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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 Sun, Oct 5, 2008

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

John Grafman

ART IN MOTION Words by Reed Berry If you are searching for a practical family car, I'm afraid you'll have to keep looking. If you are in need of economical transportation for your part-time job as a pizza delivery driver, move along - this car is definitely not for you. If your lifestyle does, however, call for a sleek, sporty ride that will turn a head or two, keep reading.

John Grafman The Audi S5 Coupe is not inexpensive and it is certainly not economical, but it is an honest-to-goodness two-door sport coupe, a nice change from the four-door sedans with a rear spoiler slapped on that car makers refer to as a "sport" model. The S5 is the sexier, sportier performance version of the Audi A5. This car is one attractive piece of work. In fact, I have only been driving it a short time and other drivers are pulling alongside me to shout such comments as 'Great looking car!' and 'Is that the new '09 model?' One driver, a self-proclaimed performance car aficionado, actually followed me into a parking lot to take a closer look and ask about the car. In recent years, automotive designers have worked to combine bold styling with sporty features. They have certainly accomplished this with the S5. The chiseled features of this car and big 19-inch alloy wheels let you know that it is a serious driving machine, while the sleek lines of the vehicle convey a feeling of movement even when the car is at a stop.

John Grafman While admiring the car at a distance can be enjoyable, the real fun comes when you actually drive the S5. A 354-horsepower V8 engine paired with a six-speed manual transmission seems to be a winning combination. The S5 accelerates confidently without any noticeable hesitation. Shifting is smooth and precise, and there's even an indicator on the driver display to tell you if you should shift to a lower or higher gear. We're talking zero to sixty in under five seconds! Handling is equally impressive thanks to speed-sensitive steering and sport suspension. The S5 features Audi's quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. I have a good feel of the road, yet the ride is smooth and comfortable. The car is quite responsive, making almost any maneuver seem effortless. As for the interior of the car, I was going to describe it as being like a 'living room on wheels', although such a comment sounds like it has the makings of a Jeff Foxworthy redneck joke. My point is that the interior of the S5 is probably as comfortable, if not more comfortable, than the average living room. Dual-zone climate control and heated sport seats are among the S5's standard features. Brushed aluminum trim gives the interior a cool, sporty look.

John Grafman As for entertainment, the six-disc CD changer and ten-speaker sound system will please any music lover. Should you desire even more variety, just push a button and you're listening to SIRIUS Satellite Radio. The test vehicle I'm driving has been outfitted with a Bang & Olufsen premium sound system. The B&O system adds $850 to the price of the vehicle, but it is well worth the extra cost. Also in my test vehicle is an optional Navigation Package ($2,390) that includes a color driver display and Audi music interface. The navigation system seems to be quite accurate and very easy to program, but I am disappointed by the fact that it can be programmed while the vehicle is in motion. For your safety, never attempt to program a navigation system while driving. Another 'must have' item on this vehicle is a rearview camera for safe backing. It is part of an optional Technology Package ($1,700) that also includes adaptive headlights, as well as 'Advanced Key' which allows you to unlock and start the car without removing the key from your pocket. Proximity sensors recognize radio pulses generated from the key housing.

With an estimated 14 mpg in the city, the fuel economy of the S5 really isn't that impressive but the performance of the car is. Sure, in our troubled economy many people are seeking out more fuel-efficient cars like the Toyota Yaris or the tiny Smart fortwo, but for those who desire and can afford a performance car that complements an active lifestyle, the Audi S5 Coupe will not disappoint. SUMMARY JUDGMENT Even Michelangelo would have been impressed with this work of art. For more information on Audi products, go to

SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2009 Audi S5 Coupe 4.2 quattro MT6 Price: MSRP: $50,500 As Tested: $58,490 EPA mileage estimates City/ Highway: 14 / 21 Engine type: 4.2L DOHC V8; Fully electronic engine management with FSI direct injection Horsepower: 354 @ 6,800 rpm Torque: 325 @ 3,500 rpm Drive configuration: quattro permanent all-wheel drive Transmission type: 6-speed manual transmission; available 6-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission Steering: Rack and pinion with Servotronic electric power assist Suspension: Front: 5-link suspension with upper and lower wishbones Rear: Trapezoidal link independent suspension Wheels: 19" 5-twin-spoke alloy wheels Brakes: Disc brakes; dual-circuit braking system with electronic brake force distribution; ABS Overall length: 182.5 inches Overall width: 78 inches (with mirrors) Overall height: 53.9 inches Curb weight (lbs.): 3,891 lbs. 0 - 60: 4.9 seconds Top speed: Electronically limited to 155 mph


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