Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins
What a relief. After driving trucks and SUVs for the last month in Maryland due to a massive snowstorm I was happy to have jumped in the 2016 Audi S5 Coupe 3.0T quattro S tronic this past week. The Automotive Rhythms team was missing this level of dynamism for quite some time now. And if the length of the German sports car’s name is indicative of its performance achievements than you know I had one of the most exciting 7 days of winter in a very long time.
Offered as a Premium Plus or Prestige model, the S5’s body is smaller than I typically like my coupes (A7 fits me optimally) but it nevertheless was thrilling, especially with quattro AWD drive. There is a reason why the brand is so dominant in motorsports. Available as both a coupe and convertible my rendition came in a Daytona Gray Pearl Effect exterior hue ($575) and Black/Lunar Silver two-toned leather and Alcantara interior. Intermingled with an aeronautical reminiscent cockpit and heightened levels of technological wizardry, the S5 felt joyous during every run. Its silhouette is enhanced with the traditional Audi singleframe grille, Xenon plus lights with LED strips, quad exhaust pipes and blacked out sideview mirrors.
I found myself making excuses to leave the house just to rev the engine a few more times. Its agility and 4.9 seconds 0 to 60 quickness especially came in handy on Super Bowl 50 Sunday when I had to make multiple pickups in preparation for our game party. Moreover, everyone was pleasantly surprised by the amount of trunk storage when it came to loading it with food orders, bags and supplies. However, don’t expect to put anyone in the back seat unless you are pissed off at them because rear legroom is basically non-existent and entry/exit is a pain.
MSRP starts at $53,100 but our S5 topped off at $60,800 after the addition of the $3,150 Technology package, the $1,300 Black Optic package and the $1,000 Black Optic plus package (requires Black Optic). The Technology package adds Audi MMI navigation plus, parking system with rearview camera, Audi side assist and Audi connect with online services. MMI has been ranked in our top three for multi-media systems along with BMW’s iDrive for quite some time now. Using the central controller and four surrounding tabs you can effortlessly change the vehicle setup on screen, view the owner’s manual, adjust music stations, get online (Wi-Fi for up to 8 devices), locate points of interest and much more. Black Optic gives you the Audi Sport 5-arm-rotor-design titanium wheels tucked in 255/35 summer tires (High Gloss Black package with exterior mirrors in body color) while Black Optic plus provides 20″ Audi Sport 5-double-spoke titanium spins wrapped in 265/30 summer rubber (exterior mirrors in gloss black). But of course for the cold months Audi delivered the vehicle with the original 18” 5-parallel-spoke S-design wheels with all-weather Dunlops. Yet, if I owned this vehicle I would pair it with a set of Yokohama iceGUARD iG20 winter tires for invincibility.
Takeoff is detonated from Audi’s 3-liter TFSI V6 engine with 333-horsepower and 325 lb.-ft. of torque. Though, the S5 moves much faster than the numbers suggest. It was paired with the 7-speed S tronic transmission with conventional shifting, manual mode using the shift knob or paddle shifters located on the boisterous, flat-bottom steering wheel. Once you position your thumbs in the indentions of the wheel, take a firm overall grip, set your left foot on the wide, metal dead pedal and begin to depress the accelerator, the S5’s metabolism goes into a deep caloric burning stage. A 6-speed manual is your other transmission option. The Audi’s stability through turns and speed out of corners is phenomenal. This is the advantage of AWD performance.
For the very few times I drove the S5 in a docile state I let the premium Bang & Olufsen audio system control the mood. I’ve always been a fan of the HARMAN-owned premium sound developer. Using technology from their home entertainment solutions the symphony of my music has never sounded better in an automobile. Moreover, the Audi parking system, adaptive cruise control and Audi dynamic steering made me to believe that the vehicle was autonomously taking over driver responsibilities. But this is simply the result of an automotive industry that insists on revolutionizing the way we mobilize. Audi is certainly one of the chief innovative leaders in this respect.