Vital Stats

SC 3.0L V6
333 HP / 325 LB-FT
6-Speed Manual
0-60 Time:
4.9 Seconds
Top Speed:
155 MPH (limited)
All-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
3,858 LBS
12.2 CU-FT
17 City / 26 HWY
It's hard to believe, but 2013 marks the sixth model year for the Audi S5 (it launched as a 2008 model). I've loved this coupe since the day it debuted, but if I'm honest, the thing that really made the S5 special at launch was its awesome 4.2-liter naturally aspirated V8. You know, the one from the old RS4. And the R8.

Audi started building S5 Cabriolet models with a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 starting in 2010, and for 2013, that super-six is the only engine available for both models. Don't get me wrong, I like the 3.0T engine. (Oh hey, Audi, please stop calling it a 3.0T. There isn't anything 'T' about it.) And I've said plenty of nice things about this engine in my reviews of the A6 and A8. But do those same sentiments carry over to the S5?

Driving Notes
  • In terms of power, there's nothing to complain about here. The 3.0T Quattro engine makes 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque – the same numbers as all other 3.0T-equipped cars. Compared to the old 4.2-liter, that's down 21 horsepower (the torque number remains unchanged), but fuel economy is improved by three miles per gallon in the city and four mpg highway.
  • Despite the reduction of 21 horses, Audi still claims a 4.9-second 0-60 time for the 2013 model – same as a 2012 S5 with the 4.2-liter.
  • That said, getting to 60 miles per hour isn't nearly as dramatic in the new car. Perhaps the best part about the S5 4.2 package was the fact that you could rev the naturally aspirated engine all the way up to 7,000 rpm, and the noise it made was awesome. There wasn't a ton of low-end power, but that engine was seriously fun to play around with, especially above 3,500 rpm.
  • I do like that with Audi Drive Select (part of the $3,250 Driver Assist package), one of the things you can adjust in the 2013 S5 is the exhaust note. In Dynamic mode there's definitely an audible grumble, and it sounds really good if you're hard on the throttle. It doesn't quite have the same roar as that old V8, but it's a lot better than what originally came on the 3.0T Cabriolet. There's a whole lot more low-end torque with this new engine, though it doesn't rev quite as high.
  • The S5 isn't quite as tantalizing with its more flaccid mill, but it's hardly impotent on the road. The Quattro all-wheel-drive formula is still top-notch, and the optional 19-inch wheels and summer tires of this test car ($800) improve grip while cornering.
  • With the car's other adjustable functions in Dynamic mode – powertrain, steering, etc. – the S5 is fantastic to drive. The steering has great weight and crisp turn-in (though it does feel a bit dead on-center), and the suspension damping isn't at all harsh but offers lots of feedback. The brakes are great, and though there's a good deal of travel to the clutch pedal, the six-speed manual transmission is still all sorts of sweet to use.
  • Inside, there's more to love. Quality and materials are top notch, and the seats are both comfortable and supportive, while looking great too.
  • Audi hasn't yet updated the A5/S5 with its new MMI Touch interface, but the navigation system in our Prestige model did have the cool Google Earth mapping display. We've played with this before, but it still has that gee-whiz coolness about it, simply because no other automaker is offering something like it.
  • Other updates for 2013 include the revised front fascia with new headlamp clusters. Audi pioneered the LED daytime running light hotness, and the new shape to the front graphic is pretty great. LED lights are fitted out back, as well. Also of note is the new Estoril Blue paint color seen in these photos. It's damn pretty, and photos don't do it justice.
  • The 2013 S5 is still a truly sweet package, but at $66,570 fully loaded, people seeking a true enthusiast machine would do better with a lighter, quicker, more powerful BMW M3. But with the beauty of Quattro on hand, handsome good looks and a high-quality interior, the S5 has a lot going for it. Now if it just had the 4.2...

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      The kind of person who buys a car like this is not hardly cross shopping a M3. Looks and the Audi brand are what's being purchased. I am sure the M3 is the best thing since Betty White discovered Spanx but it is just not the silken beauty this car is and appeals to an entirely different demographic. It's Cognac vs Beer.
      • 2 Years Ago
      No car the size of an S5 needs a V8. Today's V6 plants generate more than enough power to make the S5 a bona fide high-performance sports sedan. The reviewer's cry for old the V8 just shows he's out of touch with modern reality. Just once, I wish the reviewers would have to pay out-of-pocket for their own gas. Then we'd see how much love they have for the old thirsty V8s.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why are people comparing this to an M3? The S5's direct competitor from BMW is the 335is. The S5 starts at $51k, and the 335is at 52k. Both have around 330hp. M cars compete with RS cars, not S cars.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Amazing car, a little thirsty for my liking. I had a 3.2 S5 the driveway until the end of summer...I miss it, my wife hated me driving this car ;). I wish I could get another in 3.0 TDI.
      D E S I G N
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's magnificent! I didnt like those silly fangs at the front, disrupted the flow. It's elegant yet powerful. Good on Audi for not going bangle on their designs like everyone else. Here's to wining the lotto.
      • 2 Years Ago
      The output is not the same as the A6 as mentioned in the article, it's 333 in the S5, 310 in the A6. Also, the 3.0T is very underrated in S4/5 spec and dynos around 370 hp, whereas the old 4.2 was slightly overrated at 354 hp.
      Brian Rautio
      • 2 Years Ago
      The 4.2 is a sweet engine, but I'd much rather have the 3.0T and am glad they made the change. S5 was always a car you could drive every day, and the 3.0T does soo much better at the pump without losing any real performance. Plus, you can easily swap the pulley and tune the ECU for something like 400hp.
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Oh hey, Audi, please stop calling it a 3.0T. There isn't anything 'T' about it." To be fair, supercharging is still a type of turbocharging. The nomenclature just refers to a turbocharger that gets its power from a different source than what is typically referred to as a "turbocharger". I know this is picky and pedantic. But so was the above quote.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Firstly, the 4.2 in the S5 is not the same as that in the old RS4 or R8. It's the same as the 4.2 in the old A8. Secondly, the 3.0T ranges in output from 272-280-310-333hp depending on the application. Thirdly, calling an article a quick spin doesn't give you the right to put so little effort into your work. When you write for a living, the words you put out are a reflection of your work ethic- try harder. Lastly, while some people do prefer the sound of the old V8 over the new V6, anyone who has taken a quick spin in the car would realize how much faster and better handling the new setup is. I dare anybody to prove otherwise.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Regardless of its price and where that puts it in relation to other vehicles, regardless of where its level of performance is compared to other vehicles...I want one. That is absolutely one of the most beautiful 4-seat coupes on the market right now.
      • 2 Years Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is the best looking car in its class, bar none. A low mileage certified pre-owned S5 with the V8 can be had for a pretty good price too.
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