2013 Audi S5 3.0T Coupe First Drive – Review – Car and Driver

16 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2013 Audi S5 3.0T Coupe First Drive – Review – Car and Driver

2013 Audi S5 3.0T Coupe

A downsized engine and upsized visual presence.

Identical or otherwise, twins tend to find a way to separate themselves. Romulus killed Remus. One of the Sklar brothers wears glasses. Mary-Kate Olsen has a hyphenated first name.

Until now, the Audi S5 coupe had a V-8, and the S5 cabriolet was the one with the blown V-6.

For 2013, though, the S5 coupe will trade its 4.2-liter V-8 for the same 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 that the S5 cabriolet has had all along. Now you#x2019;ll have to rely on roof rigidity to tell them apart.

A Tale of Two Cylinders

That means no more delicious V-8 growl for the hardtop. The soundtrack has traded bwahs for various bvvvms , the latter being most prevalent when paired with the S tronic dual-clutch automatic. And the V-6#x2014;also shared with the S4 sedan, among others#x2014;has slightly lower output: 333 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque compared with the eight#x2019;s 354 hp and, well, 325 lb-ft.

In trade for that offering to the power gods, the super#x2019;d six provides its full complement of torque earlier in the rev range, at 2900 rpm versus 3500 for the V-8. The engines, both of them nice pieces that rarely inspire complaint, are nevertheless different in character. The smaller engine somehow makes the car seem smaller than did the V-8, less like a muscle car and more, well, German.

In ditching two cylinders, Audi was nice enough to retain the V-8#x2019;s manual option for us, which is one way the twins remain different. The S tronic is the only transmission available in the cabrio here, and in Germany it#x2019;s the only one in both S5s. We drove a coupe equipped with the automatic and found the transmission to be well matched to the V-6 in drive or sport, although manual operation was less satisfying.

Calls for lower gears occasionally elicited delayed responses, and the transmission didn#x2019;t like multiple downshift requests at once. What it lacked in direct controllability, though, it more than made up for in smoothness, and shifts were quick once initiated.

On cars with the optional dynamic steering system, which varies the ratio based on speed, buyers can spec the newly available active-lane-keeping system. It has two levels of interference#x2014;early or late#x2014;that determine when and how violently the car uses the electromechanical steering to wrest directional control from the driver. The early setting worked frighteningly well during a short interlude of hands-free driving, the wheel twitching back and forth on its own as the car corrected its course.

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