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      2017 Audi S5 Quattro First Drive Review

      Vikrant Singh

      Vikrant Singh

      Opening

      Recently, we put up a review of the new Audi A5 and you can read more about it HERE.

      The car we are now reviewing is a louder and lustier version of the A5. It's called the S5. It has the same MLB platform as the A4 and the A5. And just like the latter, the S5 is longer and wider, but even more dramatic looking.

      2017 Audi S5 Quattro First Drive Review

      It gets some add-ons over the A5 as well. For starters, it's way more powerful. And to better manage the extra dose of testosterone, it gets quattro or all-wheel drive. It also gets a more conventional 8-speed torque converter automatic instead of the 7-speed dual clutch on the A5. And, of course, it sounds great.

      Appearance Exterior

      2017 Audi S5 Quattro First Drive Review

      The differences between the A5 and S5 are easy to spot on the outside. The latter gets a different design for its 18 inch wheels, the ORVMs get aluminium covers, and to convey the S5's sporty character, it also gets twin tail pipes. 

      2017 Audi S5 Quattro First Drive Review

      Our test car came with a contrast black roof as well. And a slightly revised front bumper sporting a more purposeful looking splitter. Otherwise, it's the A5 all the way - luxurious, muscular and sporty all rolled into one.

      2017 Audi S5 Quattro First Drive Review

      Appearance Interior

      Inside, the differences are more subtle. The S5 shares all its crucial bits with the A5. So, it gets the same high quality dash; the same tactile dials, buttons and toggles; and the same space and practicality. 

      2017 Audi S5 Quattro First Drive Review

      So, it's still essentially a four seater with limited rear headroom. It has usable door pockets and decent stowage options. And, the ingress / egress height still remains a little too low for comfort.

      2017 Audi S5 Quattro First Drive Review

      Having said that, we love the front visibility, the selection of equipment on board, and that big and easy to load boot, all of which is, again, borrowed lock, stock and barrel from the A5.

      2017 Audi S5 Quattro First Drive Review

      Performance Drive

      When it comes to driving, however, the two cars are as different as a warm, soothing mocha and a charged-up double espresso. Both the A5 and the S5 have the same hero ingredient. But, while the former with its quiet and refined diesel is all about ease of driving and wafting in luxury, the S5 with its V6 turbocharged petrol is a wake-up call.

      2017 Audi S5 Quattro First Drive Review

      With the driving mode set to Dynamic and the gearbox in S mode, the S5 cannot help but go charging into the horizon. The throttle response is crisp and alert. The engine is in a tearing hurry to hit the redline and it makes all the right noises too. All of this makes it very difficult to keep one’s foot off the gas pedal. The drive can get a little jerky in this setting, especially if you aren't paying too much attention to your right foot. But, the overall outcome is well worth it.

      2017 Audi S5 Quattro First Drive Review

      This is also a car that adjusts well. So, metaphorically speaking, if you want to add some milk to the proceedings, just to take the edge off that hard-hitting caffeine - you can switch the S5 to Comfort mode, leave the gearbox in D, and the drive gets progressively less demanding. It's never as soothing as the A5, but it does turn the S5 into a car you can live with, even at the end of a tiring work day.

      2017 Audi S5 Quattro First Drive Review

      What one can't escape is the ride. We won't term the S5's ride as bad, but compared to the A5, it is stiffer and noisier. And it always feels unsettled, bobbing about uncomfortably, especially at the rear. 

      2017 Audi S5 Quattro First Drive Review

      Straight line stability, on the other hand, is excellent. And if one follows a slow-in-fast-out approach with the S5, instead of trying to carry on at crazy speeds into the corner, it can also be quite rewarding on the twisties. And, of course, the grip from the quattro gives it an added edge.

      Tech Specs

      Make Audi
      Model S5 Sportback
      Fuel Petrol
      Variant Sportback 3.0 TFSI Quattro
      Engine Capacity 3.0-litre
      Max. Power (bhp@rpm) 351bhp @ 5,500rpm
      Max. torque (Nm@rpm) 500Nm @ 2,900rpm
      Gears  Eight
      Length mm 4718
      Width mm 1854
      Height mm 1382
      Wheelbase mm 2811
      Fuel Capacity (in litres) 61
      Tyre size 245/40 R18

      Features

      Features  
      8 Airbags Yes
      Cruise control Yes
      Eight-speed gearbox Yes
      Quattro all-wheel drive Yes
      Racy 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels Yes
      Reversing camera with guidance Yes
      Virtual cockpit digital instriment cluster  
      Bang and Olufsen sound system  

      Competition All Specs

      Make Mercedes-Benz Audi
      Model Mercedes-AMG C43 S5 Sportback
      Fuel Petrol Petrol
      Variant C43 Sportback 3.0 TFSI Quattro
      Engine Capacity 3.0-litre 3.0-litre
      Max. Power (bhp@rpm) 362bhp @ 5,500rpm 351bhp @ 5,500rpm
      Max. torque (Nm@rpm) 520Nm @ 2,000rpm 500Nm @ 2,900rpm
      Gears  Nine Eight
      Length mm 4702 4718
      Width mm 1810 1854
      Height mm 1429 1382
      Wheelbase mm 2840 2811
      Fuel Capacity (in litres) 66 61
      Tyre size 235/40 R18, 255/35 R18 245/40 R18

      Conclusion

      2017 Audi S5 Quattro First Drive Review
      If you are an enthusiast, and believe in the adage that more power is always better, besides loving a good exhaust note, then the S5 is the car for you. It's certainly not as comfortable as the A5 and it doesn't feel special enough to fall in love with it, but it remains a good compromise of appealing looks, agreeable daily drives and likeable performance.
      2017 Audi S5 Quattro First Drive Review

      Pictures by Kapil Angane

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