The S5 taps its 4.2-liter V-8 engine for 354 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. With a choice between a 6-speed manual or automatic, the 2009 Audi S5 routes that power to all four wheels, thundering to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph.
Edmunds calls out the S5's "eager response." Cars.com observes, "The V-8 doesn't care one bit if you...wind it out to its 7,000 rpm redline." Car and Driver hears engine noises it calls "alarmingly (and addictively) loud." Differing opinions feel the engine is too quiet, "almost to a fault," says MyRide.com. It thinks the "V-8's sweet rumble is isolated from the cabin."
Unique in its class, the 2009 Audi S5 comes with either a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission, both with standard all-wheel drive (Quattro). Cars.com "found it more difficult than expected to creep along in heavy traffic." MyRide.com says it's "hard to beat." Audi claims the automatic S5 hits 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. Kelley Blue Book claims "our seat-of-the pants evaluation gives us no reason to doubt this."
"All this V-8-induced fun doesn't come without penalty," Cars.com says. The EPA lists the 2009 Audi S5 automatic at 16/24 mpg and the manual at 14/22 mpg. The 2009 Audi S5 requires premium fuel. "Using Audi's gear suggestion display, it's possible to shift at very low rpm to conserve fuel, but the EPA combined rating of 16 miles per gallon is the price you pay for having such reserves of power," reports Kelley Blue Book.
New for 2009 is the Audi Drive Select Package, which includes adaptive suspension dampers and dynamic steering. The S5 is held back by weight. Edmunds states, "Beefy curb weight and artificial steering feel hamper the car's sporting potential." They say it has "precise action" that "inspires complete confidence." Cars.com says steering has "too much isolation" and notes "the S5's firm suspension makes for a bumpy ride."
The S5 has stellar brakes. Kelley Blue Book writes theyre "excellent and powerful."