AUDI FRESHENS UP ITS S4 AND S5 RANGE

Audi S5 Coupe

Audi has capped off a busy year with the release of upgraded versions of its S4 and S5 range. Like the A4 / A5 models on which they?re based the S4 / S5 range has five model variants: S4 sedan, S4 Avant wagon, S5 Sportback hatch, S5 Coupe and S5 Cabriolet.

The model upgrade has brought a boost in technology including a new infotainment system together with a number of design enhancements.

STYLING
Although their body shapes mirror the A4/5 the ?S? models are easy to distinguish with different bumpers, air inlets, side sills and rear spoiler and diffuser trim. Double, twin tailpipes and red brake calipers add the final touch to the sporting story.

The refreshed S4 sedan gets new lighting designs, new grille and significant bodywork changes.

Audi S5 Sportback

S4 Avant adds aluminium roof rails and powered tailgate and luggage cover.

The three S5 variants have 20-inch Audi Sport alloy wheels.

INTERIOR
The interior is stylish and restrained with a sense of practicality and a driver-friendly centre console and virtual cockpit. The S sport front seats are of soft Nappa leather and are heated with adjustable side support and a choice of three different massage modes.

There are matt brushed aluminium inlays and stainless-steel pedals.

ENGINE / TRANSMISSION
All S4 and S5 variants are powered by a turbo-petrol 3.0-litre V6 which can deliver 260kW of power and 500Nm of torque. Acceleration times range from zero to 100 km/h from 4.7 to 5.1 seconds.

All models come with Audi?s permanent quattro all-wheel-drive system including a self-locking centre differential and adaptive damper control. The 60/40 standard rear-wheel bias, can send up to 85 per cent of the power in either direction as needed.

The optional quattro sport rear differential provides even more dynamic driving qualities by splitting torque between the wheels of the rear axle.

Audi S5 Sportback

SAFETY
Audi S4 and S5 come with an outstanding list of active and passive safety features starting with eight airbags; autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection; active bonnet; hill hold; side assist lane; change warning; exit warning; rear cross traffic alert; parking sensors; driver inattention alert; reversing camera; pre-sense rear and tyre pressure warning.

Other features which are optional with the A4 and A5 but standard in the ‘S’ models include adaptive cruise control; active lane assist; Audi pre-sense front; collision avoidance assist; swerve assist; high beam assist; head up display, park assist and a 360-degree camera.

The S5 variants also come with matrix headlights which can optimise high-beam display to show a wide range without dazzling other road users. They are available as a $1,365  option in S4.

INFOTAINMENT
New system with touchscreen, Audi connect plus and 10-times the computing power of the previous models.

The latest 10.1-inch high-resolution MMI touchscreen features Audi?s brilliant Google Earth satellite navigation display.

Audi connect plus provides a range of convenience and safety features. These include online traffic information, weather reports, fuel prices, parking information, automatic emergency contact, online roadside assistance, remote lock and unlock, car finder and vehicle status report.

A Bang and Olufsen 3D premium sound system with 19 speakers and a 755W subwoofer is standard across the S4 / S5 range.

Bluetooth connectivity is simple and intuitive and you also get Apple Carplay and Android Auto, as well as DAB+ digital radio.

DRIVING
The words ?Sport? or letter ?S? can set off alarm bells for older and less supple drivers because they can mean access problems and cramped interior space. Fortunately, there are no such problems with the Audi S4 and S5, including the coupe and convertible S5 variants.

There is good head and legroom, even for taller backseat passengers, with the larger door openings allowing for easy entry and exit.

The instrument cluster display can be switched between a ?hockey stick? rev counter with a digital speedometer or standard twin conventional dials.

We were able to drive both the S5 Sportback and S4 sedan during the launch drive program which took us on a round trip from the south-west of Sydney down through the Southern Highlands.

The tried and proven V6 engine is engaging and responsive and blends perfectly with the eight-speed automatic transmission allowing the engine to operate close to its ideal load point.

With up to 500 Nm of torque over a wide rev range (1370 to 4500 rpm) there?s plenty of flexibility for relaxed driving.

Braking is excellent with more ability than you will probably ever need in everyday situations.

Standard adaptive dampers mean you can choose from Comfort, Auto and Dynamic settings.

Ride quality is a good balance between comfort and performance. The occasional bumps, inevitable on the rural roads that dominated the test route, were handled easily even when we came into some without warning in mid-corner.

We?ve been able to jump the queue and get into an S4 Avant as soon as it arrives in Queensland in early January and so we can expand our opinions with our usual week-long review. This will include much more urban driving than we did on the launch program.

SUMMING UP
Audi S4 and S5 models are now sale now. With five different body styles Audi S4 / S5 offers something for everyone. As is the case with many European premium marques Audi has remained with the old three-year, unlimited kilometre standard warranty.

MODEL RANGE

S4 3.0 TFSI quattro tiptronic four-sedan: $99,500
S4 Avant 3.0 TFSI quattro tiptronic five-door wagon: $102,000
S5 Sportback 3.0 TFSI quattro tiptronic five-door hatch: $106,500
S5 Coupe 3.0 TFSI quattro tiptronic two-door coupe: $106,500
S5 Cabriolet 3.0 TFSI quattro tiptronic two-door convertible: $120,000
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Audi dealer for drive-away prices.

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