Performance and Engagement

It’s how you measure your success as a builder; and what you expect of your vehicle

By Beverly & Steve Smirnis

We had the pleasure of putting an Audi S5 four-door Sportback to the test on a trip to Colorado.   S5 is the high-performance variant of the A5.  All-wheel drive is standard, as is an eight-speed automatic transmission.  Freshly redesigned, the S5 lines up against the “four-door coupes” including the BMW 4 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

Powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 (349 horsepower, 369 pound-feet of torque) it delivered everything one would expect of a German automaker and more. The all-wheel drive system, delivering power to specific wheels for sure-footed handling, made it a blast to drive on twisty mountain roads, where it showed off on the sharp turns.  Yet, unlike a vehicle built purely for sports driving, the S5 also delivered on being comfortable and well-mannered on the streets of Aspen and Vail.  Inside, the cabin is aptly described as “understated luxury” with high quality materials and a smart overall layout.  The infotainment system keeps the need for buttons to a minimum for a clean, modern design.  Quilted-diamond stitching on the sports seats is a nice touch.

The range-topping Prestige trim included the Audi virtual cockpit with MMI touch navigation and full color head-up display, interior LED lighting plus package, top view camera system, and a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system with 3D sound. It also sported adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist.  Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard equipment on all S5 models.  The upper level trim also makes the S5 eligible for the S Sport package with sport-tuned adaptive suspension and an upgraded rear differential.

Audi has also released all-new 2020 S6 and S7 Sportback models with twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6 TFSI engines delivering 444 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque.  The 2020 S-models feature a 48V electric compressor that enables low-end torque in addition to instant performance.

Beverly & Steve Smirnis are members of the Texas Auto Writers Association and the Texas Motor Press Association, reviewing vehicles and casting their votes at driving events where the Truck of Texas, Car of Texas and Off-Road Truck of Texas are some of the titles awarded. Follow their automotive blog on