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Engine options, speed, acceleration and refinement

As in any Audi, the A5’s engine range is extensive. The entry-level model for all A5s is a four-cylinder petrol 1.8 TFSI with 168bhp. Other petrol motors include a 211bhp 2.0 TFSI and a 268bhp supercharged 3.0 TFSI V6. S5 models get a 328bhp supercharged 3.0-litre V6.

The 175bhp 2.0 TDI is the entry-level diesel. Two V6 engines complete the A5’s diesel line-up; a 3.0 TDI is available with either 201bhp or 242bhp.

The 3.0 TDI feels particularly well suited to the car, delivering appropriately effortless performance and impressive refinement

Despite being the entry-level option, the 1.8 TFSI isn’t found wanting in any department; the 236lb ft of torque means there’s impressive low-end shove for a petrol unit and a 0-62mph sprint of 7.9sec means acceleration is perfectly adequate for most real-world driving situations.

The 2.0 TFSI is best avoided if specced with the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and quattro all-wheel drive. Right from the off the (somewhat droning) engine never felt anything like delivering the promised punch at lower revs, though when properly provoked for an overtaking manoeuvre it did come alive.

A supercharged six is an esoteric engine in this type of car but it’s easily one of the best things about the S5, especially when paired to the DSG ’box. It’s lusty and linear right up to the red line and provides explosive overtaking potential from pretty much any speed. No, it doesn’t sound quite as spirited as the V8 that used to power the S-badged Audis. But it’s hardly shy and retiring at full chat, either, and there are clear fuel economy and emissions advantages.

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The base common-rail 175bhp 2.0 TDI unit’s spread of usable power is relatively wide, too. And although it’s the least powerful version in the range, it strolls along at a reasonable gait and is still responsive at motorway speeds.

The pair of 3.0 TDI engines feel particularly well suited to the car, delivering appropriately effortless performance and impressive refinement.