‘Give me a cornering shot going both ways,’ said Sherman. So I set the Drive Select to ‘dynamic’, and took off. What I didn’t expect was the tail stepping out (and me soiling my underpants). Talk about a Jekyll-and-Hyde personality!
WHY IS IT YELLOW?
Because Audi is a Coldplay fan. Seriously, though, the S5 Sportback is a four-door coupe version of the S4 sedan and to achieve that it’s got a swoopy roofline and a rear hatch. That means more style at the expense of rear head-room (5 mm less) and a middle rear seat. We love the frameless windows for the doors, they make you feel truly special. There’s all the other ‘S’ trim: aluminium mirror housings, large wheels, quad exhausts and a very subtle boot lip spoiler. Oh, and the car hasn’t got the raised ride height for India.
IS IT YELLOW INSIDE?
No, it’s just black, with hints of brown and carbon-fibre. The differentiator is the ‘S5’ badging in different places — the flat-bottomed steering wheel, the gear lever, the seats and the instrument cluster. The sports seats deserve special mention for their support. The back isn’t the place to be in the S5, although there’s enough space for a normal-sized person. This is a true four-seater, even though Audi has missed a trick in not providing proper buckets for the rear occupants. The boot is large and the wide opening makes it extremely practical. The dashboard is extremely low-key and functional but it is showing its age now.
WHAT COLOUR IS IT UNDER THE HOOD?
Silver, black and scarlet. That 3.0-litre supercharged V6 generates 328 bhp and the 44.9 kgm of max torque is available from as low as 2900 rpm right up to 5300 rpm. There’s quattro all-wheel drive to harness all that power and that’s a good thing. The soundtrack isn’t as impressive as a V8, but the blower offers instant throttle response, anytime. It isn’t hammerblow acceleration, but it will keep you entertained for a while. The company’s claimed acceleration time of 5.1 seconds to 100 kph is proper sportscar territory — can’t argue with that.
DO THE CORNERS OFFER A GREEN LIGHT?
The grip is great and the driveline is great, but it sorely lacks in the steering-feel department. It is dead accurate, but you’re never sure what’s going on through your fingertips. That untouched ride height does wonders for the grip of the car, though — you can hustle it through bends at pupil-dilating speeds and the car will take all of it in its stride. There is an optional sports differential and dynamic steering, but they don’t add enough to the steering to elevate it to greatness.
SO, A RED LIGHT, THEN?
Not really. There are many things going for the S5 Sportback — the soundtrack under hard acceleration, the frameless doors, the sheer quality of the interiors… but, as with the colour of the paint, it’s an amber light as far as we’re concerned. If you want a quick sedan that is more boulevard bruiser than corner carver, the S5 is the car for you. At Rs 63 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi, it sits pretty in a class of one in the Indian market at the moment.
Audi S5 Sportback
Displacement: 2995cc, V6, supercharged petrol
Max Power: 328 bhp@5500-6500 rpm
Max torque: 44.9 kgm@2900-5300 rpm
Transmission: 7-speed DSG
Type: Rack and pinion with electric assist
Turning radius: 5.75 m
Front: Multilink double wishbones with anti-roll bar
Rear: Independent, trapezoidal link with anti-roll bar
F/R: Ventilated discs/ventilated discs
F/R: 245/40 R18
L/W/H (mm): 4718/1854/1382
Wheelbase: 2811 mm
Kerb weight: 1745 kg
0-60 kph: 2.42 seconds
0-100 kph: 5.46 seconds
Top speed: 250 kph (limited)
PRICE: Rs 62.95 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi