When the outgoing Audi S5 debuted, it received plaudits for its discreetly aggressive yet elegant styling. It's no accident then that the all-new 2018 Audi S5 closely mirrors the proportions of the original. Some of the quiet design restraint of its predecessor is gone, replaced with creases that make the new car appear more self-conscious. Nobody said updating the styling of a well-executed model was easy.
Under the skin, a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 replaces the old car's supercharged engine, bringing power from a previous total of 333 horsepower to 345. Torque swells to 369 lb-ft, up from 325. The extra firepower shaves a half-second from its sprint to 60 mph, which now takes just 4.4 seconds. As before, all-wheel drive is standard. The only transmission choice is an eight-speed automatic, which replaces last year's seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic. Pour a little out, manual transmission fans — last year's six-speed manual gearbox has been discontinued.
The cabin has been thoroughly updated, with a new, contemporary look and additional driver assistance features. Traffic jam assist relieves the driver of some of the stress of driving in gridlock at speeds below 40 mph, while other systems can apply the brakes when imminent potential crash situations are detected. If there was any doubt about the S5's sport-luxury bent, note that a panoramic sunroof and massaging, diamond-stitched leather seats with pneumatically adjustable side bolsters are standard. Audi's Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster is available, which complements the center multimedia display. Other optional hardware includes adaptive dampers, variable-ratio steering and an electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential.