The A5 and S5 are closely related, but the performance-focused S5 model offers improved handling, a sportier look and a powerful V8. The A5 is offered in 2.0 TFSI versions, which now come with a 211-horsepower, 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, and 3.2 FSI versions, which get a 265-horsepower, 3.2L V6. S5 coupes get a 354-horsepower, 4.2-liter V8, while S5 Cabriolets have a 333-horsepower, 3.0LTFSI V6.
Most coupe models are offered with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic, but 3.2 FSI models come only with the automatic and A5 Cabriolet models are only offered with the 2.0 TFSI engine and a continuously variable (CVT) automatic. S5 Cabriolet models come with a new 7-speed 'S-tronic' dual-clutch automatic that can shift faster and more seamlessly. Models with the automatic include Tiptronic manual controls to command shifts in hilly terrain or if needed for passing.
The A5 drives and rides like a comfortable grand-touring coupe, yet has a responsive enough feel to satisfy most drivers who would have rather had a sports car. With the standard 2.0L TFSI engine, the A5 performs respectably yet gets EPA ratings of 22 mpg city, 30 mpg highway. At the top of the line, the S5 coupe's thrumming V8 provides a completely different kind of experience, driving like a quiet, exceptionally refined version of a muscle car. Overall, the S5 steers like a smaller vehicle yet cruises in serene comfort.
Aiding handling is an optional Sport Rear Differential, which controls torque distribution among the rear wheels and helps achieve more balanced dynamics; the system works together with the standard electronic stability control system. Four-wheel disc brakes with Brake Assist are also standard, as is a vehicle-speed-assisted Servotronic steering system.
Audi Drive Select, available in Prestige models, permits the selection of individual performance and handling profiles, controlling how the throttle and transmission respond and suspension firmness.
A5 and S5 Cabriolet models come with a power soft top that can retract in just 15 seconds. By using a soft top, Audi was able to make more trunk space available; and by using a 3-layer top and glass rear window plus additional insulation, the interior remains quite quiet. Cabriolet models get seat-mounted side head/chest bags, knee airbags, and active roll bars located behind the seats. Also of note is that front occupants will stay comfortable even in chilly weather with the top down thanks to head-level heating that's built into the seats.
The 2010 Audi A5 and S5 now come in Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige trims. Premium models include a panoramic sunroof, heater mirrors and washer nozzles, leather upholstery, automatic climate control and cruise control, while Premium Plus models get a host of conveniences including xenon headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, LED running lamps, tri-zone climate control, 6-step heated seats, iPod integration, Bluetooth hands-free calling and a HomeLink garage-door opener. Prestige models upgrade to memory power seat and mirror functions, an advanced key system for keyless entry and ignition, 505-watt Bang & Olufsen audio and voice-control navigation with Audi's Multi Media Interface (MMI).
Top options include a Navigation Plus package, on Premium Plus models, which adds MMI, voice controls, backup sensors, a rearview camera, and an in-dash nav system. On several of the models, a Sport Package brings unique 19-inch wheels with summer performance tires, plus a sport suspension and steering-wheel paddle-shifters.
For 2010, the A5 gets a new standard 4-cylinder engine that costs $4,700 less than the previously most affordable A5 3.2 quattro, and the 3.2 is no longer offered with a manual transmission. The third generation of Audi's multi-media interface (MMI) is also installed in the A5 family for 2010, including 3D map topography and Sirius traffic.
The model lines for the A5 and S5 are expanded in 2010 with the introduction of 4-seat Cabriolet models for both, and the adoption of Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige trims. Premium and Premium Plus models get new LED taillights.