Review: 2008 Audi S5


500 RPM
Senior Member


500 RPM
Senior Member
Dec 12, 2007

The time has come, it has long been predicted and it is now the age for giants like BMW, and Mercedes to hand over their motor making genius to Audi. The long understated, very talented, and now highly desirable marque. The new Audi S5 has recently been hailed as the most accomplished coupe in its class. It packs more power than you’ll ever need, has enough luxury in it to impress the queen and has enough speed in it to bridge continents in no time. With Audi’s reputable build quality, they can only get better and I have no doubt that they will.

Inspired by the striking Nuvolari Quattro concept coupe that lighted our motoring world in 2003, much of the Audi S5’s sleek styling is carried over from the A5 but with an extra dosage of adrenalin and muscle mass of course. The typically oversized trapezoidal grille is finished in platinum gray and fitted with chrome inlays. It is flanked by wide headlamps and larger and lower air intakes, with bullish wheel wells, a streaming waistline, and a squared-off read end treatment ala Lamborghini. With a more pronounced rear spoiler than the A5 and with quad exhausts, the intentions are clear.

A direct-injection 4.2 liter V8 engine propels the S5 from 0-100 in 5 seconds, that is a full second quicker than the V6 powered A5. Not that it’s much, but it provides an ego boost whenever the A5 vs S5 topic surfaces. It comes with an optionional six-speed manual transmission (my choice) and a six speed Tiptronic automatic with manual gear selection (not my choice). Fortunately, the automaker’s acclaimed manual/automatic Direct Shift Gearbox is not available on the Audi S5. I’m sort of a purist, the less electronics to interfere with my driving, the better. But I like ABS & Cruise Control and have been getting acquainted with traction control after it saved my life a couple of times. So electronics to a certain extent is good.

The design of the S5 allows the engine to be placed closer to the center of the vehicle than in the S4. According to the automaker this configuration results in better front to rear balance and also it improves driving dynamics. Contributing to the driving dynamics is also a specially tuned sports suspension with 18inch wheels and performance tires. Like life and economics, a simple law dictates that when you want something, you have to forgo something else and in this case, ride comfort was sacrificed for increased handling abilities. Think the cost is worth the benefit, I figured that if I wanted comfort I’d opt for a Benz.

It gets even better, the coupe’s performance is given a further boost and this time it is enhanced by the automakers standard Quattro all-wheel-drive system, with a 40/60 front to rear balance ratio. This provides sportier handling than the usual 50/50 setup. The system is capable of sending additional power from front to rear as needed on a continuous basis, both for bad weather driving and to maximize cornering abilities in dry conditions. The stability control system can be deactivated in two stages to allow a varying degree of wheel spin for more aggressive cornering without electronic intervention. Thank you Audi.

The interior features a very cockpit like dashboard design. Clad in leather, it offers a choice of wood, carbon, aluminum or stainless steel trimming. To distinguish it from the regular A5, Audi has fitted it with gray gauges, aluminum sill plates and supportive sport seats. Taller passengers will find the rear lacking headroom; thanks to the cars sharply sloping roofline. Airbags are there to save you on all sides, which includes, front, font side and side curtain airbags that cover both seats.

Audi’s version of BMW’s frustrating iDrive system features a joystick like knob and LCD display to control the audio, climate control, and optional satellite navigation systems. Although easier to use than the iDrive, it still is more complex to use than a conventional array of buttons and knobs. A typical case of too much technology ruins the car.

The S5 includes adaptive high intensity headlamps and a 14-speaker premium audio system from Danish hi-fi specialist Bang & Olufsen. It also includes an Advanced Key keyless entry and a starting system that stores vehicle data, such as warning messages from the vehicle’s information center and the car’s current mileage, to make servicing easier.

It’s a great car really, and from all the reviews I have read, none have complained so far, maybe for a couple of moans here and there about the lack in power, but hopefully that is used as a reason to create an RS5. A more honest, down to earth, angry Audi with lesser electronics, that will be fun. But if you still cant find a reason why you would want one, we found a few good reasons for you to throw your money around:

Why Buy the Audi S5?
You’re sick of BMW’s M division and think that Mercedes AMG is too mainstream but you still want high performance but yet don’t want to deal with a low slung sports car.

You Should Not Buy the Audi if…
You are a boring person and think that added power or performance is a waste of money and you would rather settle for the regular A5. Or you’re just plain ordinary and require the practicality of a sedan.

The Audi S5 fits:
Four people, as long as the passengers in the back are below 5’5”.

Closest Competitors:
BMW M3, Mercedes CLK 550, your dream car.
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5,000 RPM
Senior Member


5,000 RPM
Senior Member
Apr 28, 2004
This just wets the appetite for the RS5. Audi is on a roll recently when it comes to high performance vehicles, the RS4, the R8 and coming soon the RS6 which promises to be really badass. The RS5 will hopefully be absolutely bat shit crazy awesome.