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Bytes & Bullets

Summary

  • I was prepared not to like this car; I much prefer 4-doors in this size car, but I am delighted with the fun-to-drive characteristics
  • It ain’t cheap (MSRP $51,400; $62,665 with options, destination, etc.), but if I had the money, it would be a keeper
  • Audi bends sheet metal better than anyone else and there is a subtlety to the style and line that I really appreciate on this coupe
  • Nice wheel-tire package: They really fill the wheel wells
  • Audi designers must have worked overtime making the basic controls complicated and confusing

Overall Value Rating*: 8.5

Engine/Drivetrain

  • I don’t usually care for Audi manual gearboxes vs. some of the more crisp and direct rear-wheel drivers, but this one is very good
  • Six speeds with a positive detent to keep you away from R; smooth, easy movements between gates
  • 4.2-liter V8 with direct gas injection provides effortless acceleration; I found myself using one gear higher in a number of situations because of the ample and flat torque characteristics
  • There’s a slight burble to the engine note that makes the V8 sound like it’s not perfectly balanced
  • Runs eagerly and cleanly to redline
  • There’s a dual personality to the V8; driven easily it says luxury; driven hard it says race car
  • Not friendly at the gas pump; EPA of 14 mpg city/22 highway with a $1300 gas guzzler tax

Overall Rating: 8.5

Steering/Suspension/Brakes

  • S5: Is it luxury or sport?  Actually it’s both, and it doesn’t have to kick you square between the eyes for you to recognize the difference
  • Wonderful balance of ride and handling: Teutonic tuning personified
  • Chassis tuning proves you don’t have to be pounded to death with stiff shocks and springs to get great handling
  • Tires/suspension are very good at absorbing small inputs such as lane divider (Botts) dots; Audi engineers understand the word compliance!
  • Brakes are gut-wrenching in their generation of g forces; pedal is easy to modulate and difficult to get into ABS, leaving the driver in control
  • quattro all-wheel drive provides grip and agility you just can’t get with front- or rear-drive alone
  • This car just TURNS . . . quickly, easily, precisely

Overall Rating: 9

Accommodations/Comfort/Convenience

  • Great seats; supportive with stunning looks; combination of leather with Alcantara inserts
  • 10-way power seat adjustment
  • Typical Audi attention to style
  • Valet switch in glove box
  • Manual rake/reach for steering wheel
  • Side mirrors have Audi side assist
  • Automatic three-zone climate control
  • Optional navigation system
  • Optional Bang & Olufsen sound system
  • Tight rear seating for only two; decent leg and shoulder room, head room up to around 5 feet 9 inches
  • Lockable trunk pass-through
  • Rear vents on center console
  • Electric switch on rear of front seat allows sliding the front seat forward; plus a convenient manual lever for back rest movement
  • Difficult rear ingress/egress . . . luckily I’m the driver!

Overall Rating, front/rear: 9/5

Active & Passive Safety Features

Braking & Traction

  • 4-Wheel Anti-Lock Disc Brakes
  • Traction Control
  • Electronic Stabilization Program (ESP)
  • Quattro permanent all-wheel drive

Safety

  • Driver & Front Passenger Airbags With Dual Stage Deployment
  • Driver/Passenger Seat-mounted Thorax Side Airbags
  • Driver & Front Passenger Knee Airbags
  • Adaptive Headlights
  • Rear parking System with Rearview Camera

Wheels & Tires

  • Alloy Wheels, 19-in.
  • P255/35R19

2009 Audi S5 manual quattro

  • Base Price, MSRP: $51,400

Exterior Dimensions & Weight

  • Wheelbase: 108.3 in.
  • Length: 182.5 in.
  • Width: 73.0 in.
  • Height: 53.9 in.
  • Curb Weight: 4140 lb

Engine & Transmission

  • Engine: V8, DOHC, 32 valves
  • Displacement: 4.2 liters
  • Bhp@rpm: 354@6800
  • Torque, (lb-ft)@rpm: 325@3500
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • EPA MPG, City/Hwy, AWD: 14/22

Government Safety Ratings (1-5 with 5 the highest)

  • Frontal crash, driver/passenger: Not rated
  • Side crash, front seat/rear seat: Not rated
  • Rollover: Not rated

Overall Safety Rating: 9

Competitors

  • Mercedes-Benz CLK550
  • BMW M3 Coupe

*Overall Ratings are based on a 1-to-10 system with 1 = Ow and 10 = Wow

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