The all-new 2018 Audi S5 Coupe – BMW Beater?
Audi have always built decent cars, but it wasn’t really until they introduced the Quattro to the world of rallying that the modern-day generations really started to sit-up and take notice.
Since then, they have gone on to dominate a number of sporting genres, including the endurance racing scene where the original R8 Le Mans car seemed unstoppable. The standard road going cars are pretty sporty, but it’s the S versions that bring the brand alive, the S5 is no exception.
It’ sometimes difficult to understand all of the different nomenclatures that brands use, but for Audi, the S5 is the beefed-up sportier version of the A5 sedan (which in itself is a great car). But what’s new for 2018?
The 2018 Audi S5 Is Available Right Now
The S5 is already available in your local Audi dealership, or if you’re a techno-fiend you can ‘build’ your very own S5 on the Audi website. We like that manufacturers are doing that, it gives another element to the service that they offer, the only downside is that it doesn’t give you the opportunity to build a relationship with your local showroom.
As for pricing, the standard S5 comes in at $54,600, of course there are other trim levels and plenty options, including a cabriolet that rings up at $62,300, although an extra $8,000 or so is bit much for more weight, less performance and no roof. You pays your money and takes your choice though.
Plenty of Punch
As for the motor, Audi have put that on serious diet – it’s 31 lbs lighter than the outgoing model which as well as reducing overall weight, means there is less weight over the front axle – which should help with any understeer problems you may have encountered on the predecessor.
The engine is 3.0 liter V6 that uses a twin-scroll turbocharger nestled in to the Vee of the engine, making the whole layout more compact and efficient. Audi says that it makes 354 BHP and 369 lb/ft of torque, but the most impressive number is where it makes that torque – peak torque comes in at just 1,370 RPM – very low-down. That will make it an impressive drive.
The motor is coupled up to an 8-speed automatic transmission with a manual shift mode, using paddles on the steering-wheel. The whole drivetrain is biased toward ‘sporty’ meaning that the power splits 40:60 front to back, and of course, it has the legendary Quattro system fitted. Giving further feel to the sports driving is the shorter wheelbase – the S5 is nearly 3” shorter than the S4 wheelbase.
The only downside to all of this is that Audi have decided to pull the manual transmission from the options list – they say that 80% of their customers choose the auto setup anyway, so the manual isn’t that popular, it’s cheaper to scrap it from the options than keep it for the handful of customers that would prefer it. Besides, with the new transmissions getting smarter all the time, it’s doubtful that you’ll miss the manual side of it when you have the manual option for the auto.
Audi say that the new S5 is faster than the Mercedes-Benz C43 and the BMW 440i, at least to 60 MPH – it will do the 0 – 60 MPH sprint in 4.4 seconds.
As you’d expect from a fast Audi, the handling leaves nothing to be desired – it works just as you’d want it to. The S5 uses active dampers and has a 5-link multilink setup on all four-corners, and the S5 has four driving modes; Eco, Comfort, Dynamic and Individual. Each mode has an impact on the handling, throttle response and overall performance of the vehicle, and thanks to the boffins at Audi, there is a remappable button on the steering wheel that can be used to actuate these modes – meaning that you don’t even need to lift your hand off the steering wheel when you come across a set of fast bends that you want to have fun on. That’s sensible!
Speaking of the Audi nerds… depending on what trim level you choose, you can have the Audi Virtual Cockpit, giving you the full instrument panel in digital format, allowing you to scroll through various options – choosing the ‘Sport’ option will give you an enlarged tacho right in the center of the dash – just like a racer.
Other technology includes everything you’d expect for this sort of money; adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alerts, front collision mitigation with auto braking (that can also look across lanes of traffic – braking to prevent accidents when turning left across traffic for example), Head’s Up display with navigation, 19 speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, parking system plus with top-view camera system, three-zone climate control and ambient LED interior lighting.
Of course, the interior also has other nice touches – full leather/alcantara trim, brushed aluminum accents and a panoramic sunroof are some of the stand-out items.
If you’re looking for something fast & comfortable with German reliability, you can’t go far wrong with picking the 2018 Audi S5 – it does everything you want it to and more.