2008 Audi A5/S5 First Look and Full Test

j0mammaj0mamma Member Posts: 26
edited March 2014 in Audi
Oh my, did a Hyndai Tiburon and a G35 have a kid? :P


  • audilaw16audilaw16 Member Posts: 7
    Absolutely stunning car.
  • laurenzilaurenzi Member Posts: 2
    It looks great I will be buying one as soon as it gets on the market. :D
  • andres3andres3 Member Posts: 13,664
    you'll get my eternal gratitude :)
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • sturglsturgl Member Posts: 13
    What does "four-wheel-drive-style drivetrain windup" mean? Whatever it is, it's listed as a criticism - but isn't mentioned anywhere in the article. At different points in the article, the S5 is reported as making 349 and 354hp. Which is it? Finally, the vehicle is reported as weighing 3,807 lbs in the article, and 3,594 in the specs & performance section. Just looking for a bit of clarity... thanks.
  • byronwalterbyronwalter Member Posts: 220
    ...are done on Earth. The weight diff might reflect a "dry" car without driver or gas (Audi specs) while the 3,807 might be the car ready to rock & roll.

    Sure wish that we NA chumps would be getting the diesel engine option this winter.
  • fixxxerfixxxer Member Posts: 11
    How can the S5 get from 0-60 in 4.9 seconds with only 354 horsepower, when the 420hp M3 gets there in 4.8? I figure the RS4 weighs more because of the extra doors, but isn't the M3 supposed to be light weight? I don't understand what all the extra bmw horsepower is doing? And it almost makes the S5 make alot more sense, it looks a damn sight sexier
  • sturglsturgl Member Posts: 13
    I think that torque has a bit more to do with 0-60 times (especially acceleration at lower speeds) than horsepower. While the bimmer has the advantage in horsepower, it "only" generates 295 lb-ft of torque, where the S5 generates 325. What's more is that 4.8 time is for 0-100 kmph (0-62 mph). The Audi's published time for 0-62 mph is 5.1 seconds. So, apples to apples, the bimmer has a 0.3 second advantage - not merely 0.1. This makes sense, given that it's substantially lighter and more powerful - even with the bimmer's torque disadvantage.
  • rjlaerorjlaero Member Posts: 659
    I think it's all the more impressive the S5 is Quattro as well and still manages to get there in 4.9 - 5.1 seconds.

    Torque is a big factor as mentioned. I'd rather give up a few tenths to have an all around better driving experience. A car isn't all about 0-60 numbers, but the overall torque curve of the motor and how it drives around town.
  • rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,190
    fixxer -

    Are you comparing the actual numbers Edmunds obtained for the S5 in their road test with the numbers that BMW has published?

    Setting aside the “looks” comment, my first ** GUESS ** is that any acceleration advantage the S5 might enjoy could be attributed to the initial bite of AWD - helping the S5 in the 0 – 60 time.

    And in C+D’s published test ( on a less than optimal surface ) their 0 – 60 time was 4.4 seconds. Substantially quicker than 4.8. And the C+D Quarter mile result of
    12.9 @ 111 comfortably beats the S5’s numbers, as compared to Edmunds =
    13.3 @ 104.6.

    At this performance level, 4 tenths quicker ( in both 0 – 60 and the Quarter Mile ET ) and over 6 MPH faster in speed through the traps, are rather significant differences.

    Edmunds S5: Curb Weight (lbs): 3594
    3807 = test weight?
    C+D “. . .considering its claimed 3650-pound heft.”

    Weight may be pretty close.

    - Ray
    Waiting for a few more actual, independent M3 tests & S5 tests for a valid comparison . . .
    2022 X3 M40i
  • fixxxerfixxxer Member Posts: 11

    Ahh, alright. I was just caught off guard by the numbers. Sure 354 is plenty of horsepower, but 414 should be able to best it easily. I guess its just the inconsistency inherent in real world testing. Anyway thanks again

  • rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,190
    I see I left 1 critical "word" out of my post...
    The C+D test numbers are for the new M3.
    The numbers show that the 414 HP M3 ( RWD ) is quicker than the Edmunds S5 test numbers....
    - Ray
    Sorry for any confusion....
    2022 X3 M40i
  • sturglsturgl Member Posts: 13
    I agree that the Audi's awd may help a bit at launch. How many (powerful) vehicles will yield their best launch by just dumping the clutch at 4500 rpm? Doing that with an M3 would probably just smoke the tires. That said, the C&D numbers for the M3 make quite a bit more sense than the ones publicized by BMW - who seem to wax quite conservative in their numbers anyway.

    So this is somewhat off-topic, but something I just don't get: the S5 has 3594 lbs of curb weight. The M3 has a 3649 weight - I assume we're talking curb weight here. The S5's AWD drivetrain should add a good chunk of weight, relative to the M3's RWD drivetrain. The M3 has a motor that's supposedly 30 lbs lighter than its predecessor. It has a carbon fiber roof. Yet it's over 200 lbs heavier than the previous M3, and may be heavier than the AWD S5? This just isn't adding up for me. Perhaps BMW has overstated the new M3's curb weight?
  • rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,190
    “Perhaps BMW has overstated the new M3's curb weight?”

    I think so, kinda sorta. . . Or perhaps C+D is a bit confused here.

    The press release from BMW that I saw ( and saved ) for the M3 says:

    Weight, unladen, to EU footnote 1 : 1641 KG [ = approx. 3641 pounds. ]

    Footnote reads: Weight of car in road trim (DIN) plus 75 kg for driver and luggage.
    [ so - 75 kg = 165 pounds less = actual curb weight of 3476 for the M3 ]

    And – Edmunds ** MAY ** have published both a correct & an incorrect ‘curb weight’ for the S5 – since MT quoted a curb weight of an S4 V8 at 3825 some time back, C+D reported 3876 in November 2004, AUDIUSA.com says “Unladenweight” = 3869 currently, and Edmunds S4 test states the curb weight is over 3900, I’d guess that the weight included in the text portion of Edmunds test may actually be the correct number for the S5: 3807. And not the 3594 listed in Edmunds data panel.

    To me, 3476 vs 3807 ( 331 pounds ) is a non-trivial difference in weight.

    Here I will also add this: If I was really interested in either of these cars & these aspects are of critical importance, I’d wait to see if 1 or more published comparisons was published this Fall. I’d ** MUCH ** prefer to compare acceleration numbers obtained by the same driver, on the same day on the same track.

    - Ray
    awaiting additional information of the automatic trans. version of each . . .
    2022 X3 M40i
  • rydameerydamee Member Posts: 1
    why are there comparisons w/the s5 and m3? the 3 series competes with the a4 series, not the a5. heck, there are magazines testing the next generation m3 vs. the old rs4, right now. bimmer knows its days are numbered. the next generation rs4 will bring the competition to its knees. give me a break. you only get close comparo numbers on a perfect clear sunny day. real world testing where the pavement is not always dry and smooth will reveal the true winner. audi has the trickle down effect of winning technology from le mans planted firmly in the production line. bimmer is still lying to the public, its slogan should be "the ultimate driving machine when the road is dry". 0-62mph means nothing at le mans. winning it means everything.
  • sturglsturgl Member Posts: 13
    I think the answer is: why not? Besides, the A5 is the coupe variant of the A4 (albeit on a new platform) - so it makes some sense to compare the 3-series coupes with the A5/S5. And sure, everyone knows that Audi's closest competition to the M3 is the RS4. Some argue that it is superior, even though it's riding on an older platform, grapples with AWD, and has four doors. Amazingly, it's lighter than the new M3 - and it has the added weight of Quattro - plus those extra doors. The RS4 seems to be the first vehicle where Audi has taken their all-weather drivetrain, and leveraged it into a serious performance advantage. It is simply impressive that the S5 - a vehicle that should be an inferior performer to the M3 seems to hold its own just fine. If that's the case, the upcoming RS5 will eat it for lunch.
  • bobp7bobp7 Member Posts: 41
    Stopped by an Audi dealer today and saw the S5 in 3 dimensions for the 1st time. In a word; striking!
    The pics don't get the details that make this car special. Very agressive front end, subtle wheel arches and a little interest below the C pillar just sets the car off beautifully in my eyes.
    I am torn between this and the 335xi coupe. Seeing the S5 didn't resolve anything!!! While it costs a few grand more and gets 10 mpg less I liked what I saw to much to dismiss it...
  • rjlaerorjlaero Member Posts: 659
    You have to see the S5 in person. As others have said, the pictures don't do it justice.

    This car is really low and wide. It's over 3 inches wider from the center of the front wheels compared to a 3 series.

    It's even wider than the 6 series BMW coupe in that same respect.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Member Posts: 4,545
    It appears my local Porsche/Audi dealer has their first S5 on the lot. Driving by (will stop in soon or wait for New England Auto Show next month) and gazing, it does appear to look much lower, wider, sleeker and more curvaceous than it does in pix.

    Wow. I want one.

    '21 Dark Blue/Black Audi A7 PHEV (mine); '22 White/Beige BMW X3 (hers); '20 Estoril Blue/Oyster BMW M240xi 'Vert (Ours, read: hers in 'vert weather; mine during Nor'easters...)

  • manybmwsmanybmws Member Posts: 347
    Sweet ride and I agree that it looks more impressive in person than a BMW 650. The steering is much lighter at low speeds compared to the 650 though and it would be nice to have more heft in the S5's steering feel.

    But it does drive beautifully. Before you know it your doing 100 MPH. The ride feels planted like a Beemer. The shift lever throws are a bit long for my taste but I would be more interested in owning a automatic tranny which will not be out for 6 months.

    Mileage seems to be below par especially when compared to a 650.

    Front seats and seating position are in one word - Excellent. Back seats are pretty much not usable except for short trips - like a 911.

    So for $55K you get a lot of car even when compared to a $75K 650 coupe. Faster by maybe .5 second 0-60. And for $20K you can buy a lot of gas. I am guessing the A5 3.2 will be in the mid-40s and still do 0-60 in the low 6s. Still pretty good for a 4-wheel driver - coming in second to a 335xi - not bad.

    You will not believe the presence this car has in person - it is a truly legendary design that will endure...
  • byronwalterbyronwalter Member Posts: 220
    I have an Audi brochure that claims the A5 3.2 liter is a 5.8 sec to 60 car. This is important because that means the A5 is quicker than the Toyota Camry (I hate the Camry!: :P ).

    I hope to give the S5 a drive next month and, if it handles like a champ, order an A5. The price diff between the A5 and S5 is actually pretty modest but the A5 avoids the gas guzzler tax, gets better gas mileage, and puffs out a little less CO2. And the way the buck is tanking, it seems like ordering sooner rather than later might be an okay idea. Audi isn't going to be able to keep the price down for too long.
  • manybmwsmanybmws Member Posts: 347
    I think I would go for the A5 for the same reasons. I will have to take one more look at the rear seats again on an A5.

    The wheels are very sharp on the S5 though :shades:
  • byronwalterbyronwalter Member Posts: 220
    I think I would go for the A5 for the same reasons. I will have to take one more look at the rear seats again on an A5.

    The wheels are very sharp on the S5 though

    The rear seats are for enemy combatants so whadda yu care? :)

    And the wheels on the S5 are sharp indeed.
  • bf109acebf109ace Member Posts: 77
    Is Audi out of its mind? An A5 3.2 in mid-40s? A previous generation BMW M3 with 333hp and a sportier chassis was only $48K. And a 335i couple with 300hp and 300lb torque starts at $41K. Did I miss something here?

    Both the new M3 and S5 are way overpriced. I would get a Boxster S or Caymen S or a base 911 instead. As you said, the back seats on the S5/A5 are not usable for long trip.

    Let's see how deep the discound Audi is going to give. Only time will tell.
  • byronwalterbyronwalter Member Posts: 220
    Is Audi out of its mind? An A5 3.2 in mid-40s? A previous generation BMW M3 with 333hp and a sportier chassis was only $48K. And a 335i couple with 300hp and 300lb torque starts at $41K. Did I miss something here?

    Both the new M3 and S5 are way overpriced. I would get a Boxster S or Caymen S or a base 911 instead. As you said, the back seats on the S5/A5 are not usable for long trip.

    Let's see how deep the discound Audi is going to give. Only time will tell.

    When I priced the E46 M3 I always ended up north of $52k (but that car is a classic).

    The A5 competes against the 328xi coupe which starts at $37,100 but a few options later moves right up to $44k (per the BMW web site) with the sports pack, prem pack and a couple of other options. The price now compares to the A5 but the A5 has about 35 extra hp (which should make it quicker) and a nicer exterior and interior (to me, at least). As for which is the better handling car... beats me as I haven't driven either.

    And the S5 actually comes with much of the A5 optional equipment as standard, which puts it around $53k... not too bad a deal if you like the looks and performance and don't mind driving a gas hog.

    The Porsche's that you mention are pure sports cars, rather than sporty grand touring cars, which is how I perceive the A/S5 series. Yeah, the Boxster S, Cayman S, and base 911 are great rides but they have little in the way of useful room (the A/S5 has a huge trunk). The Cayman S is one sexy little car but have you actually priced one? The base price is $58,900 and the option list is as long as the NYC telephone directory. Just select two or three options and you are above $70K... Yikes!

    And finally I wouldn't even count on discounting from either Audi or BMW. Both manufacturers are getting up the rectum on the weak dollar. I expect that sooner rather than later the prices on all Euro cars will climb. But probably the Bimmer built in the States will avoid the cost escalation. Have you considered a Z4?
  • rjlaerorjlaero Member Posts: 659
    Your argument doesn't make sense.

    Audi and BMW are overpriced and you're going to get a Porsche? Good luck getting a Cayman equpped the same way as the Audi. You'll have to shell out over $70,000 to get a loaded up Cayman. And it's a small car with no back seat, and its rear wheel vs all wheel drive .

    Even the el cheapo base cayman is over 50k. And you're lucky you get a seat to sit in at that price. Porsche nickles and dimes you for every option.

    The S5 is actually wider from the center of the front wheels than a BMW 6 series. The S5 is a really wide car that has a menacing profile. It's 3.5 inches wider than a 3 series from the center of the front wheels

    The S5 makes a 6 series BMW coupe look really bad. You'll pony up nearly 80,000 for the 6 series, and you're 58-60k for the S5 with every option.

    Audi's S5 interior is gorgeous. The trim and seats will rival and feel better than many a 100k + price level 911.
  • dhanleydhanley Member Posts: 1,531
    Just went to an audi driving event outside chicago, and the culmination was a lead/follow session on the track in the s5.

    The s5 is a pretty good track car. Up until now, my impression of audis has been as numb/mushy but this was much better. I got it to go into a tidy four wheel drift several times. Turn in was pretty good, and the brakes were great.
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Member Posts: 351
    As a long-time BMW driver, I was intrigued by the S5 and went to see it in 3-D... magazine pics don't do it justice. Did not have the chance to drive it, but wondering how it might compare with the prior-gen CLK55?

    Interesting that the only transmission is the 6-sp manual, so really want to drive this car to see how it measures up to the BMW experience. I currently own a 2003 e39SP and recently sold my CLK. Drove the 335iC with 6-sp and loved the total performance package. The Audi "appears" to be more of an exotic, if I may use that word. Not necessarily better, but more of a unique overall package than the 335 (8 cylinders not withstanding).

    The S5 strikes me as more of a high-performance touring coupe - a nice alternative for a guy getting ready to turn the double-nickle in a couple of weeks :cry:
  • dhanleydhanley Member Posts: 1,531
    Actually, i was wishing i could test a 335i back to back with the s5. I can't make any meaningful comparison, as i've tested one on the street, one on the track, etc. Actually, the one thing i can say is that the engines seemed pretty evenly matched

    There were automatic(dsg) s5's there, for what it's worth.
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Member Posts: 351
    Really! I had read somewhere that the auto (DSG) cars would lag about 6 months after the initial S5 introduction. Amazing that BMW gets so much performance out of the straight 6, albeit a twin-turbo 6!
  • dhanleydhanley Member Posts: 1,531
    That lag in DSG introduction may very well be there--it was my understanding that these were special demo cars shipped here to show off audi's new hardware. Apparently, they had gotten a call from germany about the number of clotches they were going through. Some people burned them up on the first lap(!).

    My one dissapointment was that they didn't let is drive the R8 as the ad claimed that we would. Got to sit in it, at least, it's a stunning car.
  • rjlaerorjlaero Member Posts: 659
    There will be no DSG in the A5/S5.

    The automatics are coming shorty, but it's the regular 6 speed tiptronic.
  • sturglsturgl Member Posts: 13
    I drove the S5 yesterday. As several have said before, pictures just do not do this vehicle justice. The exterior is much larger than I'd anticipated; the vehicle certainly has presence. It is a beautiful, beautiful car. Every angle brings something gorgeous to the eye. The interior feels more like a cockpit than those of other luxury coupes might. While the exterior appeared quite large to me, the interior felt snug - not small, but intimate. I didn't have the chance to sit in the back seats - but my guess is that they're only good for children.

    This is the best-driving Audi I've ever been in (though I have not driven the new TT or the R8). Handling is just superb. The suspension allows you to whip around corners while soaking up road inconsistencies reasonably well. To me, it felt better than the RS4... which brings me to the motor.

    The engine has this wonderful, burbly V8 sound at ignition. It certainly moves the car, too. I did not, however, get a sense of neck-snapping acceleration. I didn't feel myself being shoved into the seatback as we accelerated towards 60. Maybe the car's too composed for that. Maybe I shifted out of 2nd too early. Speaking of shifters - the shifter had a longer throw than I would like, but the gates were obvious and shifting had a nice, mechanical feel. Clutch take-up was quick. The S5's combination of handling and that lovely motor sure put a smile on my face.

    The switchgear is also superb. All of it looks expensive and has this silky movement that reminded me of audiophile gear. The B&O stereo was as good as any I've heard in a car. The sound I can only describe as rich. Imaging was good, if not excellent. It has an in-dash CD-changer, as well as an iPod adapter. iPods can be controlled via the MMI interface. Overall sound was far superior to the Bose system in my current Audi. Function was just slightly more complex (thanks to MMI) - a fair trade-off for iPod integration.

    I'll need to spend some more time with this vehicle before making a purchase decision, but for now my impressions are almost entirely positive. Nice work, Audi!
  • emaleemale Member Posts: 1,380
    does anybody know when the A5 is gonna show up at dealers? have a G35 with lease up the end of may, and this new audi looks very intriguing!
  • rjlaerorjlaero Member Posts: 659
    Should be around March for the A5.
  • emaleemale Member Posts: 1,380
    anybody out there, hello? just wondering if any owners wanted to chime in on their S5 experiences/ownership...?
  • rjb6rjb6 Member Posts: 29
    Test drove the S5 a couple of times now. Finally got the nerve to go buy one and everyone is out of stock. The only one in stock in the boston area I saw - they wanted 3K about MSRP.

    Looking at the 335xi and G35x. Those cars can not compare in terms of stlye and feal...love the S5. This is a must have car for anyone who wants performance and all wheel drive.
  • romatunerromatuner Member Posts: 2
    edmunds have the best pictures of the newset and oldst cars , can you put this pictures in a bigger reslution 1024 x 768 thanks !
  • brainmdbrainmd Member Posts: 2
    Just got my S5 in late jan and I love it. It's still a little too snowy here to really test it out but on the days when the roads are clear it's a fun ride. I will say that with the stiffer suspension (which makes for better handling of course) it doesn't ride nearly as smoothly as my A4 did but it's worth it.
  • packrfanpackrfan Member Posts: 50
    brainmd, congrat's. assume you have the 6mt - there have been several comments referencing a long throw; in real-world driving conditions, a long throw can become tiresome. any comments on this? i'm not able to make the leap to s5 :cry: , rather looking at a5 but i think tranny experiences should be relevant. thnx for this and any other comments.
  • dhanleydhanley Member Posts: 1,531
    I was a bit clumsy shifting the s5 on the track, but it was my first time in the car, and audi shifters are pretty different than BMW shifters.
  • brainmdbrainmd Member Posts: 2
    I haven't noticed that the throw is all that long but I haven't driven it all that much either so maybe it'll turn out that way. Overall I love the car (though my old man still wooped me in his Corvette Z06!) The seats are super comfortable and the interior as a whole is pure Audi with all the amenities. The nav system (which I assume would be the same in the A5) is very user friendly. I got the premium audio package and the stereo sounds great with an Ipod interface in the glove-box and controls on the nav screen. The one option I didn't get was the "technology package". I figure I can turn my head to back up and turn the key to start the car for 3 grand.

    Good luck with the A5, I'm sure that it will be a fun ride. Sorry to hear about the packers and Favre. I live in Madison right now and it's as if someone really important died.
  • gassergasser Member Posts: 5
    There's a great video on youtube of a 335i vs S5 in which they essentially tie racing a small race course. Same driver same day. I imagine that the new M3 would be quite a bit faster than the 335i.

    Hope this link works:

  • chance6chance6 Member Posts: 13
    I love the looks of the A5, but what's with the top speed being governed at 130 mph ? Why does Audi keep doing this ? I hear about American regulations, but then you have the S5 going all the way to 155 mph. BMW doesn't govern its 3-Series at 130 mph with the sport package.

    My question is: does anyone know where to go to remove this top speed governor or raise it ? I think it's a joke that the A5 should be governed at 130.
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