The roar of a premium V-8 engine is simply mandatory in a sports car. After driving the Audi S5 coupe with the "old" 4.2L V-8 back-to-back with an Audi S5 cabriolet with the "new" supercharged 3.0L V-6, I must say I enjoyed the coupe's driving experience more. There's no doubt the V6T makes more sense in today's economy, what with almost equal horsepower (333 vs. 354), better gas mileage (20 mpg vs. 17 city/highway combined), and the V6T doesn't burden you with a gas guzzler tax ($1300). But once you climb behind the wheel of the coupe, fire up that V-8, none of that stuff matters. Instead, you find yourself looking for any excuse to press your right foot to the floor just to hear the engine come to life.
Audi's 6-speed manual transmission is near perfect, with a short, crisp throws. The Audi S5 Coupe is very well balanced and, even with snow tires, provides good steering feedback. The ride is a little harsh thanks to the 19-inch wheels and 35-series winter rubber, but if you like the style of big wheels, you're usually going to pay a penalty in comfort.
Mike Ofiara, Road Test Coordinator