Audi S5 Sportback quattro review

Five-door version of the Audi S5 quattro coupe gets a supercharged V6 engine

Evo rating
Price
from £40,125
  • Image, build quality, ability
  • Not as exciting as it should be

Curious car this. It’s a five-door coupe with four-wheel drive and 328bhp. It’s not the ‘milestone in car design’ Audi would have you believe (remember the Rover SD1 or Citroën CX?), but it’s a tidy, stylish and practical shape.

And it gets curiouser. Unlike the two-door S5 Coupe, a supercharged 3-litre V6 powers the Sportback, not a naturally aspirated 4.2-litre V8. The V6 offers marginally improved fuel efficiency, but nothing like the character and soundtrack. That said, with 324lb ft (the same as the V8) there’s strong performance in all seven gears, while the twin-clutch S-tronic gearbox is fast and effective, if over-eager to reach seventh gear – and optimum fuel efficiency – when in auto mode.

With 19-inch wheels and ‘sport’ suspension coming as standard, the ride is firm and wheel travel a little abrupt over compressions, but with help from the typically indomitable quattro drivetrain (there’s also the option of a torque-biasing ‘Sport differential’) fast progress is possible with very little effort from the driver.

And here’s the rub. The Sportback is an appealing car, if not an original concept. It’s beautifully made, fast and spacious. It’s also handsome and dripping with road presence. But does it engage with the driver? No. Does it reveal any dynamic secrets the more you drive it? No. Curious but unappealing, if you rate driver involvement over style that is.

Specifications

EngineV6, 2995cc, supercharger
Max power328bhp @ 5500-7000rpm
Max torque324lb ft @ 2900-5300rpm
0-605.4sec (claimed)
Top speed155mph (limited)

Most Popular

Renault 5 set to relaunch as an EV – Alpine eyeing hot hatch variant
Electric Renault 5 concept
Renault 5

Renault 5 set to relaunch as an EV – Alpine eyeing hot hatch variant

A new Renault 5 has been confirmed as part of the company’s future strategy presented by CEO Luca de Meo, with an Alpine hot hatch variant also on its…
14 Jan 2021
Porsche Boxster 25 Years revealed – limited edition inspired by original Boxster concept
Porsche Boxster 25 - rear
Porsche Boxster

Porsche Boxster 25 Years revealed – limited edition inspired by original Boxster concept

It’s been 25 years since the Boxster first hit the road in 1996, so Porsche has revealed a limited edition to celebrate
12 Jan 2021
UK-based tuner Litchfield announces Toyota GR Yaris tuning programme
Litchfield GR Yaris test
Toyota

UK-based tuner Litchfield announces Toyota GR Yaris tuning programme

One of our favourite tuners is getting its hands on one of our favourite new cars
12 Jan 2021