THE RIDE:

2013 Audi S5

THE REVIEW:

When they hit the scene five years ago, the Audi S5 and its relatively subdued brother the A5 were the epitome of sexy two-door coupes. Five years years later and with all the competitors biting at its heals is the Audi S5 still the number one sexy two-door luxury hot rod on the road?

The S5’s heart is a 3.0-liter supercharged V6, new for the coupe. In the S5 the 3.0T is good for a devilish 333 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 325 lb-ft of torque at 2,900 rpm. If you’re worried about the 4.2-liter V8 being replaced by a V6, don’t be. The 3.0T is faster and more economical.

Interestingly, the 3.0T has been standard in the S5 convertible since 2010, but this year Audi has managed to squeeze an additional 38 horsepower out of the engine via a FSI direct injection architecture. Also confusing is the T in 3.0T. The T designation traditionally denotes turbochargers, in the S5 T represents the bump given to the engine via FSI.

The S5 features a standard Torsen-based Quattro full-time all-wheel drive system, setting it apart from its BMW 335i and Mercedes-Benz E550 Coupe rivals. My vehicle came with a Tiptronic 7-speed automatic transmission, a six-speed manual gearbox is also available.

The base S5 is equipped with a five-link suspension set up with a sport suspension calibration. My tester was outfitted with the optional S5 adaptive dampening package, which offers adjustable settings ranging from comfort to sport.

The Audi S5 doesn’t stand out in any one place visually. It’s a perfectly balanced, sexy and clean looking vehicle. My tester came wearing pearlized white nicely contrasted with carbon fiber inlays throughout the interior. A newly designed single frame grille and self-leveling xenon headlamps adorn the front of the car along with iconic LED running lights. The back end of the car is long and bottle-shaped and the overall look is bolstered by new bumpers, front and rear. The rear diffuser is flanked by four chromed tailpipes.

The S5’s cabin is a place you will never want to leave. The supportive, heavily bolstered sport seats are incredibly comfortable and hug you for maximum comfort in the twisties. The racing-inspired flat-bottom steering wheel looks like it fell out of an Audi R8. Interior materials are very high quality with soft touch materials on the doors and dash and carbon fiber, solid brushed aluminum and leather covering every other surface.

Gauges in the Audi S5 are simple and to the point, exactly what I want in a sport. The gauges feature S5 badging and the speedometer reaches to 160 mph. There is also a Google Maps 3D overlay, which displays actual satellite imagery and Google Street views in the dash. Controls for the MMI navigation and media interface are very easy to reach and sit between front passengers just to the rear of the shifter.

For 2013 Audi replaced the old hydraulic steering system and went with an electromechanical setup. The result is outstanding and direct feeling steering. I played with the vehicle in comfort and sport settings and also gave the Dynamic mode, which senses road conditions and adjusts accordingly, a try. All three modes deliver palpably different steering and suspension, but none of them results in an overly harsh or loud ride. So, I mostly kept the S5 in Sport.

Put the pedal down and the Audi S5 moves. It throws you into the seat and grips the road like it’s glued to it. All the while road noise is handled nicely so that only a subtle hint that the V6 under the hood is working by way of some delicious exhause noise makes it through.

The seven-speed automatic Triptronic gearbox worked without a fault and shifted quickly and precisely. I would’ve like to give the six-speed a go, but the paddle shifted Triptronic system was a fine alternative.

In the twisties the Dynamic suspension proved quite capable, especially over rough road conditions where it would tighten up in the turn and loosen in the straights to compensate for torn up mountain roads.

The S5 is better than ever and turns heads well beyond what you would expect given the cars $50,000 starting price. It’s an attainable design icon that will provide you with massive amounts of fun if you’re into the whole going fast around corners thing.

BRAGGING RIGHTS:

Scary fast, sticks to the road like glue, comfortable and sexy as hell. What more do you want?

WINDUP:

The 2013 Audi S5 is faster and more economical than ever. It’s new 3.0 V6 doesn’t skip a beat and gives up nothing compared to its V8 predecessor. An attainable head turner.

THE PHOTOS: