black leather sport enhanced seats with Lunar Silver suede interior cocoon your body comfortably. Driver and passengers get heated power adjustable seats and a dual-zone climate control system. Just as you are about to set off; push the stainless steel starter button, wrap your hands around the thick 3-spoke leather wrapped flat bottom steering and feel the ice cold stainless steel gear lever between your fingers. Its then you’ll start to get a fizzing sensation, and you haven’t even gotten it out of ‘Park’ yet.
Even though this is a sports coupe, it’s still an Audi… and Audi’s are very luxurious. Whether you’re stuck in traffic or out on the track, the S5 is actually pretty comfortable to be in. The suspension is a little rough even in comfort mode but still has a nice feel. Everything from the seats, the door panels, to the dash board is wrapped in leather and suede with stainless steel and black trimmed accents. There is a back seat; let’s be honest, it’s just to fill in empty space. At least there is a large trunk. The MMI Navigation was an interesting system using Google Earth that gives you live up-to-date traffic, but the voice activation didn’t work and setting a destination; well, it was best to be stationary. Not to mention the woman sounded like a German militant… “Turn left, turn left now.”
But who cares about all that. Let’s get to the stuff the make us feel virtuous! Perhaps a Supercharger would work? What about 333 horsepower escaping from a 3.0L Supercharged V6 delivering 325lb-ft torque to the Quattro All-Wheel Drive system? Just wait till you hear the exhaust growl. Unfortunately, this S5 came with the 7-speed dual clutch automatic with S-Tronic manual mode and stainless steel paddle shifters. What is fortunate is that it takes only 4.9 seconds to achieve 60mph and if you dare, a top speed of 155 mph.
The S5 has 4 driver settings to choose from: Comfort, Dynamic, Individual, and Auto. Each mode is designed to enhance the driver’s experience. If you opt for Comfort; the suspension, handling, and transmission lightens up for a more city like drivability. I decided to leave it in Dynamic mode. In Dynamic mode everything stiffens and becomes more of a sports car. The suspension system becomes more sport enhanced providing the S5 with no body roll when attacking corners and keeping everything flat and smooth when coming out of one. Start shifting through the paddle and listen to the raw power of the Supercharged V6 explode through the aggressive dual exhaust when reaching maximum 6,300rpm. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Kick the S5 into high gear and the sport differential starts to do it job. Power transferred to the Quattro All-Wheel Drive system keeps the S5 planted to the ground and makes it almost impossible to get it to act naughty.
Whether you’re on or off the track the large 13.6” sport disc brakes are firm and provide the ultimate stopping power. But what isn’t as impressive is the fuel consumption. Roughly 18mpg can be found driving in the city and 25mpg out on the highway. That sounds impressive, but when you start driving like a sports car, 15mpg’s is what you’ll get. Be careful however, after fueling with premium fuel, the trip computer will give 350 miles on the clock, but after only after driving less than a 100 miles, half the tank would be gone.
There were a few things that I didn’t personally like about the S5 and they may seem like small problems but when you pay $65k you shouldn’t have any complaints. To start with the panoramic moonroof didn’t slide open, with a water bottle in the cup holder access to the media controls were blocked, there is no USB to connect to my phone, and the sun visor was absolutely useless. But worst of all was that flappy paddle transmission. Even in manual mode, the transmission would still shift for you causing the loss of performance which was really annoying. Save $1,300 and go for the manual.
Driving the S5 was pretty phenomenal. I have always been a big fan of Audi and the S5 has officially been added to my shopping list. One of the things I do find most attractive about the S5 is unlike most sports cars, it is something that you can live with every day as a normal car. Plus, that exhaust note… that an excuse itself to buy one.
|2014 Audi S5 Coupe:||$53,400|
|Phantom Black Pearl Effect:||$500|
|Audi Adaptive Damping Suspension||$1,000|
|Quattro with Sports Differential||$1,100|
|Black Optic Package:||$1,300|
|S5 Prestige Model:||$6,250|