PH BLOG: UNEXPECTED AUDI DELIGHTS
Audi range catch-up day reveals RS3 'actually rather good' epiphany
RS3 being one of them. Sadly that was out when I got here so I settled for an S5 Sportback instead, not having tried the supercharged V6 or, indeed, five-door coupaloon body before either.
It certainly sounds good. But, like everything on the A5, S5 and RS5 the noise seems a bit synthetic. There are a gazillion different settings for dampers, noise, throttle, steering, gearbox and even the differential. But even my 'Individual' setting with everything mechanical on Dynamic and everything chassis related on Comfort it doesn't quite gel. Worst is the steering, which is springy and light in comfort, nudges back at you with artificial 'feedback' in Auto and simply adds unwelcome weight in Dynamic. It's quick and sure footed on the slithery winter roads but that's about it.
Winter tyres mean it even slides around a bit too. It's typically nose heavy but once settled into the corner carries huge speed, the five-cylinder warble and turbo roar adding to the excitement. It's a proper B-road weapon in the Impreza/Evo mould, albeit with Audi trappings and a more stealthy, sinister look. Especially in dark grey with a layer of road grime. I like! It's not perfect - the chassis can get overwhelmed - but it's one of those cars whose flaws almost make it more interesting and fun.
So that's that. It's time to go really. But there are a couple of R8s here too, including a special edition V8 manual. Well, it'd be rude not to...