We're not sure what to make of the new 2008 Audi S5 coupe. Its designation as an S-model says high-performance, but the specifications tell us this is a sporting proposition, not a hard-core effort.
Take the engine for instance. While the S6 sedan features Audi's 5.2-liter V10, the S5 coupe makes do with Audi's 4.2-liter FSI V8. This engine delivers 350 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, but the V8 in the Mercedes-Benz CLK550 puts out 382 hp while the AMG version tops 500 horses. According to Audi, the S5 is still good for a 0-to-62-mph time of 5.1 seconds, about a second faster than the standard A5.
Audi's S5 has a bit of a trump card with its standard six-speed manual transmission. There won't be any smoky takeoffs, of course, since the Quattro all-wheel-drive system is standard.
To its credit, Audi does bias the Quattro system to deliver 60 percent of the power to the rear wheels. And like the A5 upon which it's based, the S5 has its engine located slightly aft in the chassis to improve handling. The suspension has also been tightened up while the upgraded brakes get calipers that have been painted black. Standard 18-inch wheels are wrapped in 240/40R18 rubber. There are also two stages of ESP deactivation, presumably one of them is completely off.
Like all of Audi's S models (which of course are far different from the S-line models), the S5 gets several subtle exterior changes. There are obvious upgrades like silver side mirrors, chrome-accented grille work and quad exhaust tips, and then there are the almost invisible tweaks like the body-colored door sills and the cross-hatched air inlets in place of the standard model's honeycomb design.
Interior upgrades consist of the usual combination of sport seats, a sport steering wheel and gray-faced gauges. And like the A5, the S5 will offer a long list of customizable trim. Instead of your usual bird's eye maple and sandy oak, however, the S5 will offer choices like aluminum, stainless steel or carbon fiber. Or at least something that looks like carbon fiber.
Look for the 2008 Audi S5 in dealerships this fall right alongside the standard A5.
Edited by VaTRaXoΣ, 03 March 2007 - 02:10 PM.