Autocar drives the 2017 Audi S5 Sportback

Audi has decided to recently improve on a fan favorite by creating the second-generation Audi S5 Sportback. The original S5 Sportback was the four-door version of the regular S5 coupe and this new car is no different. However, the styling is more cohesive this time around, with the Sportback model being design alongside the coupe and not being an afterthought like it was with the first-gen. So this time, it looks far better and could even be better looking than the coupe on which it’s based.

Packing the same 3.0 liter turbocharged V6 engine as the coupe, the Audi S5 Sportback packs a healthy 349 hp and is mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox only. For those of you hoping for a manual transmission, there unfortunately won’t be one. In fact, there won’t even be a dual-clutch gearbox, but a regular torque-converter automatic because Audi’s S-Tronic dual-clutch can’t handle all of the S5’s torque. 0-60 mph is said to come in 4.7 seconds, which is properly quick and should compete well against its chief rival, the BMW 440i Gran Coupe.

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Audi S5 Sportback

All of that power is sent to all four wheels via Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system. During normal driving, the power is split 60/40 percent rear/front, but it can sent up to 70 percent of the power to the front¬†wheels and up to 85 percent to the rears if deemed necessary. An option rear sport limited-slip differential helps send power to either rear wheel, to increase handling performance.

According to Autocar, the Audi S5 Sportback isn’t the sharpest handling car ever made, but it is enjoyable to drive. Fluid is a good word to describe the S5 Sportback’s handling, with good body control and smooth transitions. However, Autocar claims that it lacks the overall handling dynamics of the BMW 440i Gran Coupe.

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It also has tremendous grip from the Quattro all-wheel drive and the optional sports differential. So it’s capable of higher cornering speeds and faster corner exit than its competitors. Also, the ride is very good, as it manages to be far more supple than the previous model but still quite sporty. In Comfort mode, it’s soft and supple but in Dynamic mode it becomes sportier and more engaging.

Audi S5 Sportback

Where the S5 Sportback wins over its other competitors is inside. The cabin is spectacular and a few steps above the competitive BMWs and Mercedes’. Its a great design and the fit and finish is superb. Plus, it has excellent technology with Audi’s new MMI system and the always-brilliant Virtual Cockpit , making it incredibly user friendly.

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Overall, the Audi S5 Sportback seems to be a superb all-around sport sedan. It has the sporty looks of a coupe, the practicality of a hatchback, the handling of a sports car and the interior of a luxury car. So there isn’t much the Audi S5 Sportback can’t do. Combine all of that capability with those good looks and you have one heckuva car.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.