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Audi S5
7/10

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Road Test

Audi A5 S5 driven

Driven December 2011

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Nomex-clad performance car purists that we are, it is rare for us to cheer the loss of a couple of cylinders and the addition of forced induction. But, in the case of the Audi S5, its transformation from naturally aspirated V8 to supercharged V6 is a marked improvement .

Yes, an aeon after Audi wedged its 3.0-litre V6 into the S4, S5 cabrio and S5 Sportback, the two-door S5 has finally benefitted too. Though the V6 is a fraction less powerful than its precedessor, it gets the S5 to 62mph even faster than the old car, thanks to a fatter slug of mid-range torque.

Even more so than the old S5, this is a terrifyingly easy car to drive very fast: strap in, point nose of car vaguely in intended direction, flatten accelerator, arrive at destination a very short time later. Like the old S5, it isn't... engaging as such: though a touch slower, a BMW 335i coupe will still edge the Audi for driver involvement. But with a lovely, chuntery exhaust, the 4WD S5 sounds good, goes like the clappers and makes enough financial sense to make you think very hard before ordering that RS5. A successful cylinderectomy.

Sam Philip

We like: Cleaner, more economical, faster
We don't like: Handling still not the sharpest
The verdict: Supercharged V6 transforms the S5 into one of the very best fast coupes
Performance: 0-62mph in 4.9secs, max 155mph, 34.9mpg
Tech: 2995cc, V6, 4WD, 328bhp, 325lb ft, 1675kg, 190g/km CO2
Tick this on the options list: Sports differential, £620
And avoid this: Digital television, £1,175

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