There was a time when fun-to-drive luxury cars existed only above the one crore mark in terms of pricing. For those who had just come into the luxury fold but wanted something beyond the usual set of sedans and SUVs, it was a too faraway a dream. Sensing this demand, Mercedes-Benz introduced the C43 AMG last year. Now Audi has responded by announcing that it will bring the latest generation S5 to India on October 5. To see how it stands up to the C43 AMG, read our spec comparison.
On the face of things, it looks like an even match. Both cars are large, have subtle dashes of bling all around and would be hard to miss in a crowd of vehicles. Further, they both have similar signature elements like the grille, tail lamps and large wheels. But where they do stand out is in terms of stance. The Mercedes is a subtle despite the over sportiness thanks to the S5 being a Sportback. This instantly gives the latter a massive advantage as it will really stand out even among the bigger and sportier vehicles priced similarly.
Given that they sit marginally above their standard counterparts, these cars are not expected to be priced too far apart from each other. This means that they have similar cabin layouts and features lists. It’s a given for things like climate control, infotainment system with floating display, leather upholstery and lots of drama when it comes switching between driving modes or even in terms of lighting packages. What the sportback roofline gives in external appearance, it takes away in interior space at back. Here the C43 has more space thanks to the added headroom of a conventional roofline. But the S5’s party piece is of course the virtual cockpit which is unique to the segment at present.
Both cars have been fitted with 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 turbo engines and this mill seems to be the standard fitment in cars of such nature these days. In the C43, this engine produces 362bhp/520Nm while in the S5 it produces 354bhp/500Nm. The Mercedes gets a nine-speed AT and 4MATIC AWD while the S5 it is an eight-speed AT and Quattro AWD system. We have driven both the cars and you can read about them in our reviews section.
Both cars make strong cases for themselves as they both have similar equipment both on the inside and outside. The Mercedes’ badge is still a big deal among Indian buyers but the Sportback roofline makes a compelling case for anyone who wants to stand out. The C43 AMG is priced at Rs 75 lakhs and we believe that Audi will price the S5 in a similar range to keep things competitive.