There is one major difference between entry-level AMG models by Mercedes-Benz (A 35, C-Class Coupé and GLC Coupé) and the new Audi S5 Sportback—the latter turns heads wherever you take it. No offence against AMG (which appear more engaging to drive), but these particular AMG models look a bit too similar to their ‘regular’ cousins. Not the S5 Sportback—it looks like a sports car meets a sedan meets a coupé; we drive it. Powered by a 3.0-litre, TFSI petrol engine (354 horsepower; 500 Nm of torque), the S5 Sportback is fast, with 0-100 km/h coming in just 4.8 seconds. But unlike AMG models, which produce a noticeable (and exhilarating) cracks-and-pops sound, the S5 Sportback accelerates without much drama (even though it’s got a unique exhaust note).
Traction, thanks to the all-wheel quattro drive system, is superb, and even on sharp turns and on good tarmac the S5 Sportback doesn’t lose grip; however, on loose gravel the car appears to glide. Suspension is stiff (even in the Comfort mode), and while driving on broken roads a lot of tyre noise, and vibrations, enter the cabin. Inside the cabin the S5 Sportback doesn’t feel as premium as AMG cars or even M Series models by BMW. In the S5 Sportback the central touchscreen is static (it doesn’t retract inside the dashboard) and the inside door handles look like these are from Volkswagen Vento!
The cabin is roomy enough for four adults—the rear sloping roof doesn’t eat much into headroom—and the boot space is huge. Barring its exceptional design and driving dynamics, there is nothing truly remarkable about this sporty Audi—just that it joins the growing tribe of supercars costing under Rs 1 crore in India. These are BMW 3 Series M340i (Rs 62.9 lakh) and BMW M2 Competition (Rs 85 lakh); Mercedes-AMG A 35 (Rs 56.24 lakh), Mercedes-AMG C-Class Coupé (Rs 80.17 lakh) and Mercedes-AMG GLC Coupé (Rs 81.54 lakh); and now the Audi S5 Sportback (Rs 79.06 lakh).
(Prices are ex-showroom)
Engine: 3.0-litre petrol
Power: 354 hp
Torque: 500 Nm
0-100 km/h: 4.8 seconds
Price: Rs 79.06 lakh
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