After nine glorious years as one of the best looking sport coupes on the market, the Audi A5, and Audi S5 have been given the same treatment as their four-door counterparts, the A4 and S4. On the outside, this means that they’ve been nipped, tucked, tightened, and tweaked, and inside they’ve received the new digital dash, center console, and cabin wide vent setup. The result is a car that won’t alienate those who loved the original, and should attract the attention of those who went with a newer car from a competitor while the first-gen soldiered on.
When a design is as good as that of the first generation A5/S5, you certainly hope that the second generation won’t change things up too much. Luckily for us, Audi is a company able to show great restraint. Both cars look more aggressive, and tighter than their predecessors, but it’s the S5 that you should be particularly interested in.
Now wearing the significantly wider corporate grill, the S5 has a more dominant visual presence than before, but still manages to look understated—something I liked very much about the original. The new headlights continue the Audi tradition of having a signature look for each model, and these latest LED/Xenon units appear to be among their best yet. The updated LED taillights give the rear end of the car a cleaner, wider, sleeker look. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better.
If you’ve been in a first generation A5 or S5 lately, then you should know it was in need of an update. The interior felt dated back in 2012, and their popularity after that was a testament to the overall quality of the vehicle. With the new gear selector, infotainment controls, and intelligent cupholder placement, the center console has been brought up to the modern age. As is the case with the rest of Audi’s current lineup, the in-car tech is right up there with the best in the business, featuring Apple Car Play, Android Auto, and Google Maps.
Great as improved in-car technology is, what’s most exciting about the new S5 is that the 3.0-liter V6 now makes 354 horsepower. That’s the same amount the V8 in the original S5 made, and though I’m sure this new car won’t make nearly as an enjoyable sound, at least it’ll definitely get better fuel-economy. No torque figures were included in the press release, but I’d expect to see a little bump there too, since Audi claims the new S5 will sprint from 0-62 mph in 4.7 seconds.
Big question is: will it come with a manual transmission? All that was mentioned was an eight-speed automatic, though, it’s a car that sincerely deserves three pedals. But if we are stuck with just an auto, it won’t be the end of the world, the car still looks fantastic, offers top notch technology, and surely won’t be a bore to drive. Let’s hope that Audi has faith in the American people’s desire to row their own.