Audi S5 Sportback TFSI | Gimme a 5

BY Joel Tam

Yum, yum - the handsome and muscular new S5 is quick, practical and well deserving of a high five!

Photos by Joel Tam

We’re big fans of the new A5. Fast, smooth and overall a joy to live with because of its practical features. So the S5 has to be even better to justify the extra cost.

Well, we’re quite happy to report that it is. Not that it makes us love the A5 any less, we still feel that an S-Line kit on a 252-bhp A5 would suffice for any working class executive with a family. But the S5 does tick the right boxes for the slightly more affluent car enthusiast.

Set your eyes on the S5 and the same sleek lines from the A5 will put a smile on your face. A friend of ours is looking at purchasing an A5 and his words were “It was love at first sight”. The S5 though, has chunkier bumpers and larger side skirts with a matte black trimming than contrasts well with the white paint on our test car.

The rear features quad exhausts that quite clearly say that this is a car not to be messed with. Low-slung and very sexy for a 5-door sedan, the S5 passes the design test with flying colours.

Inside, the S5 is typical Audi. Clean, intuitive and very clinical. It’s not revolutionary, but the goodies we’ve come to enjoy are all in there - flat-bottomed steering wheel, aluminium trimmings, Virtual Cockpit and diamond-quilted leather “S” sports seats for the S5.

Despite having a low roof line, Audi managed to create a some extra headroom, provided you don’t spec the panoramic roof (which our test car didn’t have). It has the same cargo capacity of 480 litres as the A5, via a large hatchback boot door with easy accessibility to that space in the trunk.

Power comes from a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6. It’s the same one found in the S4 we drove earlier, but somehow feels smoother in this unit we tested. Packing almost 350 bhp and 500 Nm of torque, the S5 flies across tarmac with ease. The century sprint is dispatched in a mere 4.7 seconds, a figure that used to be reserved for super cars in the past.

You’ll want to put the car in Dynamic mode, and shift the gear lever to “S” mode to extract the angriest mood from the S5. The exhaust note will be at its loudest and the car will feel like it’s been injected with steroids. Floor it and bang through the 8-speed auto box for maximum effect - the S5 will be an instant hit with any power and speed junkie.

But is this a car you can take to the track? Aha, that’s where I’d have to say… it depends on your expectations. Technically you can take any car to the track. Even 660cc kei car can be fun. But when we talk about really hitting the track with a sharp tool that will return hot lap times, the S5 might not cut it. It’s definitely quick, and you can surely derive some fun from it, but it feels a bit too soft and cushy for a hard-edged track tool - that to me, is still reserved for the Audi’s RS line of cars.

So if you are an occasionally trackie, but use the car more for long drives (that’s me actually) the S5 is an awesome all-rounder. Coupled with the safety of the all-wheel drive quattro system, it’s a car you can bring to high speeds and feel totally at ease negotiating long sweepers without braking. When you have to, the large red callipers will do the job beautifully too.

I’ve got almost nothing bad to say about the new S5. Almost. At my age, the low roofline is starting to get a bit annoying - sspecially since I like wearing caps - I’m not sure how many times I’ve knocked my cap off getting in and out. So it you don’t like caps and are shorter than 1.75 m, the S5 is your perfect car. For me, the dream is still the RS6.