2008 Audi S5 - When a 5 is a 10

Discussion in 'European Cars' started by ajzahn, May 7, 2007.

  1. #1 ajzahn, May 7, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2016
    By NATALIE NEFF
    AutoWeek | Published 05/04/07, 4:05 pm et

    AT A GLANCE:

    ON SALE: November
    BASE PRICE: $59,000 (est)
    DRIVETRAIN: 4.2-liter, 354-hp, 325-lb-ft V8; awd, six-speed manual
    CURB WEIGHT: 3590 lb (est)
    0 TO 60 MPH: 4.9 sec (est)
    FUEL MILEAGE (COMBINED): 16 mpg (est)

    Remember the Audi Nuvolari, that stunning 600-hp grand tourer shown at Geneva in 2003? If that car blew you away, you may find the A5, the production car crafted in its image, a bit of a departure, but we swear you will like it even more. No, you won’t find the Nuvolari’s smoking 5.0-liter twin-turbo V10 under the hood of any model in the A5 lineup (RS5, anyone?), and not even the fantastic S5 will sprint to 60 mph from a standstill in 4.1 seconds. You will, however, discover that Ingolstadt can cram more beauty into a single car than you thought possible.

    Where the Nuvolari concept followed an extreme but literal interpretation of the Audi design language, looking at it now, the car feels a bit too deliberately slab-sided, too rounded off, too oversized-TT. The A5 could have followed the same course; instead, Audi’s first four-seat coupe in 11 years delivers a fresh take on the familiar, with more surface interest, more sensuousness, than anyone would expect from a German automaker. There’s not just life in the A5’s lines but passion, too.

    Credit goes to former Audi design chief (now promoted to oversee all VW Group design) Walter de’Silva for that passion. De’Silva declared the A5 “the most beautiful car I’ve ever designed.” Big words from a gentleman who calls Italy “the motherland of granturismo” and penned not only the Nuvolari but also the gorgeous 156 and 147 while at the design helm at Alfa Romeo.

    But look at the A5. The character line accenting its high-waisted flanks, gracefully flowing over both wheel wells, imparts an elegance and a muscularity to the car that no other Audi can claim. And from the front, you’ll find the best integration of Audi’s two-story grille yet, with the lower air scoops and headlights above playing off the grille’s subtle V shape as they splay upward toward the corners of the car’s face.

    The S5 distinguishes itself from the base car with its more pronounced front and rear bumpers, larger rear decklid spoiler, black brake calipers, platinum-colored grille, aluminum-finish mirror housings and a host of little chrome accents, as on the grille and rimming various air ducts.

    Not a line on the car’s body feels wrongly placed, not a curve feels as if it has too much curlicue, not a single element grabs more attention than any other. It’s a design that works as a whole and not as a conglomeration of designed bits and pieces. If there’s a gimmick at all in the A5’s design, it’s in the running lights, a series of LEDs under each headlamp that looks too much like eyeliner applied with a heavy hand.

    The interior, as we’ve come to expect of any Audi, is without compare, with the same level of material quality, flush fits and beautiful finishes as found in any car in the lineup. The layout of the controls and the instrument panel bears a close resemblance to that of the A6, with Audi’s MMI (Multi-Media Interface) system at center stage.

    There’s plenty of room inside for four to sit comfortably, with rear-seat passengers wanting for only a tad more legroom. Headroom for rear riders is generous, a welcome surprise inside a coupe, and the A5 seats feel supportive and comfortable, even more so in the S5 with its specific S sports seats.

    But the A5’s real beauty runs so much deeper than its skin. It is built on a new platform, which will underpin the next-generation A4. Audi engineers made some significant changes in the car’s basic blueprint that improve its overall driving dynamics when compared with the current A4.

    For one, the front differential moves fore of the clutch, letting the engine scoot back farther toward the center of the car, similar to the configuration in the A8 and the Bentley Continental. The result is a 58/42 front/rear weight split in front-drive models, 54/46 in those equipped with quattro. The rack-and-pinion steering system gets relocated lower in the chassis, too, combining with an all-new five-link front- and trapezoidal rear-suspension setup to let the car respond crisply to driver inputs, transmit a ton of road feel, provide excellent body control through turns and offer all-around sharp, sporty handling.

    In the S5, with its standard quattro all-wheel drive splitting torque 40/60 front/rear, the already neutral handling feels even sharper, its stiffer springs eating up corners while additional cross-bracing lends an amazing rigidity to the chassis. The S5 also benefits from standard 18-inch wheels (the A5 has 17s), shod in 245/40 rubber that never give up grip.

    When pushed hard, the S5’s tires do have a lot to grip, with 354 horses being shuttled to all four corners from its throaty 4.2-liter, direct-injection V8.

    A version of the R8 supercar’s engine, the 4.2 reaches a torque peak of 325 lb-ft at 3500 rpm, with 85 percent available at just 2000 rpm. Audi says all that power allows the S5 to run from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in just 5.1 seconds. More important, you’ll find power anywhere you look for it, in any of the manual tranny’s six gears and at virtually every rev.

    The A5 gets a reworked 3.2-liter V6, now with a variable lift cam system to improve both output and fuel consumption. Rated at 265 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque, the 3.2 will pull the A5 from a standstill to 62 mph in 6.1 seconds, Audi says. When we drove the “eight-speed” CVT-equipped front-drive A5, the simulated shift points actually produced a clunking sound on upshifts in automatic mode, though switching over to manual control erased the effect, making its operation feel similar to that of a DSG. Also available stateside will be a quattro-equipped A5 with the six-speed manual in place of the CVT.

    Standard equipment across the lineup is generous, including an electric parking brake and power opening trunk. Among the options are a keyless remote that stores data such as the odometer reading on the key fob, three-zone climate control, a panorama roof, Bang & Olufsen audio and a rear parking aid.

    The biggest surprise, though, isn’t about content or power: The S5 will be the first in the lineup to arrive on these shores, starting in November. The A5 follows in three to four months.

    Audi has not released final North American specifications for the cars, but they should match the European specs fairly closely. Pricing, too, has yet to be determined, but we expect the A5 to begin at roughly $37,000, with stickers for the S5 starting close to $60,000.

    >>> www.autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070507/FREE/70504004/1065
     
  2. I really like it.
     
  3. I want one sooooo bad.

    I'm such a new car whore.
     
  4. looks bad in that view, but then again, thats the first bad view I've seen yet
     
  5. BMW 3-series coupe, even the 6-series and the Mercedes CLS don´t look any better from that angle
     
  6. Now I know why I love it. Look at that ass. It looks so traditional german luxo sedan.
     
  7. I really like it.
     
  8. I'm really starting to change my mind about this car

    The new CLK should put things back to perspective
     
  9. I think it's pretty sweet. I'd hit it.
     
  10. Looks damn good. One of the best looking cars from Germany.
     
  11. Now that is fine Euro ass.
     
  12.  
  13. I can't help not to look at this as bland / boring
     
  14. lol.

    all the americans think it looks gorgeous
    all the europeans think it looks bland
     
  15. I'm European and I think it's absolutely gorgeous
     
  16.  
  17. Because in the last 15 years we got loads of Audis that the US didn't, hence some of the europeans being tired of the this design language
     
  18. agreed
     
  19. Very nice...like it a lot. Shouldn't the S version have more HP though? 440hp perhaps? This is supposed to be head to head with the new M3
     
  20. nah...... wait for the RS version
     
  21. god it's so good. especially in real life. and i want the 3.0tdi 600nm ftw.
     
  22. Wow they really kept the weight down for this one. For comparison, it weights the same as a Mazdaspeed 6 and VW Golf R32.
     
  23. it really is gorgeous, and sounds like a great car too

    Audi siriusly can't do wrong at the moment
     

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