Road Test

Road Test: 2011 Audi S5 Sportback

October 20, 2010

Audi S5 Sportback 2010_01Audi’s A5 model range have grown a lot since it was first unveiled. Now there’s a Coupe, Cabriolet and Sportback. All of these are available also as S5 models and the latest addition in the model range is the most powerful version, the RS 5 Coupe. Sportback offers better usability with its rear doors, while tying to follow the shapes of the beautiful 2-door coupe. So most of the styling details are familiar from the coupe, like the frameless doors. This 4-door version is not as good looking as the coupe, but it doesn’t come too much behind. Especially in its S5 uniform, it looks pretty tempting.

S5 Sportback doesn’t have any big spoilers or air intakes, but the S body styling gives this car a bit more sportier look. You will notice quite quickly that something is different in this car compared to the other Sportbacks. The chrome finished round twin tailpipes on each side of the car are the easiest way to recognise this car from behind, if you haven’t noticed the S5 badging. S5 Sportback has Xenon plus headlights with LED daytime-running lights and the rear LED lights as standard. Thanks to the sport suspension, S5 sits a bit closer to the road than the standard model. Behind the 19″ alloys, which come as standard, you can see the black-painted brake callipers with the S5 logo. The ventilated brake discs with newly developed brake pads stop the car in a balanced, safe and effective way, when needed.

Inside the car there isn’t much difference compared to the coupe from the drivers point of view. Good driving position is easy to find when you’re sitting in a electrically adjustable sports seat, which are standard on S5. Sport seat provides excellent support and comes upholstered in exquisite Silk Nappa leather with contrasting stitching. The 3-spoke leather multifunction steering wheel with aluminium look paddle shifts is also a standard on S5. With the paddle shifts you can control the 7-speed S tronic transmission, if you feel like it, otherwise it works just like an automatic transmission. But S tonic isn’t a conventional automatic. It has a two-part transmission shaft effectively giving you two gearboxes in one. The inner shaft feeds the odd-numbered gears and the outer shaft drives the even-numbered gears while power is driven to one of the shafts via the twin multi-plate clutch. if you’re accelerating in second gear, third gear is automatically pre-selected, ready for the change.

S5 Sportback is powered by a 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine. This same power unit can be found from the S5 Cabriolet. The S5 Coupe instead, still has the 4.2-litre V8, but it is expected to switch to this V6 unit in near future, because it’s better fuel economy. Yes, fuel economy matters even when you’re byuing a performance coupe. The 4.2 V8 in a Coupe produces 354 horsepower. This V6 isn’t much behind with its 333 horsepower. The Supercharged text in the front fender tells a lot about this machine. Supercharger helps this smaller power unit can create not just horsepower, but also a lot of torque. Top torque of 440 Newton metres is the same as in the bigger V8, but in this V6 the top torque is available at lower revs, making it even nicer to drive.

333 horsepower doesn’t sound very impressive these days, but S5 made a real impression with it’s performance. When the engine gets a bit more revs and the charger really starts to push more air to the engine, S5 turns from a performance coupe into a sports car. Running the engine above 1000rpm is a good for longer journeys, when you might want to think about fuel economy also. Raising the revs above 2000rpm you start to feel the torque this engine has. This would be good for a “normal” acceleration. If you really want to get moving, raise the revs above 3000rpm and then this Sportback starts to play in completely different category. S5 Sportback can reach a 100 km/h in 5,4 seconds, when accelerating from standstill. Sounds impressive and after you have driven it, it will also sounds quite accurate. To improve your changes to get to enjoy all the power this machine produces, the S5 has Audi’s quattro four-wheel drive system. The power to the front and back wheels is split in a 40:60 ratio for a sporty, rear-focused driving enjoyment.

S5 Sportback has all the power you need for the road and it makes a beautiful sound when delivering it. It’s hard to find anything wrong with, except maybe the looks. The Sportback just doesn’t look quite as good as coupe, but more you get to see it, the more you start to like. And when you get to drive it, you most propably love it.



  • Petrol
  • 6-cylinder
  • 2995cc
  • Supercharger


  • 245 kW (333 hp)


  • 440 Nm / 2900-5300rpm


  • 7-speed automatic
  • AWD

0-100km/h / 0-62mph

  • 5.4 seconds

Top speed

  • 250 km/h
  • 155 mph

Fuel consumption

  • 9.4 l/100km
  • 30.1 mpg

CO2 emissions

  • 219 g/km

Audi S5 Sportback 2010_02


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