Launched 10 years ago, the Audi A5 proved to be the sort of rampant success about which car makers daydream: easy to understand and with minimal investment requirement for maximum return.
When the A4-derived coupé was confirmed in 2006, Ingolstadt hadn’t built a two-door model since the 80-based Coupé of a decade earlier.
But with the saloon already a recognisable feature on our roads, the concept hardly needed explaining – nor did its potential as a status symbol.
Unsurprisingly, a quattro-only S-badged version was conceived from the outset. The original S5 was introduced with a detuned version of the R8’s 4.2-litre V8 and could even be bought with a manual gearbox.
That thirsty, high-revving engine was retired in the car’s first facelift in 2013 and replaced with the 3.0-litre supercharged V6 that had already featured in the convertible version.
Now, as part of the launch of the second-generation A5, the S5 receives a much more extensive revision. Like the cooking models, it has grown larger thanks to a new platform, has been completely modernised inside and is furnished with an all-new V6, which finally swaps the supercharger out for the efficiency gains of a turbocharger.
No drastic changes, then. There’s a fresh look, but its subtlety speaks to the prosperousness of this car’s predecessor.
But while it’s possible that little needed fixing in buyers’ eyes, our wish list is longer: the S5, while handsome, fast and well appointed, wasn’t a serious dynamic rival to the BMW 4 Series. There’s room for that to change.