This was my first experience behind the wheel of an S5 and I walked away very impressed. Unlike Marc, I was a little disappointed when I drove the A5. The A5 seems to be all about looks and offers almost no performance, but the S5 has just enough grunt to be a sporty ride and the V-8 sounds pretty good when you're in the upper rev range. I found this Audi S5 to have more than adequate power for any passing maneuver I attempted and the delivery is so linear and smooth it actually feels less powerful than it is.
Like Jen, I had a hard time perfecting my 1-2 upshifts. The process wasn't as notchy as an Infiniti G37, but it was nowhere near as smooth as a BMW 335i. The transmission's shifter felt fine to me, so I tend to agree with Rusty the problem is a funky electronic throttle calibration. Perhaps there will be an ECU update that corrects this issue down the road. After driving the V-8 S5, I'm anxious to get behind the wheel of an updated S5 packing the supercharged V-6 and 7-speed DSG transmission Marc mentioned. I saw average fuel economy hovering around 15 mpg, which is pretty poor these days.
Audi is certainly on the forefront of automotive design, and it's good to experience an Audi that drives as well as it looks. Cars that are all show and no go do nothing for me, so I'm happy to report the Audi S5 packs enough power to back up those sexy lines. It's not a brutal muscle car, but rather a well-toned athlete. And that performance is perfectly in line with the car's looks.
Phil Floraday, Senior Online Editor