Looking for something a bit more exciting than my previous daily, the MK5 GTI, my criteria included the following:
– 0-60 in around 5 seconds
– sub £15k
– comfortable for 3 people including a decent boot
– manual gearbox
– V8 – never had one!
– nice to have – 4wd, Bose (or similar), heated seats, modern interior including navigation
With the above filtered on in the likes of Pistonheads, Autotrader and ebay, it was really just the Audi S5 that met my criteria.
Interestingly, the S5 with black exterior and black leather interior reminded me very much of my first performance car – the Volkswagen Corrado VR6. There is a similar lazy, muscle car feel to it, however still quite refined and chuckable on the country roads.
I’m not sure if my S5 is putting out the quoted 350 bhp and from having read numerous reviews of Audi FSI V8 engines suffering with coking/carbon build up, this needs a trip to the intake cleaners.
It’s interesting just how different this S5 is to the Audi S4 even though the dash, driving position and view from the seat are so similar including the aluminium wing mirrors.
The S4 is so much more eager in any situation, sharper even with the electric steering and somehow feels lighter on its feet. The S5 is worth a 1/3 of what the S4 is now, so its not a completely fair comparison with its 8 year different on performance and technology. What I prefer in the S5 is the sound of the V8, the manual gearbox for my back road Surrey/Hampshire commute and the looks. Walter de Silva is the Italian lead designer for the Audi A5 and has declared it his most beautiful creation.
There you have it, an Italian designed, 4.2 V8, manual coupe for under £15k, what’s not to like.