A Wolf in a Three Piece Suit
It’s a rarity in the car world that a build so eloquently blurs the lines between classy composure and ruthless performance. When this Audi rolled off the assembly line it was destined to be another flashy car that someone wearing clothes more expensive than my daily would lease for a few years while it got slowly abused in all the wrong ways. Somehow this particular example managed to avoid that fate. Underneath this elegant exterior and behind the luxurious interior there beats the heart of a beast.
While most modern Audi’s are doing their car-ly duties carrying their passengers through town in comfort, this one growls its way down the street. I personally love seeing a car being used as it was intended. Why would the engineers have decided to make the S5 with a high revving V8 if it weren’t for it to be used? From the outside it is easy to tell that this car isn’t exactly as they intended though, but it might take you a minute to figure out why.
The 15 inch StopTech rotors being hugged by huge, red, 6 piston calipers look perfectly at home behind the much lighter than stock wheels. It would be easy to not take a second look. The subtlety of of it all really makes me appreciate the details that much more. Even when you take a look under the hood the supercharger looks completely at home, matching the matte black around it quite nicely.
The 4.2L V8 that Audi put in these cars from the factory was no slouch with 353hp but who could argue with about 200 more? Between the AWD, insane torque, and refined chassis this beast manages to give a surprisingly meaty punch in the gut when you put your foot into it. You could argue that having that much power is a bit excessive in most regards, and I can’t really argue, but this machine wasn’t just built for the streets. It gets autocrossed regularly and I bet the upgrades add even more benefit on the track.
The suspension has been retuned in just about every way to maximize the track ability of this car. Coilovers get it a little lower, giant sway bars keep it flat, chassis bracing keeps it stiff, and adjustable control arms allow for aggressive alignment. What you don’t see in this car is far more important than its dashing good looks.
From the inside, nothing ever seems anything but calm. I won’t go into how nice the interiors are on these cars, you can run down to the dealership if you really want to get an idea. The impressive part is how it makes it seem as if nothing out of the ordinary is going on while you do a quick run through the gears. Barely hearing the exhaust or supercharger while effortlessly passing the 100mph mark is something that was previously foreign to me.
Before getting a taste of this car, I would never have lusted after an Audi. Now I want to run up to everyone I see with one, grab them by the shoulders, and tell them to start driving it like its meant to be driven! Speaking of driving, this S5 is also equipped with a 6 speed manual gearbox, and upgraded clutch and flywheel, that make it a supremely engaging experience.
The pieces fit together so nicely to make a package that is in need of zero improvement. Most cars that are running near the fastest time of the day at autocross events aren’t the same car you can take for a night downtown in style and comfort. This one is even easy enough to drive that the valet shouldn’t have a problem, although I’m not sure I’d trust them with it.
2011 Audi S5
APR Stage 3 Supercharger (TVS1320)
15″ StopTech Rotors with 6-piston Calipers
Bilstein B16 Coilovers
Eurocode Sway Bars
Eurocode Strut Braces
Eurocode Subframe Braces
SPC Adjustable Control Arms
034 Strut Mounts