The S5 cabriolet's supercharged V-6 may be more politically correct and an equally good performer, but Audi's 4.2-liter V-8 just speaks to me. It's such a smooth, gorgeous-sounding powerplant, and it revs so quickly that its somewhat peaky characteristics are never an issue. The super-precise six-speed manual makes it even easier and more enjoyable to keep the V-8 on the boil, though it was a bit difficult to put in first gear before it warmed up. Oddly enough, our dearly missed Four Seasons R8 4.2 had the same issue with its gearbox.
David Zenlea, Assistant Editor