New & Used Audi S5: In Depth
2013 Audi S5 CabrioletEnlarge Photo
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The Audi S5 may be one of the most becoming designs on the road today, but it's also a fairly practical coupe or cabriolet that's part of the best-selling range of Audi models. Its close siblings include everything from the S4 sedan to the Allroad wagon, but the S5 sets the performance standard with its finely tuned suspension and supercharged V-6 engine. The furious V-8-powered RS5 model is on tap for anyone who wants more power than the S5's 333 horsepower.
See our 2014 Audi S5 page for pricing with options, specifications, and gas mileage ratings.
Brand-new in 2008, the S5 went on sale side by side with its platform-mate, the Audi A5. While those coupes arrived with turbocharged four-cylinders and normally aspirated V-6 engines, the original S5 was equipped with a rich-sounding 4.2-liter V-8 with 354 horsepower. Tight tuning, big tires, and visual tweaks completed the identity swap, and the S5 became an instant rival for the BMW M3, with a 0-60 mph time of 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph.
In 2010, Audi updated the S5 lineup by adding a Cabriolet convertible model, one outfitted with a power-folding fabric top. The S5 Cabriolet drew its power from a new 3.0-liter, 333-hp supercharged V-6, connected to a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission. At the same time, the coupe versions of the S5 stood by the V-8 engine. By 2010, both body styles of the S5 could be equipped with driver-adjustable suspension, steering, throttle, and transmission--Audi calls it Drive Select--and its quattro all-wheel-drive system was updated to split its torque with a bias to the rear wheels.
Audi again updated the S5 in the 2013 model year. The Coupes swapped out the V-8 for the supercharged V-6, and coupes continued to offer either the dual-clutch transmission or a six-speed manual; the dual-clutch is the only gearbox offered in the Cabriolet. For 2014, the S5 cars carry over in this form.
For 2013, Audi installed an advanced infotainment system to the S5 and RS5. Dubbed Audi Connect, the system wraps together Audi's Multi Media Interface with a touchpad with writing-capture ability, 3G connectivity, wireless hotspot capability, and optional navigation system rendered with Google Earth and Google Street View maps.
The RS5 is an evolution, essentially, of the former V-8-powered S5. It's rigged with a 450-hp version of the Audi 4.2-liter V-8, and it's coupled to rear-bias all-wheel drive and the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. (Read our first drive of the RS5 for more.) The RS5's performance is bright: at 4.5 seconds to 60 mph, it's also capable of a 174-mph top speed. Drive Select is standard, but on the RS5 the suspension is not adaptive.