Audi S5 Sportback – For The Bold, Beautiful & Affluent

Audi S5 Sportback – For The Bold, Beautiful & Affluent

When I first set my sights on the new Audi S5, I could notice the blatant evolution in Audi’s design language. On paper the S5 boasts of impressive specifications but how well it would pan out in the real world was yet to be evaluated. I undertook a road test of this majestic looking sedan on the crowded streets of New Delhi and eventually on some open stretches of the highway. Here’s what we discovered.

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Exterior Design and Styling

Essentially, the Audi S5 is reminiscent of the company’s age old design philosophy, which now comes with more character, thanks to a few curves and a deviation from their straight line design scheme. The facade carries an aggressive and mean look, dominated by Audi’s signature hexagonal grill that also houses the four ring logo between six horizontal slats. The headlamp cluster looks crisp and sports dynamic turn signals. Audi has also built its dynamic automatic headlamp range adjustment system to prevent the headlights from dazzling other road users.

Moving over to the side, the profile is that of a fastback (Sportback as Audi calls it). The shoulder line is a distinctly curvy one, while the belt line remains more or less straight. The character line gets a gradual slope upward rounding off a sophisticated side profile. The ORVMs on the sides have been treated with a brushed matte aluminum finish that adds to this sedan’s sporty nature. Also blending well with the overall design scheme are the 18 inch, 5-twin-spoke, star design alloy wheels.

In the rear, the roofline gently slopes into the boot section creating the signature Audi Sportback design. The rear gets a mix of straight and curvy lines. The S5 also features quad exhaust pipes in chrome. The LED tail lamps feature dynamic turn signals and carry a contemporary cluster design. The S5 wears a luxurious look and at the same time is sporty in equal parts. The pronounced shoulders and wheel arches give the sedan a strong and masculine look.

 

Interior Design and Features

The interiors of the new Audi S5 wear a sporty and sophisticated look. The clean and neatly designed lines on the dash give each bit adequate character and flair. Brushed matte aluminum finish adorns the spaces of the cabin and gives the interiors a refined look. The layout of the dash is evidently ergonomic with all knobs and controls well within reach. The centre floor panel houses space for two bottle holders and comes with a variety of controls.

Sitting on driver’s seat of the new Audi S5 can propel you to the space age. The German stalwart has incorporated its Virtual Cockpit technology on the S5 that lends a very futuristic look. Also on offer are Audi’s MMI navigation plus and smartphone interface which now offers iOS and Android connectivity options. The infotainment unit also features a 10 GB flash storage monitor with a resolution of 1,024 X 480 pixels. Audi is also providing an optional Bang and Olufsen speaker system that is capable of supplying 755 W to 19 speakers.

The Audi S5 features a “Keyless Go” system with an option to electrically open and close the boot lid. Standard fitment includes electrically adjustable and retractable ORVMs with a heating and auto dimming function on both sides. The left side ORVM also gets an automatic kerb function, while the right side mirror is convex.

 


Audi is also offering three-zone automatic climate control on the new S5. Another feature adding convenience to the sedan is electrically adjusted seats with lumbar support and a memory function. However, considering the premium value attached to this car, it’s a tad disappointing to find out that it has a manually adjusted steering for rake/ reach and not electrically adjusted. Adding more to the driver’s comfort and convenience are automatic headlamps and rain sensing wipers. The Inside Rear View Mirror (IRVM) is also an auto dimming unit.

Despite being a performance-oriented sedan, there is ample cabin space. The length inside the cabin has increased by 17 mm over the previous generation model. Space for the front passengers has also increased, giving the driver and co-passenger an additional 11 mm of shoulder room. Knee room in the rear has also significantly increased by 24 mm. Boot space in the S5 stands at 480 l, which is more than adequate to accommodate your weekend luggage. The loading lip is relatively low and stands at 666 mm. One can easily slide and restrain your luggage in this boot.

The interiors of the cabin are spacious but smaller windows in the rear make things a little cramped. The driver has a good view of the road ahead and clear visibility of what’s behind through the ORVMs. The reverse parking camera and sensors also work adequately well. Plush materials adorn the spaces of this cabin and overall the cabin exudes a premium and contemporary feel.

Powertrain, Performance & Safety

The heart powering this vehicle is a completely redesigned, turbocharged 3 l V6 engine, which boasts of high power figures and a wide torque band. The engine churns out 354 hp at 5,400 rpm going up to 6,400 rpm and belts out a whopping 500 Nm of torque at as low as 1,370 rpm ranging to 4,500 rpm. This unit is a powerhouse and Audi has also tuned it to be rather efficient. The 3 l V6 mill features a new combustion process known as the B-cycle, which utilises high pressure injection valves arranged centrally in combustion chambers.

The new combustion process uses a shortened compression stroke, which in turn, caters to the use of an engine process with a significantly higher geometric compression ratio. The power stroke in the new engine is relatively longer as compared to the compression stroke, allowing an increase in combustion and engine efficiency. The high compression ratio also affects the tendency of an engine to knock, which in turn, limits maximum achievable output. To maintain efficiency and output orientation, the company has incorporated its AVS (Audi Valve Lift System), which at part load enables short intake aperture duration of 130° of camshaft angle combined with an early closure of the intake valve. At higher loads, the engine can switch to a camshaft shape with a longer aperture duration and greater intake valve lift to achieve maximum output from each cylinder. In the real world, this translates into decent mileage figures from a performance-oriented sedan and the ability to almost instantaneously leap forward when you floor the accelerator. The S5 boasts of an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h and a 0-100 km/h time of 4.7 s.

While the previous motor powering the S5 used a mechanical compressor, the new unit gets a twin scroll turbocharger. The exhaust manifold individually collects gases from the two separate cylinder banks, which only merge before the turbine wheel. This system has an enhanced exhaust scavenging effect with better pressure distribution to the exhaust ports and a more efficient delivery of exhaust gases to the turbine. The layout helps achieve an earlier and more powerful torque build-up. The turbocharger has been strategically placed between the 90° V of the cylinder banks. The intake side faces outward, while the exhaust side faces inward, catering to compact construction and short gas flow paths for minimal flow loss. The construction empowers the driver with an extremely spontaneous and direct response. The Audi S5 also features the drive-by-wire technology.

Essentially, the engine redesign has also helped Audi shed 14 kg of weight in the engine, which now weighs 172 kg. Audi has built the engine using an aluminium alloy. The cylinder crankcase has integrated the thin-walled cylinder liners of gray cast iron. The engine features new rings developed for the aluminium pistons which reduce friction. Audi is using separate coolant circuits for the cylinder head and the crankcase, improving the efficiency of the thermal management system. The exhaust manifold has also been integrated into the cylinder head and the coolant circulates around it. The system reduces exhaust gas temperature when the engine is warm. This in turn improves fuel consumption, especially when you are pushing the vehicle to its limits.

Audi has married the longitudinally mounted engine to an 8-speed tiptronic automatic transmission. The tiptronic, a classic torque converter transmission, boasts of smooth shift action and starting performance. The 8-speed unit bolted onto the S5 keeps the jumps in engine speeds between gears low, with the engine mostly running at optimum capacity. While testing the S5 in traffic and some open stretches we found the gearshifts to be butter smooth, quick and flexible as per driver inputs.

The Audi S5 comes with a permanent all-wheel drive Quattro set-up and a self-locking centre differential. Under normal driving conditions, power is distributed in a 40:60 ratio between the front and rear axles. This set-up provides a sporty and thrilling drive experience. The centre differential is capable of delivering a maximum of 60 % power to the front and 80 % power to the rear axles, when necessary.

Audi has also built into the system an electronic differential lock, which controls wheel spin using the brakes. Speaking of braking, Audi has built in a dual circuit brake system, which is split between axles. Also offered are ABS (antilock brake system) with EBD (electronic brake force distribution), EDL (electronic differential lock), ASR (traction control), ESC (electronic stabilisation control) and ventilated discs. The braking set-up is progressive and powerful, bringing the sedan down to zero in the flash of a few seconds. Combined with the Quattro all-wheel drive set-up and the self-locking centre differential, the Audi S5 delivers tremendous amount of control.

 

Round-up

With a reworked engine that offers more power than before and a fresh design, the S5 offers consumers an efficient, sporty and luxurious product. The company has packed in just the right amount of technology into this sedan and offers oodles of in-cabin comfort and convenience. Coming into the market with a price tag of Rs 72.41 lakh (ex-showroom), the Audi S5 is not only meant for the bold and beautiful, but also for those with deep pockets.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Engine

2,995 cc, V6, petrol

Power

354 hp @ 5,400 – 6,400 rpm

Torque

500 Nm @ 1,370 – 4,500 rpm 

Transmission

8-speed, automatic tiptronic transmission

Suspension

Front

Independent wheel suspension, five-link axle with front track rod and aluminium transverse link

Rear

Independent wheel suspension, five-link axle with rear track rod, resiliently mounted sub-frame and anti-roll bar

Brakes

Dual circuit brake system, ventilated disc brakes

Tyres

245/40 R18

Boot Space

480 l

Fuel Tank Capacity

58 l

Length

4,752 mm

Wheelbase

2,825 mm

Height

1,384 mm

Width

1,843 mm

Top Speed

250 km/h

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

4.7 s

Price

Rs 72,41,000