By KBB.com Editors
The undeniably well-proportioned 2010 Audi S5 marks a late but bold entrance into the luxury performance coupe segment for Audi. A high-performance version of the company's sleek A5, the S5 was actually launched before the "garden-variety" A5, which speaks volumes about Audi's commitment to its performance image. As M is to BMW and AMG to Mercedes, Audi's "S" cars are high performance versions of existing models. While the S5 is no exception to the rule, it is our experience is that it is not as uncompromisingly geared toward performance as BMW's M3, or as luxury oriented as the Mercedes-Benz E550.You'll Like This Car If...
Thanks to an entirely revised chassis, Audi has been able to dramatically alter the layout in both the S5 and A5. The result is firmer handling with much improved weight distribution. The new layout permitted a redesign of the steering system, which now offers a level of feel and precision previously unknown to the brand.You May Not Like This Car If...
It's hard to find fault with the 2010 Audi S5, but if you're set on having a moonroof that slides open, you may be disappointed by the (large) fixed glass piece that only tilts, and spans nearly the entire length and width of the roof.What's New for 2010
Two new option packages are added for 2010: The Drive Select package , which comes with the new Sports Rear Differential, and the Prestige package.Driving It Driving Impressions
Easily the dominating element of the S5 driving experience is Audi's ever-popular and wonderfully torquey 4.2-liter V8. In the S5, the eager V8 produces 354 horsepower, which fires the S5 off with authority at virtually any rpm. The manufacturer claims it will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds and our seat-of-the pants evaluation gives us no reason to doubt this. Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system allows more traction than most drivers will ever need to call upon during hard acceleration, and a revised torque split in all models sends 60 percent of torque rearward, allowing a neutral feel that mimics rear-wheel-drive cars. As we've come to expect of cars competing in this segment, the brakes are excellent and powerful.Favorite Features
Rear-View Camera with Guidance Lines
We were surprised to find the medium-sized coupe equipped with Audi's rear-parking system, but once you adapt to backing up while using the monitor, you'll never want to change. The system activates when reverse is selected and automatically shuts off once you've hit five miles per hour in a forward gear.
Electro-mechanical Parking Brake
With the console-mounted switch mounted right beside the shifter, operation of the parking brake is like that of a power window; pull up to set, and down to release. A red light indicates the brake is engaged. It's something easily overlooked until you've lived with the convenience.