Most of the S5's changes for 2009 reside within the optional equipment list. The S5 can now be equipped with Audi side assist, voice control for the navigation, Adaptive Cruise Control and the Drive Select Package, which adds Adaptive Suspension and Dynamic Steering.
For years, German rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz have competed for dominance in this category, while Audi sat on the sidelines watching. The 2008 Audi S5 shows that being a late bloomer isn't necessarily a bad thing. The S5 will offer a unique alternative to the German competition, being the only car in the class to offer all-wheel drive combined with a six-speed manual transmission.
The undeniably well-proportioned 2008 Audi S5 marks a late but bold entrance into the luxury performance coupe segment for Audi. A high-performance version of the company's brand new A5, the S5 will actually beat the more "garden-variety" A5 to sale in North American markets. Like 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 not as uncompromisingly geared toward performance as BMW's M3, or as luxury oriented as the Mercedes-Benz CLK 550.