Ntsako Mthethwa
3 minute read
10 Jul 2017
10:00 am

ROAD TEST: Audi S5 Coupe is refined and fast

Ntsako Mthethwa

Incredible feel on the road as it easily pulls through low and mid-rev ranges.

If there’s one true thing somebody close to me will tell you it is that I love fast and safe cars. Not because of my job but because fast cars look better and usually have the best safety systems.

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I can’t leave the Audi S5 out of that.

For a price of R928 000 in standard trim and R1 160 020 as tested with the options that Audi ask for its S5, it puts it bang on the money against a Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe and is a touch above a BMW 440i Coupe.

It’s not the hottest A5-derived model: there’ll be the all-new Audi RS5 maybe later this year – so if you want the most hardcore version, you may want to wait and pay much more.

So you may choose to wait for the RS5, or not, because this S5 is a superb sports coupé with some stern intent, thanks to its 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 engine, which shines out 260kW of power from 5 400-6 400rpm and 500Nm from an insanely low 1 370rpm, driving all four-wheels via an eight-speed Tiptronic transmission.

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Heading to the Gerotek Testing facility to see if the new S5 has enough oomph to challenge its greatest rivals, the BMW 440i Coupé and Mercedes-Benz C43, it really did acquit itself well.

We managed to get a sprint from 0-100km/h in 5.24 seconds, crossing the ¼-mile mark in 13.48 seconds en route to an electronically limited true top speed of 257km/h. It is quick in its class as its direct opponent, the 440i, returned almost the same numbers. It did manage to dash from 0-100km/h in 5.45 seconds, crossing the ¼-mile mark in 13.59 seconds before hitting a limiter at 250km/h.

A week with the car and applying all my best knowledge to save fuel, the S5 managed to return 10.2 litres/100km instead of the manufacturer’s claimed 7.4 litres.

I agree, the consumption is higher but that’s what you would expect from a V6 engine. With 500Nm of torque available from low revs, the S5 feels so incredible on the road because it will pull hard through the lowand mid-rev ranges with effortless ease.

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There’s superb grip available in fast sweeping bends, and the balance and traction on offer courtesy of the Quattro all-wheel drive – in combination with the standard adaptive dampers – is truly great. It’s not a light car – the unladen weight, with a 75kg driver, is 1 690kg – but it feels lighter.

The four-seat layout isn’t ridiculously roomy but the standard electric seats with electric slide adjust button at the top makes ingress and egress easier, though it’s still a challenging manoeuvre entrance for taller people.

The back seat has enough space for a couple of peeps for a shorter drive and the comfort and sculpting of the rear seats makes them very enjoyable to sit on. Boot space is 465 litres of capacity (up by 10 litres compared to the previous gen).

Yes, it is bigger and takes advantage over the C-Class Coupé’s 400 litre and with an advantage over a BMW 4 Series Coupé 445 litres.

Oh, and you get a spare wheel under the boot floor.

Safety is rest assured: there is lane assistant, park assist, camera-based traffic sign recognition, full-size airbags with front passenger airbag deactivation, driver and front passenger dual-stage airbags and front thorax side airbags.