MotorGeeks’ speed-freak Jon Richards gets behind the wheel of the Audi S5 Coupe.
If someone pulled the badges off this car and told me to guess, it would be easy. This car screams big, fast Audi through and through.
You don’t need to read the sales brochure to know why this car was built and for whom. From the second you lock eyes on the new S5, you know you’re looking at a high-end vehicle that’s ready to bring on a whole new fight to the BMW 4 Series and the Mercedes C-Class Coupe.
As you walk around the car, you catch a glimpse of the interior – the sporty yet luxurious quilted red leather whispers sweet nothings to invite you in. The seats, and indeed the rest of the car, exude money and luxury. But, the Audi S5 isn’t shouty or ostentatious in any way; it shows off its luxury status in the same way an Aston Martin or Bentley would. It’s a pretty classy car that would sit nicely in the car park of the local golf club or even at the valet at the opera house.
Despite the softer approach to showing off, the S5 isn’t exactly shy when it comes to looking like a AED 300,000 car. The chrome wing mirrors and accents, the huge wheels and the hard lines, even the new, blue paint job Audi has given it. On looks, this really can be compared to those ultra-luxury cars mentioned above – but it’s half the price.
But as much as I like this car, if I’m honest, I prefer the styling of the last Audi S5 (2011 to 2016). That, as my wife will tell you, is standard me. Before that model came out, I loved the previous S5 and RS5, so I always need a bit of time to adjust to the new look. I had the same reaction when they changed the Range Rover, the BMW M3 and the Mercedes C63 AMG.
The luxury experience starts from the second you open the door.”
But enough with generalisations. Like any AED 300,000 car, the Audi S5 is all about the detail, so let’s explore.
The luxury experience starts from the second you open the door, and the Audi sign shines on the floor like the Bat Signal. Trust me, it’s really cool. Next, you slide into the sporty yet opulent quilted leather, which feels as poised as a bucket seat but as conformable as that old leather wingback that sat in the library of your posh childhood friend’s house.
Audi knows that anyone who can afford to drop AED 300,000 on a car has absolutely no time or energy to reach over their shoulder to grab the seat belt. So, like a well-trained butler, the S5 has an automatic arm that pushes the belt forward so you can grab it with ease and without adding unnecessary creases to your Armani suit.
And the S5 is festooned with countless details all over the cabin. There are too many to list, but some of my favourites include the rear-view mirror, which looks like it’s all glass with not a millimeter of plastic in sight; the delightful ‘bong’ that greets you as the engine starts; and the wonderful sweeping air vents that run from the centre console to the car door.
The acceleration feels as poised and smooth as a Bentley Continental GT, or a Mercedes S-Class.”
So we know this car is luxurious, but what about the performance? After all, we’re not buying an S5 to simply look pretty. Like all near-top-of-the-range German cars, the Audi S5 has to get you down Sheikh Zayed Road with the thrills and excitement of a sports car. And I’m pleased to say it does.
The engine is brilliant, the turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 produces 354 bhp, meaning the car will go from 0-100 km/h in 4.7 seconds. With 500 Nm of torque, you’ll find accelerating past through the traffic a breeze. But this is no monster. Even in sports mode, with the dynamic settings activated, you find the S5 does its business in an elegant and efficient way. The acceleration feels a poised and smooth as a Bentley Continental GT, or a Mercedes S-Class.
But therein lies a problem. Despite having a really cool boost gauge on the dash and some very pleasant turbo noises, if I’m being picky, the S5 does lack a bit of theatre. If you ask me, I personally feel it could do with a bit more engine noise when you’re thrashing it. This isn’t an F-Type Jag, so I don’t need engine popping and super loud start-up noises. Bu this is a S-version Audi, so after I drop my daughter to school, I need the car to give me a bit more of an experience in the way a Maserati Gibli does – or even the M4.
Engine sounds aside, it’s fair to say I loved this car from the second I saw it. It’s a phenomenal ride, it’s all things to all men and I actually think it’s a lot of car for AED 293,000 as tested. And with a starting price just over AED 270,000 I’d even go as far as to say that the S5 is good value for money.
Engine: 3.0-litre turbocharged V6
Power: 354 bhp
Torque: 500 Nm
Efficiency: 7.3 litres per 100 km
0-100 km/h: 4.7 seconds
Top speed: 250 km/h
Price (as tested): AED 293,000