Audi S5 Sportback Review
S5 is not sold here yet, but we grab a drive in it anyway
By Noel Ebdon
It’s funny the things you think of when sat at traffic lights. On this occasion I think I was running through the differences of the offside rule between football and cricket, whilst investigating my ear lobe, when I noticed a teenager taking a picture of my car with his mobile phone.
Now this in itself isn’t necessarily an unusual occurrence, as being a motoring writer, I’m often smugly ensconced behind the wheel of a shiny supercar or a large uber-saloon.
However, I wasn’t enjoying the comfort of a Rolls or the space ship dimensions of a Lamborghini. I was sitting in a very nice, white Audi S5. Now this is interesting for two reasons, firstly, it’s an Audi S5 and not a pink and gold Gallardo, and secondly, because it’s white.
I should point out at this moment that this test drive took place in the UK, where white cars are not de rigueur. White cars, whilst massively popular in the GCC, are considered cheap and boring in the UK. But apparently things have changed in the old world and white has made a bit of a comeback.
Now being in the UK, my other worrying thought was the snapping teen was possible scoping the car for a potential car jacking (not something we thankfully have to worry about in the Gulf). Luckily, this turned out not to be the case. Further investigation was obviously needed.
Pulling over in a safe spot (quite a task in West London) I get out to have a look at what all the fuss is about. Taking a few steps back and looking at the sparkling Audi you suddenly see what all the fuss was about. This is a seriously good-looking car. If Kate Moss was a car, she’d be an S5. Hopefully my S5, but I’ll leave the supermodel/car comparisons there for now.
But beauty isn’t only skin deep. It can’t be denied that Audi make a damn good car. For years, they’ve been known for solid, reliable, four-wheel-drive super saloons. The V6 supercharged engine is excellent and delivers smooth, unfazed power right through the rev range.
It also handles, cornering flat and without the clatter some German luxury saloons seem to have developed in recent years, as they attempt to remain sporty. It’s also damn quick, dispatching 100kph in just 4.9 seconds. Gone are the days when only supercars could manage a sub-five second acceleration time.
It’s hard to put your finger on why the S5 is so pleasing. It’s good at everything it does, without shouting about it too much. It’s understated and cool, as well as powerful and sleek.
So what’s the downside? Well, to date Audi aren’t planning to bring the S5 to the UAE. So enjoy looking at these pics, as they’re all you going to get for now.
Unless you import one yourself, the spotty teenager at the lights has been closer to the car than most Audi fans in the Gulf.
But don’t worry, I’ll ask him to text you his pics.
Price: Not available in the GCC – UK price GBP42,000
Engine: 3.0-litre, Supercharged V6, 333bhp@5500-7000rpm, 324lb ft@2,900-5300rpm
Performance: 0-100kph 5.0seconds, Top Speed 250kph
Transmission: seven-speed S tronic, all-wheel drive