But while Audi’s RS halo cars have typically been more highly strung and demanding to drive than their S-badged inferiors, not to mention more expensive and shorter-lived in production, it’s for the S5 to make its speed more accessible in everyday, real-world driving.
And that, when you look at our test data, is exactly what the S5 does. Despite giving up a fair bit of peak power to its rivals, the Audi matches the 0-60mph acceleration of both the Lexus RC F we tested and the Alpina B3, at least to within a couple of tenths of a second.
The advantage of four driven wheels is in play there, of course, but from 30-70mph through the gears the S5 is still within about half a second of those competitors. Second-fiddle sports coupé or not, it packs a punch.
However, Audi’s graphical representation of the turbocharged V6’s broad plateau of peak torque doesn’t quite tally with your perception of the combustive clout from on board.