6-speed manual Audi A5s

Audi A5s IS A CAR you never tire of looking at. The design is typical Audi, simple until you look closer and notice the details that result in such a classic yet contemporary appearance.

Just one example — the curve that flows completely around the A5 from the top of the Audi family grill where it forms the leading edge of the hood, around the front fenders, along the doors and rear fenders and unto the rear where it forms the trailing edge of the trunk.

Inside, it is the same — simple, yet exquisite. Understated elegance. Style is expected from Audi and the A5 does not disappoint.

We’ve reported here previously on the hot-rodded S5 cabrio version but let’s take a refresher course. The A5 was developed on its own unique platform, since shared with the A4 and Q5. It is available in base and premium trim levels, a choice of four- or six-cylinder motivation.

The four-cylinder can be had with automatic or manual transmission and the V6 with the auto only. In either case they house six gears. And in all cases Audi‘s justly-famous Quattro full-time AWD system is standard equipment.

The surprise is that the four-cylinder outshines the V6, making the lower-priced versions more attractive than those higher on the price range — at least for enthusiasts. There is nothing wrong with the six. It is a typically smooth and well-sorted Audi engine with 265 horsepower and the ability to waft this car along with complete ease. If your driving style rarely finds you exploring the upper reaches of the rev band this is the car for you.

However, if you are the type that takes the car out for a drive, simply to enjoy that experience, if you have a favourite piece of less-travelled twisty road then the four is your choice. I‘m talking about torque.

The turbo-charged and intercooled four-cylinder in the base A5 has 54 fewer horsepower than the V6 but it has 258 lb. ft. of torque — 15 more than the six. Torque is what pushes you back into the seat during acceleration, a real, measured number. Horsepower is the result of a calculation based on the measured amount of torque.