Audi S5 – 2008 First Drive: When it comes to success, the one trick pony approach doesn’t always work, especially in this day and age of multi-tasking, multi-functional, multi-faceted, and what it all probably leads to, multi-personalities. Employees are required to cover more tasks in an era of downsizing, recently-divorced moms and dads need to embrace the idea of unisex parenting as they raise kids alone, and retail corporations face a Wal-Martized climate preferred by customers who wish to cover all their family’s needs with one swipe of a worn-out debit card.
Automakers exist in the same environment. To be a mass-market player, their portfolios need to expand beyond a few models, beyond associated categories, and beyond expectations. For a company like Audi, which does battle with heavyweights such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz, that focus on success translates into recent debuts including the Q7 SUV, the smaller and more affordable A3 wagon, the oh-so-impressive R8 supercar, and finally, the luxurious and aggressive S5 coupe.
Clearly, Audi is familiar with the concept of expanding its lineup to appeal to more of us car buyers. But as a test drive in the 354-horsepower, all-wheel-drive S5 will prove, the company also understands that these new entries must be among the best in their respective class, offering unmistakable styling, quality materials, a full complement of desired convenience and safety features, and a driving character that every day seduces its pilot into taking the long way home…after contemplating a side trip to the track.
Audi is on a roll in its attempt to redefine performance luxury, all while working to lure customers away from its German brethren. Regardless of how it all eventually shakes out, buyers of the multi-capable 2008 S5 can consider themselves the benefactors of Audi’s drive for success.