All of a sudden, there’s thunder, lightning, and blue sky? It can sound insane, but the new Audi S5 Sportback is here. Looks and results that are both sporty and realistic for daily use. The S5 Sportback is what it’s called. This is the facelift for the second-generation model, which has now arrived in India, and we have it first and foremost. We planned to drive it from Delhi to Jaipur to get a better sense of its dexterity and complexities in both city and highway traffic. In addition, there are several twisting lanes. To bring you this unique analysis, I spent 5 days with the car and covered well over 500 kilometres of varied travel. In many respects, the Audi S5 Sportback is the ideal car for India: it’s sporty and energetic, but not as crazy as the RS5. So it’s the kind of car you can drive every day and then swap tyres and go racing. There is a lot of torque and strength.
As a result, you will see that I use the term ‘practical’ often. That’s because it is. For crying out loud, it has an efficiency mode, and yeah, I got a healthy 13 kmpl on it over a distance of around 100 kilometres. That was, of course, until I switched drive modes and started thinking about mileage! The 3-litre, 6-cylinder engine in the S5 is fantastic. It’s been at the core of Audi’s engineering efforts. It has a polished feel to it, and the power output is also pleasing. The numbers, and yeah, the V6 is nearly fine. The maximum power comes on smoothly over a huge rpm range, but it’s the deliciously generous dose of torque that spans the whole range that can make you grin ever more. The utterly fantastic ZF-derived 8-Speed gearbox is, yeah, absolutely fantastic.
|Audi S5 Sportback||3.0 litre V6 TFSI|
|Max Power||349 bhp @ 5400-6400 rpm|
|Peak Torque||500 Nm @ 1370-4500 rpm|
There could be some lag, particularly if you’re in Comfort mode, and especially between the second and third gears. However, you can get around this by switching to Dynamic in Audi’s Drive Select. The character as a whole shifts. Not only is the reaction quicker, but the acceleration and sound are both even more thrilling. That’s what an automotive lover would love.
In India, the Sportback body style outperforms the two-door and coupé/convertible body types. And this is where Audi has done a great job. Not only is the exterior and interior style aggressive and sporty, but you also get excellent dynamics, a lot of acceleration and fun, and a superb engine note. The sweet, sweet sound of a finely tuned and racy V6 engine, indeed. This could be the last S5 without any form of electric lift, so take advantage of it. This car’s extremely offensive performance comes with a velvet mask, so it won’t scare you or lull you into a trance. In certain ways, the Audi S5 will be a better option for an Indian buyer looking for a combination of comfort, practicality, and performance than anything like the BMW M340i, which is mostly focused on pure dynamics.
Ride and Handling
The suspension is very supple, and the tuning is perfect for our needs. The ride quality is really comfortable, despite the fact that it is appropriately rigid. The S Sport suspension, which has variable damping power, is responsible for this. The S5’s steering is good, with just the right amount of stiffness and accuracy. The car handles beautifully and does not give you any indication of its considerable length or wheelbase. All-wheel drive is common as well. Torque vectoring is also available, which operates in combination with the Quattro system, and the car’s handling is significantly improved, with excellent corner reaction.
Now, all facelifts result in modifications to the body, but I’ll start with the part that hasn’t changed. It’s a line that rises out of the headlight and returns almost languidly; but, as it approaches the taillight, it picks up pace and becomes more organic. It’s known as the ‘tornado line’ by Audi. It’s present in a variety of models, but I believe it’s most noticeable in the A5 family – and thus in the S5 and RS5 as well. I adore it, and I’m happy it’s still there because it’s a signature feature of this car’s style. And I’m happy the facelift hasn’t changed that. So, what’s new? The diffuser and LED taillights also received a brand-new treatment. On the boot lid, there is a much more pronounced and obviously bigger spoiler. The grille on the face is larger, with cool metallic features. The car’s face is defined by the metal that surrounds the grille and fog lamp housing.
I’m not going to give you extra credit for guessing the colour of the car I’m driving. Turbo Blue is the name of the colour, and although it’s been used on anything from an S-Presso to a Verna, it looks fantastic on the S5. And I believe it is due to the factors listed above. Matrix LED headlights are also used, adding to the bling.
Tech and Interior
There are also developments on the inside, especially in terms of technology. Although you won’t get the latest dual glass-finish displays seen in newer Audis, the MMI will get a significant update. So the rotary dial controller is gone, and you’re left with a 10.1-inch touchscreen. It’s very simple and straightforward, quick to use, has haptic input, and the graphics are appealing to me. When it comes to graphics, Audi invented the virtual instrument cluster (or virtual cockpit, as Audi refers to it) with the A5 family. The graphics on the S5 are smoother, and the screen and animations are of excellent consistency. 3-zone temperature control, ‘rotor grey’ alcantara and leather sports seats with S embossing, and a 19-speaker B&O sound system are all standard.
The rear seat of the S5 is remarkably spacious and comfortable. And yes, the headroom is included. Because of the three-zone climate regulation, the back seat has its own temperature control. What’s more, how can I forget? A panoramic sunroof is also available. The fact that this is a hatchback – thus the Sportback moniker – also means you get more boot space (480 litres) than you would find in a vehicle of this size. This adds to the usefulness.
The Audi S5 is scheduled to be released in the near future, with a price tag of about 75-80 lakh. Given that it is a niche model and that it will be a direct import, the price is more appealing than you would expect. However, since BMW builds the M340i in-house, there is a price differential of over ten lakh in favour of the BMW. However, it’s encouraging to see Audi bringing us a plethora of brand-building and related styles. And particularly a car like the S5, which comes at a time when many luxury brands are showing renewed interest in the sedan segment.