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Take a Road Trip with The Auto Channel in the all new 2008 Audi S5 coupe

SEE ALSO: Audi Buyers Guide

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Christian Bokich, Audi of America's Manager Product Technology & Communications
In the first episode of this 2-part series, Christian Bokich, Manager Product & Technology Communications for Audi of America, gives an overview of the new S5 coupe. In episode 2, The Auto Channel's Executive Vice President, Marc J. Rauch, rides along with Chris on the roads just outside of Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California. Chris talks about the decision to re-introduce a coupe to the Audi line-up, the vehicle's features and its driving characteristics.

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To watch Episode 2 of this two-part series CLICK HERE.

The Audi A5 and S5 successfully unites the acclaimed Audi design language and thrilling dynamic driving performance and combines generous refinement with the brand’s characteristic quality and sophistication. Its progressive design gives the new coupe an appearance that is both elegant and dynamic. With its muscular FSI engine, its newly developed high-precision running gear, and a raft of innovative, luxury-class equipment features, the Audi 5s have been crafted to be modern grand touring coupes in the finest tradition.

The Audi S5 is an extra sporty offering to complete the new series. A powerful V8 FSI engine gives the S5 a dynamic edge, which underscores its athletically accentuated design. The A5 and S5 will be available in the U.S. starting in fall 2007.

The Nuvolari quattro concept car of 2003 provided a first taste of Audi’s vision for a powerful and expertly styled coupe with a high performance potential and a progressive, sophisticated design – a bold step into the future.

Many elements from the Nuvolari have been adopted in the Audi A5 and S5. The new coupe is a clear and unique statement of sportiness and elegance. At the same time, the cars offer a driving experience characterized by exhilarating dynamic performance and excellent comfort over long distances.

With a length of 182.1 in., the Audi 5s clearly belong to a superior class of coupe. The engine’s power is transmitted by quattro all-wheel drive and a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox. The running gear developed for the A5 is entirely new and combines agile handling with the utmost driving safety.

The design

Quite simply a desirable coupe

For coupe buyers, emotion plays a major role in their choice of car; the most important reason to buy, in the case of a sporty two-door car, is the design. And on that point the Audi A5 genuinely speaks for itself – its design takes Audi’s progressive and stylish design language to new heights. The sporty silhouette, the precisely drawn lines that gracefully interplay with powerful surfaces, the expressive front face, and the equally distinctive tail end yield a wholly desirable coupe. “The Audi A5 is the most beautiful car I have ever designed,” Walter de’Silva, head of Volkswagen Group Design, says with absolute conviction.

Sportiness, elegance and dynamic performance are characteristics common to all of today’s Audi models. Naturally, the A5 is particularly rich in these elements of the Audi “genetic code,” and the design makes that immediately clear: the coupe’s proportions, for instance, are characterized by a very wide and low stance, a short front overhang and a long, flowing transition from the C pillar to the tail end.

Lines and surfaces play with light and shadows
An expression of determination characterizes the features of the front end: the face bears the hallmark of the new Audi in the form of the single-frame grille, and its right-angled headlights and large air inlets reinforce the architectural impression of breadth in the car’s face-on outline. The same holds true for the rear: the distinct horizontal lines and wide, powerfully styled tail lights, which seem to push outward, underscore the sporting intent of the A5.

The side line is dominated by the powerful trapezoidal C pillar. This not only emphasizes the car’s sporty appeal but also creates a look reminiscent of the legendary Audi Urquattro.

A second stylistic tribute to Audi’s all-wheel drive pioneer model can be found in the marked outline of the wheel arches, with their curving contours drawn into the wide shoulder line. The lines and surfaces of the Audi A5 play with light and shadows, bringing its shape to life and endowing the body with the sculpted intensity that makes Audi design unique.

Audi’s customary devotion to detail is particularly evident in the headlights: their elaborate styling perfectly reflects precision and high-tech engineering. The daytime running lights, comprising a strip of eight LEDs on each side, make the A5’s optional Bi- Xenon headlights absolutely unmistakeable.

In a league of its own

The Audi S5

The Audi S5 is a unique competitor among high-performance coupes, thanks to its combination of V8 FSI technology and quattro permanent all-wheel drive. The eightcylinder engine with its superb power delivery has worthy counterparts in the specially tuned sports suspension and high-performance brakes. Subtle, but clear, design elements inside and out serve to distinguish this coupe as a high performance athlete in a league of its own. The Audi S5 goes on sale with the launch of the Audi A5 series.

Engine and running gear

A driving experience that figures alone can’t quantify

The figures alone are fascinating enough, but they only hint at the impressive driving experience the S5 offers. The eight-cylinder engine has a rated power output of 354 hp. Its peak torque is 325 ft.-lbs., delivered at 3,500 rpm. In just 5.1 seconds the Audi S5 can sprint to 60 mph. But no figures can adequately describe the supreme free-revving character, the spontaneous response, the continuous power build-up, or the thrilling sound of this eight-cylinder engine. The V8 naturally derives its enormous power potential from the innovative FSI direct injection technology with high compression and optimum fuel mixture formation.

The six-speed manual gearbox with its precision gear lever and short throw action makes every gear change a pleasure. The quattro permanent all-wheel drive provides perfect traction with variable torque distribution from its basic setting of 40 percent to the front and 60 percent to the rear axle. Within a fraction of a second, the dynamic drivetrain system adapts to current driving conditions and constantly delivers the ideal distribution of drive torque.

The Audi S5’s sports suspension is tuned to enhance the coupe’s performance with particularly dynamic handling. The special high-performance brakes, recognizable by their black painted brake calipers, always ensure precise deceleration. Finally, the ESP electronic stabilization program can be deactivated in two stages whenever the driver wants to exploit the full potential of the Audi S5 on a suitable stretch of road.