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Greetings all,

I'm driving an Audi S5 this week and can I tell you something? This beeotch is just sooooo damn sexy :drool:. I've been an Audi guy since to 80s, but nothing in their lineup these past few years, save for the the R8, has really spoken to me from a design standpoint. Perhaps the RS4, but as good as that thing is, the lack of forced induction up at my mile-high altitude leaves a little to be desired. And by a little, I mean a lot (of course, the first time I drove one I very foolishly got right out of a Bentley Continental and jumped into the RS4. No matter what you're packing, chances are it won't compare terribly favorably with 550hp worth of 6.0 liter twin-turbocharged 12 cylinder).

Now, I'm the first to admit that as an automotive journalist I am completely spoiled (a viewer accused me of being arrogant. The nerve!) and that my expectations are... well, quite frankly... stupid. Cars that have impressed me with their HP up here include the likes of AMG 55s, Bentley Continentals, Vettes, S54 / X35i BMWs, 911 turbos (Cayenne Turbo too for that matter), and a handful of others.

With all of this as backdrop, I find the mid-range and top end of the 354hp 4.2l V8 of the S5 to be "pretty good," even very good, and it sounds pretty terrific too, even with stock pipes. However (and keep the ~18% power loss at my altitude in mind), it does not provide the type of "hand of god" thrust that plants you into your seat that I've become accustomed to with forced induction motors and that I, in general, lust after. Still though, this car is verrrry good. I just love the way it looks (in some ways more so than the R8). The front grill is, well, more... *FRONT GRILL!* than anything. It is quite reminisent of Bentley / 300C boldness. The LED DRLs are hott too. As a matter of fact, you can switch them off via the MMI. They are the only DRLs that I would choose to leave on. The interior is essentially beyond reproach as nobody does interiors (at least mass-produced ones) from a design, fit, finish, and quality of materials standpoint like Audi does. Although, I will say that the passenger side of the dash is a bit stark, but I'm being pretty nit-picky here. Also, I'm not a huge fan of the wheels, but I'm expecting the RS versions to do the trick.

In terms of the drive, I won't have the opportunity to attack the track with it, but the chassis balance felt pretty good during a 50 mile mountain road drive yesterday. Admittedly though, given road conditions and snow tires, I did not test the limits of adhesion or the asymmetiric center-diff torque split.

Ok, so what?

Here's what, besides the Elise track-toy, I don't own a car. More specifically, thanks to the constant stream of press / test vehicles (1 - 2 per week), I don't have a need to spend my own money on a car. In many ways, save for the units of pleasure I'd derive from owning my own SL55 or 911 turbo, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for me to cut my own check. So, when I say that when the RS5 becomes available I will buy a pre-owned one (provided it comes with a ~500hp forced induction motor), well, that's saying something. That's some pretty good New Relationship Energy I have going with this S5, especially since I've only had it for two days.

I think I could be VERY happy with an RS5 and an Exige S 240, but that's just me. Of course, I'd like to round out my non-Powerball Lotto winning dream garage with a '01 BMW 740iL, TJ Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (2 Door Unlimited / LWB), and an '89 911 Turbo-look cabrio. Throw the wife's V70R in the mix and I think I'll have all of my bases covered. Six cars for two people, that's not silly. Is it?

Anyway, here are some S5 pics for you. I probably wouldn't do the red interior myself, but IMO it looks pretty sick with the Meteor Grey of my tester...
 

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great car

I tracked a rs 8 cyclinder 4 door and very impressed, this car seem like an incredible value, fast, comfy, handles good, quality good. Nice whip. Only issue I had was the clutch was very light feeling. The bakes on the other hand had great feel and felt like a boat anchor had been tossed out the passanger side window. A real eyeball popper.:shift:
 
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