Like the previous gen car the new S5 too is powered by a 3.0-litre V6 motor too, but that’s where the similarities end. This new engine uses turbo charging instead of supercharging and it sports cutting edge tech too. The turbocharger, which replaces the mechanical compressor of the previous engine, operates according to the twin-scroll principle. The turbocharger is located within the 90-degree V of the cylinder banks. This arrangement enables compact construction and short gas flow paths with minimal flow losses, helps the engine respond more immediately.
This 2995 cc V6 engine produces a healthy 351bhp and 500 Nm of torque from a phenomenally low 1370rpm. Considering the light weight, immense power and leech like Quattro AWD grip, the claimed 4.7 second 0-100kmph time doesn’t surprise at all. Step on the accelerator and the motor feels smooth and well-balanced. There is loads of grunt from the word go and at full throttle the motor comes in its own and it pushes you back in the well-padded seats as it gains speed in a linear manner. Take-off is very strong and thanks to the clever Quattro AWD, traction is savage. In Comfort mode the S5 felt best as the mellowed down engine responses help you make smooth progress. But as soon as you switch to Dynamic, the throttle response sharpens dramatically and it feels too jerky and immediate for road use. The highlight of this motor though is the sound it emits. We always drove this car in individual mode with the engine and gearbox in Comfort and the engine sound in Dynamic as it just sounds so good. It makes a thunderous sound at part-throttle, and emits a refined howl as it closes in on the engine redline.
We also think a quick-witted dual clutch transmission would have made the driving experience even better as the 8-speed torque converter gearbox is a bit reluctant to downshift even in manual mode.
With all that power, what’s also impressive is that stability around long corners is fantastic too. The long wheelbase, wide stance and leech-like traction from the Quattro AWD system gives you loads of confidence. Like with the A5, the steering felt more natural and direct in comfort mode but even here it is devoid of any feel or feedback. What disappoints though is the ride which is stiff and unless on a smooth road it always feels bumpy and unsettled. With increase in speed things don’t improve by much and a more rounded edge to the spring and dampers would have been welcomed.