Super Street Network

 |   |   |  2013 Audi S5 - First Drive
Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter

2013 Audi S5 - First Drive

Audi’s Sleek Coupe Gets A Supercharged 3.0L at Last.

Basem Wasef
Oct 12, 2012
Epcp 1211 01+2013 audi s5+cover Photo 1/5   |   2013 Audi S5 - First Drive

Don’t let the subtle facelift fool you: Audi’s 2013 S5 packs significant changes to deliver a leaner but equally potent alternative to the outgoing V8.

Gone is the older engine; replacing the visceral 4.2L with the same supercharged 3.0L V6 currently available in the S4. It churns the same torque (325 lb-ft) and hits 60mph (4.9sec) in the same time as the V8, but sacrifices 21hp for a total of 333hp at the crank. However, not all is lost in the downsizing: not only is the $50,900 S5 three-grand less than the outgoing V8, its combined 21mpg fuel economy dips below the gas guzzler threshold, recouping another $1300.

Off the line, the S5 launches smoothly and swiftly, especially when “Dynamic” mode is selected via the “Drive Select” button. Although it feels archaic to use the single, dash-mounted tab rather than the MMI system, the functionality is thorough: Toggling through “Efficiency,” “Comfort,” “Dynamic,” or a personalized setting adjusts steering effort and ratio, throttle response, damping, automatic transmission behavior, and the way torque is distributed through the electronic sport differential.

S5 models bundled with the $1400 S tronic seven-speed dual-clutch auto get a crown-gear differential, while the optional Sport Differential ($1250) enables torque vectoring for quicker turn-in and more intuitive handling.

Epcp 1211 03+2013 audi s5+engine Photo 2/5   |   2013 Audi S5 - First Drive

Prowess and composure was the modus operandi on our S5 test drive through a stretch of Colorado’s Continental Divide. None of the components overpowered each other; the gear ratios were well matched to the V6 powerband, while handling was sufficiently comfortable in Comfort mode, but significantly more buttoned down in sportier settings.

The supercharged V6 handled the 9000ft elevation well, and driver-triggered gear changes occur quickly enough, although less lag between paddle taps and cog swaps would be preferable.

Unlike some of the competitor’s synthetic-feeling electronic steering, the S5’s new electro-mechanical arrangement worked effectively, transmitting enough feedback to encourage high-speed maneuvers on winding roads. However, we did detect a degree of artificial weighting to the steering on fast turn-in, although grip and responses were good.

If the Audi S5 is too balanced and not saucy enough for your taste, patience will reward you with the hot rod RS5 (previewed in this issue) that will shortly appear in showrooms. But if you’re financially pinned in S5 territory, consider the convertible version that opens up aural pleasure for an extra $8400.

2013 Audi S5

Layout
Front-mounted, longitudinal engine, quattro AWD
Engine
3.0-liter V6 DOHC FSI direct-injection, Eaton R1320 supercharged, 11.6psi
Transmission
Six-speed manual or seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic with quattro AWD
Suspension
S Sport five-link independent f, independent trapezoidal-link r
Brakes
Four-piston calipers and 13.6" rotors f, single-piston and 13" rotors r
Wheels & Tires
18x8.5", 245/40 R18
MSRP: $50900 (6MT, plus $895 destination)

Performance

Power: 333hp @ 5500rpm
Torque: 325 lb-ft @ 2900rpm
0-60mph: 4.9sec
Top speed: 155mph
Weight: 3858 lb (6MT), 3924 lb (7AT), 4310 lb (convertible)
Economy: 18/28/21mpg (7AT) city/hway/combined

By Basem Wasef
10 Articles

BROWSE CARS BY MARKET

MORE CARS

After taking some time off from the Honda game Robert Tellez is back with a build that has plenty of options for progression
RodrezNov 16, 2018
The one car that caught our attention the moment we stepped into VIP Fest 12 and not only held it, but had us coming back for another visit (or three) as the day continued
RodrezNov 9, 2018
Sam always thought MX-5s were cool cars but he never thought he'd ever own one until he spent a few days behind the wheel of an 2019 MX-5
Sam DuNov 7, 2018
Evasive Motorsports' S2K sat front and center in the Mackin Ind. booth during SEMA week doing exactly what it was supposed to do: wowing show goers while pulling them in for a closer look at all that Mackin has to offer
RodrezNov 6, 2018
We're proud of Ryan Hoegner for actualizing a pretty cool car guy fantasy—namely getting his 1982 911 SC, featured Eibach Springs' SEMA booth
Bob HernandezNov 5, 2018
Sponsored Links

SEARCH ARTICLES BY MAKE/MODEL

Search
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS
TO TOP