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This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Mon, Apr 7, 2008

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

© All photos by Harvey Schwartz

FIVE ALIVE! By Harvey Schwartz

The all-new 2008 Audi S5 is stunning in design, brilliant on the inside, with breathtaking power and performance. The new S5 coupe's long, low and sleek styling is attractive from any angle. Up front is the signature Audi grille, but painted grey and fitted with vertical chrome inlays just like every S-line Audi. Down below is a center splitter to help bite into the air during high-speed driving. At the edges are beautifully formed adaptive HID headlamp clusters. The clusters also contain daytime running lights comprising a strip of eight LEDs on each side making these clusters truly unique. Down below are blacked-out air inlets and powerful halogen fog-lamps. Behind the front fascia is a sporty silhouette with precisely drawn lines that gracefully interplay with the powerful surfaces. The proportions are perfect for today's super coupes-a lowered, wide stance, a short front overhang, and a long flowing transition from the C pillar to the tail end. The side line shows the steeply raked windshield, low greenhouse surround, and the powerful C pillar. Lower side extensions and flared fenders give the S5 a more menacing look, and those uniquely formed fenders are stuffed with big 19X9 alloy wheels wrapped with Dunlop high-performance tires.

The distinctive rear features horizontal lines, wide, nicely styled taillights, lip spoiler, and a narrow, wide aluminum wing in the center of the diffuser to increase down-force. Two round exhaust tips at each side gives drivers behind you something to think about. Under the skin is an extremely rigid body shell that provides the basis both for the car's crisp handling and its feeling of solidness and comfort. The driving experience is breathtaking. The 4.2 liter, all-aluminum, DOHC, VVT V8 engine with direct injection makes 354 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. In just five seconds, the S5 can reach 60 mph. But no figures can describe the exhilaration I experience with the continuous power build, and the thrilling 'whoose' sound of this superbly engineered FSI direct injection V8 engine. The racecar styled 200 mph speedometer and 8,000 rpm tachometer have white needles that quickly reach redline when starting up, and when you press against the throttle. The engine is mated to either a super-smooth, precision short-throw six-speed manual transmission, or an optional six-speed Tiptronic automatic with paddle shifters on the steering wheel. The Quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system provides perfect traction for the sticky Dunlop low-profile tires with variable torque distribution from its basic setting of 40 percent front, and 60 percent to the rear wheels. Within a fraction of a second, the dynamic drivetrain system adapts to current driving conditions and constantly delivers the ideal distribution of drive torque for the given situation. The ESP electronic stabilization program helps to keep you on track, and can be deactivated in two stages, whenever you want to exploit the full potential of the S5 on a suitable stretch of road. When it is activated, the ESP gives you a 'riding-on-rails' ability in the steepest curves.

The all-new, fully independent sports suspension is mounted on a sub frame which is firmly bolted to the body increasing rigidity. The suspension is tuned to enhance the coupe's performance with dynamic handling response, and give a very comfortable ride over poorly paved roads. Quickly slowing the S5 down from speed are high-performance brakes, recognizable by their black painted S5 brake calipers. Up front are 13.6-inch vented discs with 13-inch solid discs in the rear. Stops are quick and short with a nice, linear feel to the pedal. Braking power and control is further enhanced with ABS, brake assist, and electronic brake force distribution. The interior thoroughly underscores its high-performance character. The ten-way powered, heated, silk nappa, high-backed bucket seats are supremely comfortable and well bolstered for high-performance maneuvering. The multi-function, three-spoke, sports steering wheel is leather wrapped, tilting and telescoping for the perfect angle and reach. All buttons, switches and dials are perfectly placed for easy use and fully illuminated for safe nighttime driving. Real aluminum trim to further the sporty look is found surrounding the air inlets, center console, instrument cluster and door trim.

Standard equipment includes automatic three-zone climate control system with air filtration, extra-large panoramic tilting roof, Driver Information System, push button Start/Stop, an electromechanical parking brake, Symphony audio system with ten-speakers, electronic cruise control, auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass, power-remote/heated/tilting side-view mirrors, express up/down windows/automatic door locks, rain-sensing, intermittent wipers/washers/headlamp washers, thick-cut pile carpeting with signature S5 floor mats, dual map lamps, sunglass holder, center console with two cup-holders and a storage bin ready for a Bluetooth connection. Options includes the Audi Navigation System, Audi's rear-view parking system with TV camera, blind-side lane warning, and the magnificent Bang & Olusen premium sound system that is so good to listen to at any sound level giving particular thanks to the super-quiet interior. Standard safety systems include full-size dual threshold airbags up front, driver/front seat passenger seat-mounted thorax side airbags, driver/front passenger knee airbags, anti-theft alarm, three-point safety belts with inertia-reel for all seats, and LATCH children's seat anchors. Audi has delivered what enthusiasts have been waiting for to come down the road - a coupe with unique styling, power, performance, and an interior second to none.

SUMMARY JUDGMENT It's another work of art from Audi. For more information about Audi products, go to More photos from Harvey Schwartz can be found at © Words and pictures by Harvey Schwartz

SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: Audi S5 Price: $50,500.00 base/$57,515.00 as tested Engine type: 354cu./4.2liter DOHC, direct injection V8 Horsepower: 354 at 6,800 rpm Torque: 325 lb-ft. at 3,500 rpm

EPA mileage: 14mpg/city, 21mpg/highway

Drive configuration: Front engine/all-wheel-drive Transmission type: 6-speed manual/6-speed Tiptronic automatic sequential with paddle shifters Front suspension: Independent 5-link with upper and lower wishbones, coil springs, gas-charged shocks Rear suspension: Independent trapezoidal link with anti-dive compensation, coil springs, gas-charged shocks Wheels/tires: Front19X9 Twin-Spoke alloy wheels/255/35ZR19 high-performance, summer tires Brakes: Front-13.6-in. vented Rear- 13-in. vented discs ABS, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist Overall length: 182.5 in. Overall width: 68 in. Overall height: 53.9 in. Curb weight: 3,801 lbs. manual/4,067 lbs. Tiptronic

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