New Audi S5 Sportback leads its four-door coupe competitors in performance

By : Trevor Hofmann
  It was only a matter of time before Audi anted up with a four-door coupe in the compact luxury D-segment. After all, BMW teased all rivals into this new market segment when unveiling its 4 Series Gran Coupe at the 2014 Geneva motor show and then releasing it as a 2015 model, and Mercedes, which invented the four-door coupe concept with the release of its 2005 CLS, has been stirring up the smaller subcompact luxury class with its diminutive yet strong selling CLA since 2013. Enter the new 2018 A5 Sportback and its S5 Sportback sibling, which like the Ingolstadt, Germany-.......
                   
 
It was only a matter of time before Audi anted up with a four-door coupe in the compact luxury D-segment. After all, BMW teased
2018 Audi S5 Sportback
The new S5 Sportback provides the performance of a hyper-tech sport coupe with the practicality of a five-seat liftback. (Photo: Audi)
all rivals into this new market segment when unveiling its 4 Series Gran Coupe at the 2014 Geneva motor show and then releasing it as a 2015 model, and Mercedes, which invented the four-door coupe concept with the release of its 2005 CLS, has been stirring up the smaller subcompact luxury class with its diminutive yet strong selling CLA since 2013.

Enter the new 2018 A5 Sportback and its S5 Sportback sibling, which like the Ingolstadt, Germany-based brand's A7 and S7 Sportback models are actually five-door coupes thanks to a handy rear liftback. This is the same formula used for the 4 Series Gran Coupe with much success, the only other "premium competitor" to join the two being the upcoming 2018 Buick Regal Sportback (kudos to Buick for bravery).

Audi
2018 Audi S5 Sportback
The S5 Sportback has gorgeous lines that should prove popular with sport sedan fans. (Photo: Audi)
deviates from BMW by delivering an S-badged performance version of its new Sportback, the Bavarian automaker having chosen not to offer an M version of its 4 Series Gran Coupe. Of course, that may change now that the S5 Sportback is causing such commotion on the interweb and pulp auto publications, all the excitement for very good reason.

Audi rightfully claims "class-leading" performance for its new 2018 S5 Sportback due to 354 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque from its all-new turbocharged and direct-injected 3.0-litre TFSI V6 engine, the paddle-shift enhanced eight-speed Tiptronic automatic connected to it, and its traction enhancing Quattro all-wheel drive system that features active torque distribution at both axles, the result of all this hyper-tech mechanical engineering and lightweight aluminum and high-strength
2018 Audi S5 Sportback
There's no mistaking it for anything but an Audi no matter which way you look at it. (Photo: Audi)
steel intensive bodywork resulting in a blisteringly quick 4.8-second sprint from standstill to 100km/h and 250 km/h (155 mph) top speed.

In comparison the 2018 BMW 440i xDrive Gran Coupe reportedly accomplishes the first feat in 5.0 seconds, while its terminal velocity is capped at 240 km/h (150 mph). Still, not too shabby for a car starting off with a comparative $10,050 discount. Of course, there's always the issue of S5 Sportback handling, braking, and other performance parameters, not to mention the menu of added standard features making up for the 440i Gran Coupe's $10k lower price, but this will require more in-depth study to properly compare.

As
2018 Audi S5 Sportback
While plenty luxurious, the S5 Sportback is more specifically about performance. (Photo: Audi)
it is, Audi's sharply dressed sports model starts at $61,500 plus freight and dealer fees and features a bevy of standard features thanks to starting out in Audi's usual mid-range Progressiv trim. Therefore, the standard menu includes features like 18-inch twinned five-spoke alloys on 245/40 performance tires, a lowered S Sports suspension, auto on/off LED headlamps with auto high beams, LED DLRs, LED taillights with dynamic turn signals, quad exhaust pipes, heatable powered side mirrors with auto-dimming and memory functions, proximity-sensing keyless access with a foot-activated powered liftgate, pushbutton ignition, an electromechanical parking brake, stainless steel pedals and footrest, Audi Drive Select with Comfort, Auto, and Dynamic (sport) modes as well as a customizable Individual setting, a leather-wrapped multifunction flat-bottom sport steering wheel, a colour multi-information display,
2018 Audi S5 Sportback
A blisteringly quick 4.8-second sprint to 100km/h and a 250 km/h top speed make the S5 Sportback the best performer in its class. (Photo: Audi)
illuminated doorsills, rain-sensing wipers, tri-zone auto climate control, front and rear parking sensors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a rearview camera, MMI infotainment, navigation, satellite radio, Bluetooth phone connectivity with audio streaming, matte brushed genuine aluminum inlays, Fine Nappa leather upholstery, heatable powered front sports seats with pneumatically adjustable lumbar support, massage function, and memory, a black headliner, a HomeLink garage door opener, a panoramic glass roof, 40/20/40 split-folding rear seatbacks, Audi Pre Sense Basic (that automatically prepares the vehicle for a pre-detected impact by tightening the seatbelts as well as closing all the windows and sunroof), all the expected active and passive safety features including front knee airbags, and more.

At
2018 Audi S5 Sportback
A bevy of exclusive leathers, Alcantara psuede, and aluminum detailing set the S5 Sportback apart. (Photo: Audi)
a mere $4,100 uptick, Technik trim will likely be the S5 Sportback's most popular choice thanks to unique 19-inch rims on 255/35 performance rubber, power-folding side mirrors, ambient LED interior lighting, Audi's absolutely brilliant fully-configurable 12.3-inch high-contrast colour TFT virtual cockpit instrument cluster, a Top View 360-degree surround camera system, a powerful Bang & Olufsen audio upgrade, Audi Connect Assistance and Security services, Audi Pre Sense Rear that does everything Pre Sense Basic does albeit for rear impact preparation, and Audi Side Assist blindspot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

Options with base Progressiv trim include a $1,500 Driver Assistance Package that adds some of the Technik's features including the Top View camera, Audi Pre Sense Rear, Audi Side Assist, and an Exit warning system; while standalone items include
2018 Audi S5 Sportback
The S5 Sportback gets a flat-bottom steering wheel and Audi's fully-configurable 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster standard. (Photo: Audi)
19-inch alloys for $800, metallic and pearlescent paint finishes for $890, a regular round sport steering wheel at no charge, three no-cost interior colour schemes, Carbon Atlas inlays for $900, rear seat heaters for $350, Audi Connect services for $520, rear side-impact thorax airbags for $500, and finally some performance upgrades such as Audi dynamic steering for $1,500, Quattro with a sport differential for $1,900, and red brake calipers for $500.

Those opting for Technik trim can add all of the base model's options that aren't already standard, while exclusive extras include an S sports suspension with damping control for $1,000, and a head-up display for $1,100, while the Driver Assistance Package is a pricier $2,100 due to the addition of adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, Audi Pre Sense City and Pre Sense Front with
2018 Audi S5 Sportback
A high-luxe and high-tech experience, the S5 Sportback appears to have all bases covered. (Photo: Audi)
emergency autonomous braking for avoiding pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles, plus Active Lane Assist, Traffic Congestion Assist, and Traffic Sign Recognition.

All of these top-tier features come in a cabin finished to Audi's usual high standards, while unique to the S5 Sportback is diamond-stitched upholstery, leather and Alcantara-trimmed detailing throughout, and special three-dimensional decorative inlays. Like the A5 Sportback, this S5 variant seats five adults, or alternatively with its standard 40/20/40-split rear seatbacks lowered it fits up to 991 litres (35.0 cubic feet) of cargo, the Sportback layout ideal for skiers and Quattro AWD making this performance model a fully capable four-season conveyance.

Distinctive
2018 Audi S5 Sportback
The S5 Sportback comes standard with Audi's much-lauded MMI infotainment interface, including navigation. (Photo: Audi)
S5 Sportback exterior design details include a Platinum Grey Singleframe grille with aluminum-optic "double horizontal blade bars", aluminum-optic side mirror caps, an S model-specific rear diffuser featuring a honeycomb structure, and quad exhaust pipes with chromed tips.

Despite the S5 Sportback's impressive performance credentials it's still fuel-efficient thanks in part to standard automated stop-start technology that shuts the engine off when it would otherwise be idling, the result of this and other fuel saving technologies being a five-cycle Transport Canada fuel economy rating of just 11.5?L/100km in the city, 8.0 on the highway, and 9.9 combined.

The new 2018 S5 Sportback will arrive at Audi dealerships across Canada this spring, along with the new 2018 A5 Sportback, plus the 2018 A5 and S5 Coupe and Cabriolet models.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)
 
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