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The Audi A5 and Audi S5 are 2+2 coupes and convertibles with stunning looks and the greatest variety of engines and drive systems in the class.
A handsome, distinctive shape identifies the A5 from any angle, with flowing curves bringing musculature to sleek, aerodynamic forms and arresting light patterns. Viewed from behind there's a chance of mistaking an A5 for a British GT, but from any other angle it's unmistakably Audi.
Audi A5 and S5 are grand touring cars designed to cover lots of ground at high speed while coddling a pair of occupants. The rear seats are for the occasional adult passengers or for bringing kids along. The A5 involves the driver physically, audibly, and mentally though never to the point of making it a chore or less than inviting. The Audi S5 can be hustled down virtually any road at a good clip. These are substantial cars, however, so they don't behave like small, lightweight sports cars.
Audi interiors have been racking up awards for a long time and the A5 is in the same mold. It has the features expected, good ergonomics, a central interface system that won't drive you to cursing, and it's all assembled to a high standard using appropriate materials. Despite the standard all-wheel drive on most models it also has reasonable trunk space, so you can enjoy a road trip of just about any length or destination.
The Audi A5 delivers confidence and luxury in a package not likely to be seen at every intersection. The Audi S5 delivers more performance and luxury, which comes at a higher price, yet it still represents a good value among high-performance coupes.
Audi A5 competes with BMW 3 Series and 6 Series coupes and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class coupe, but the A5's style and capabilities are such that it might also be shopped against the Jaguar XK or Porsche 911. All of these are fine cars, but only the 911 can match the A5 or S5 with the availability of all-wheel drive, and with the Porsche it comes at a substantially higher price. Quattro all-wheel drive comes standard on all A5 models except one convertible A5.
The Audi A5 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. EPA fuel economy numbers for the Audi A5 Coupe with the four-cylinder engine, manual gearbox and quattro all-wheel drive are 21 mpg City, 31 mpg Highway. For the Audi A5 Cabriolet with the four-cylinder engine, continuously variable transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive, the figures are 22/30 mpg. Automatic quattro coupes get an EPA-rated 21/29 mpg.
The Audi S5 Cabriolet is powered 3.0-liter supercharged V6 with S-tronic 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. The supercharged V6 has 333 horsepower, 325 pound-feet of torque on tap and a quick-shifting automated manual gearbox for performance. The federal government rates the S5 at 17/26 mpg.
The Audi S5 Coupe uses a rev-happy 4.2-liter V8, with 354 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, essentially a milder version of the engine in Audi's R8 mid-engine sports car. The S5 coupe uses a 6-speed automatic or manual gearbox, the latter the quickest of all S5 models, and the least fuel efficient.
The 2011 Audi A5 coupe comes with a new 8-speed automatic. Last year's 3.2-liter V6 engine has been dropped. Also, there have been changes in some options, packages and wheel designs, and navigation includes HD radio for the 2011 model year.