Separating Audi's conventional models (the A-range) with their full-fat, performance range (RS), is the S line of vehicles. With a fine blend of luxury, dynamism and everyday driveability, they represent the perfect compromise between the two opposites.
Models like the S3, S4 and S5 give a sporting edge to those who want their luxury car with a performance edge - but don't require the full-on, hardcore RS experience.
Fresh out of the recently facelifted Audi A5 40 TFSI, AutoAdvisor hopped into a Daytona Gray Pearlescent S5. The R13 900 paintwork accentuates the tasteful coupe's curves, a subtle colour for an understated car. It's rather refreshing, we admit - to drive an expensive, classy and competent performer that doesn't draw attention to itself. It flies under the radar very well, drawing admiring glances from those in the know.
Inside, it's a similar story to the A5. It's clean, classy and elegant. The use of physical buttons and dials really does make the cabin a lovely place to be. You aren't distracted by myriad touchscreens or large infotainment systems. It's just a comfortable, elegant place to be. Make no mistake, the S5 is well-equipped. Everything you could want for is standard on the mid-range performer.
Under the bonnet is a gem of an engine. A 30-litre turbocharged petrol V6 produces 260 kW and 500 Nm of torque. This translates to a 0-100 km/h time of just 4.7 seconds. That's pretty fast. But that's not what this car is about - it's comfortable, refined and plush. The ride is pillowy smooth in Comfort mode, with the relaxed vibe hushing the powerful engine. Pop it into Dynamic mode, however, and it thrills with a potent powertrain and a sonorous noise. The steering is equally responsive. It's not a sports car by any means. It's first and foremost a luxury cruiser - but this one has a bit of poke to it, a brilliant combination in our opinion.
We'd happily live with an S5 for the rest of our lives. It ticks so many boxes, something very few cars can do these days - even when costing over R1.1 million. As standard, the S5 retails for R1 110 500. That is undoubtedly a lot of money, but when you consider what you're getting in return, it is well worth it. Firstly, it's a gorgeous car to look at. The interior is exquisite - well-equipped, beautifully screwed-together and properly luxurious. The performance on tap is remarkable and so is the handling. But that hasn't come at the detriment of the ride and refinement. The S5, put simply, is near perfect.
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