Monday, August 20, 2012

Review: 2012 Audi S5 Coupe

2012 Audi S5 Coupe

Let's just be frank, we're a little biased when it comes to any Audi vehicle, so if you're looking for a sporty luxury car that's not the A7, then let's just cut to the chase and say that the Audi S5 is the real deal.

Even before I stepped into this car, I was in love. The sexy exterior reminds me of a Olympic athlete's body: sculptured and solid. Plus, once you get going and feel the power of the V8 engine, you'll just want to keep driving...and driving...and driving.

2012 Audi S5 back seats
It's not exactly a family car and it's not a car you'd want to go on a road trip with your taller homies. The back seats leave little room for maneuvering, unless you have kids younger than 10-years-old. This car is definitely for the sports car purist, one who actually thrives on and doesn't mind dealing with a manual transmission - because it's not available in automatic. You're also going to have to deal with the 14 mpg city and 22 mpg highway, plus a gas guzzler tax of $1,300, which comes with the sports car territory.

And when I say that this is a luxury sports car, I mean luxury. As usual, Audi made sure that no detail was overlooked. From the Silk Nappa soft leather interior, the Bang & Olufsen sound system ($750 option), stainless steel texture inlays ($750 option), heated, twelve-way power front seats with driver memory, three-zone climate control, and the signature Multi-Media Interface (MMI), the S5 embodies the core of what Audi is all about: straight-up luxury.

Our tester was equipped with the MMI Navigation plus, which is an option at $2,000 and includes the MMI "high" control panel, 1 CD/DVD player & HD radio, color driver information system, and HDD navigation with voice control. Another luxury is the Audi advanced key ($550) that doesn't seem like a big deal, but being able to seamlessly open your doors or trunk and start the car at the push of a button is a plus for someone like me who doesn't like to fiddle around with keys - especially when I have a million other things in my hands. I open the door, throw the key back in my purse or put it in my pocket, and start the car by pushing the button next to the stick shift. Easy, breezy.

Audi S5 stick shift

Ok, so we've covered the comforts and conveniences of the car, but how does it drive? The 4.2L V8 engine serves up 354 horsepower and 325 lb of torque. You also get quattro permanent all-wheel drive with 40:60 torque split. It doesn't have as much power as the BMW M3's rear-wheel drive, but the S5 has exhilarating acceleration and precise handling due to the S-specific sport suspension and FSI direct injection.

Other noteworthy technical features we should mention are the dynamic five-link front suspension, dynamic trapezoidal-link rear axle, electronic stability control, and the tire pressure monitoring system.

Audi S5 Coupe bumper

Base price for the S5 is $53,900, but with all the extras included, this tester ended up with a $63,825 price tag.

For more photos of the Audi S5, visit our Facebook page.

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