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Audi S5 MY2014 (8.5T): 1000 miles review

Discussion in 'A5/S5/RS5 Forum' started by warren_S5, Jun 19, 2014.

  1. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Jun 19, 2014]
    Audi S5 – 1000 mile review

    I thought I’d pen down a first impressions review of the S5 and its talents after finally getting some decent miles under its belt across the best of France’s D roads (equivalent of our A roads) and E roads (motorways).

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    It’s hard not to compare and contrast with the S3 8P as it’s where I spent the last 8 years, but I thought it may also be useful as it seems a regular upgrade path for some Audi aficionados! If you’ve got plenty of time on your hands, sit back with a Peppermint and Liquorish Tea Pig infusion (or whatever tickles your whats-it-doodahs) and absorb the outpourings of a rambling idiot…



    1 - Performance (3.5/5)

    I’d only really been running the S5 in up until now, but given I’ve had the chance to push things a little harder towards the end of the run in period I can now give a clearer perspective of how the S5 measures up.

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    I usually run the car in ‘Individual’ mode (see image above), but occasionally switch to ‘efficiency’ or ‘comfort’ on long motorway drags. However whilst in France I managed to dig out a good D road (D307), flicked to 'Dynamic' with the sole aim of testing the cars overtaking capability. Now before I give my verdict I’ll lead with this statement. The S5 3.0V6T is a quick car, that’s not in question here. But most of that available power seems to be available launching from standstill or lower speeds (e.g. 30+mph) up to illegal territory.

    However for me whilst this is a thrill it’s not particularly where I need it most. For instance when I’m on a D road and I decide I want to overtake there is a brief period where to overtake may take you briefly into ‘illegal’ speed territory as you commit the passing manoeuver (e.g. to limit your time exposed to oncoming traffic). This is an area where I found the S5 lacking against my old S3. You get a good dose of visceral noise as you drop a cog or two, but the shove in the back is just not there accompany the symphony as the speedo needle heads upward at a so-so rate. It's strange as when the car launches from standstill it seems to carry the momentum up to these higher speeds quite well. However when you're at speed and 'in higher gear' it seems less able to build up the momentum, but maybe it just needs more running in! Quite disappointing given the extra cubic capacity and the fact the supercharger is well within its operating limits (e.g. not topping out on revs). It’s the first reason I’ll be looking to modify as it cannot complete an overtaking manoeuver at anything like the rate of the spritely S3 (albeit modified to the same power figures but with 200kgs less). So in terms of overall performance I’m not sure whether a remap or a full pulley remap will be the best remedy to resolve the lack of top end power on tap. I don’t need much (if any) extra power off the line, so I’ll be speaking to the tuners imminently to work out the best solution.

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    Despite the slight lack of top end power the engine is truly a peach of a powerplant. It revs freely, makes a pretty decent sound, and when compared visually to the S3’s 2.0T is a de facto art installation under the bonnet. A few carefully chosen spangly aftermarket caps in the right place have given the under-bonnet a real premium feel, and I love the bay so much that I even clean it up with quick detailer with every other wash of the car! I know to some the 4.2 V8 was the Mac Daddy lump to patrner to this chassis, but I have to say the charged V6 is just as compelling as a complete ownership proposition if you can get beyond the sound. I’d argue it offers better weight distribution characteristics and fuel economy, more torque, more linear and consistent power delivery, and once you lose some of the air intake resonators and equally interesting if different sound can be extracted from the charger. If you really push the limits you can now hit 35mpg on a 56mph run in efficiency mode (not suggesting you do this as life’s too short), but even after a bit of a kicking round France we still returned 24.6mpg (UK Imperial) which was more than expected (maybe I wasn’t trying hard enough!). I always found the V8 N/A lump in the S5 to be slightly too linear and whilst adequately quick it had the tendency to feel slightly lazy against the RS V8. The 3.0V6T lump offers much more tuning potential and growth opportunity in a BHP/£ ratio (130+bhp increases for around £2k, whereas similar increases on the 4.2 V8 would cost in excess of £10k).

    S3 vs S5 engine bay

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    So onto the slightly controversially enforced DSG / S-Tronic system. There is a part of me that has warmed to its charms in respect of around town driving and the effortlessness of launches. It’s a very accomplished system, but unlike the gushing reviews it gets from the fanboys it’s far from a faultless system. I still don’t like parking with it as it’s clumsy and lacks the precision that can be applied with a manual. Reversing uphill is frankly a bit of a f*****g joke as it feels like you have to rev it way too hard to get a response from it. In respect of pure driver involvement…… it’s OK, but personally I don’t think it’s a match for a direct mechanical short shift manual on a good driving road from a purely ‘driving sensations’ led perspective. It’s not substandard, it’s hugely proficient if a touch sterile for me. Call me a dinosaur all you want, but the majority of hypercars aren’t paid for in cash by racing car drivers (they get them for free), so they’re ‘purchased by people with money (e.g. bloated middle aged bureaucrats with limited driving skills). The S-Tronic style boxes allow the gearboxes to be afforded more mechanical sympathy (increasing reliability) and ensure the driving process is easier (e.g. less bureaucrat obituaries linked to Audi’s corporate social responsibility conscience). If you think S-Tronic is the future you’re right, but it’s not the Utopia it’s professed to be by people who prefer visceral over functional and efficient. I'd argue half the people who champion DSG probably haven't driven a good manual box with a well set up short shift.

    [​IMG]



    2 - Ride & Handling (4/5)

    After eight years in a lowered S3, it would always be inevitable I’d find the S5 a very sumptuous and comfortable car. The super sport seats are a thing of beauty, and it’s really worth persevering with the electric adjustments to find the Utopia seating position as it is out there lurking behind a couple of button presses. A long ride across Europe in the S3 left you feeling like you’d spent the afternoon in a locked cage being savaged by a sloth of angry bears, whereas you got out the S5 feeling like you’d spent the afternoon stretched out on a chaise longue being massaged and fed peeled grapes by a harem of attractive carers. No sense of fatigue after any amount of miles (coming from a man who suffers with sciatica and the affliction of middle agedness).

    Even running 19” rubber in dynamic mode you rarely get the sense that the car can ever be unsettled. The compliance of the chassis is impressive given the excessive corner weights of the OEM alloys on this car (especially as I’ve decided to perch them further out on spacers). Driving across the cobbles in the walled city of St Malo the interior cabin vibration was marginal, and I found the adaptive damping system to really help improve the ride over these sorts of surfaces when set to ‘comfort’ in the ADS (Audi Drive Select). I’d not really been expecting much from the adaptive dampers, but they play a major role in improving the body control on roads with plenty of switchbacks (like the D307). I found in comfort mode the car was rolling far too much between corner apexes to be able to maintain a consistently high speed, whereas a flick of the switch into dynamic and the car became far more stable without becoming crashy or lacking in composure.

    One area where I find the S5 to significantly outperform the S3 (8P) is ride compliance. The S3 with its lighter weight, shorter wheelbase and overly pressured dampers is skittish over even the most marginally uneven or rough surfaces. This led to the traction systems cutting in way too vigorously which can destabilise an already unsettled car for that split second until calm is restored. The S5 is far harder to unsettle and you have to be pushing stupid speeds before the car will give up gripping and resorts to electronic intervention / interference. The Torsen 4wd system with its 60R/40F split of power must help stability, as will the optional sport diff and better weight distribution. This does wonders to compensate for the 200kgs of additional heft you are carrying about. For a large car its ability to keep on gripping is disarming, and the car can at times feel a lot lighter than the 1675kg dry kerb weight. A truly astonish feat by Audi to pull this off.

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    The Quattro system is yet again exemplary as it was on the Haldex Gen 4 platform on the S3. It’s so accomplished on the S5 (with the sport diff) that much of the understeer you get on the S3 is largely eradicated so you can really push hard into those long sweeping motorway access roads that loop round 270 degrees. You only really notice its full abilities when you exceed your own talents and it steps in and quietly puts a cosseting arm round you and restore balance to the force.

    The steering has garnered various flavours of criticism since it’s become electronically servo assisted. The latest version with the software update doesn’t have any of the issues of abnormal weighting when passing beyond the 12 o’clock position reported by some so I can only assume the gremlins have been fixed by software updates in the recent months.

    The weakest point of the whole handling set up for me was the brakes which can often feel like they’re just about at the limits of what they’re carrying. Whilst they’re OK for day to day duties once you start pressing on there is that occasional sense you could do with an extra piston on each front caliper, but again it’s easy to drive round this issue by braking earlier and moderating your speed into technical sections of road. I do fancy something a bit tastier up front at some point as there is a lot of space lurking behind those wheels, but a pad change will be the first port of call before a full brake system upgrade which may come with unwanted squeal!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    3 - Refinement (4.5)

    Despite 7 years of active service the 8T has faired particularly well in terms of refinement in line with its competitors. Its interior finish and materials are still by today’s standards first class, and the ergonomics are also superb so no complaints there. Everything that falls to hand (with the exception of the ADI / TCS / Parking switches) feels tactile, well-engineered and durable, and delivers on the promises of a car wearing this kind of price tag. It still punches well above it’s weight in line with newer competition (BMW 4’er and Merc C Coupe), so it’s testament to Audi’s ability to craft a quality design with longevity.

    As this is an impartial review, I’m going to be brutal where I feel it’s due as I do feel there have been some slight oversights given the 8.5T midlife refresh. I’ll bullet point a few of my foibles:

    • The cab gets interior LED lights, so why does the coupe not get these as the halogen bulbs look like something out of a 1930’s gentleman’s club? (you get LED number plate and footwell lights so they were half way there)
    • Why no seat belt adjustment for front passengers. For my wife (at 5ft 4” this means the seatbelt cuts into her neck). A big oversight on a car this modern
    • The ADS switch is rubbish, for something that offers so much it should be better designed and also have a replicated ‘quick switch’ on the blanking switch on the left hand side of the steering wheel
    • The steering column should have been electrically adjustable and then tied into the comfort memory system for added convenience, and could do with a tiny bit of extra reach adjustment.
    • Clocks only reach 160mph, a minor niggle but S clocks should always read a minimum of 180+!
    • Pedals feel very slightly too offset for my liking, in a manual with a clutch pedal I could imagine it would be worse still
    • The glovebox could do with a shelf in it


    In case you’ve not read Glenn’s (SnakePilskins) numerous postings(!) about the super sport seats, they really are the real deal! Clad in two tone leather you’re never quite sure whether to sit there and lick and caress them or just sit on them as the makers intended as they’re some exceptionally handsome arse plinths. They cosset you superbly during spirited driving without making you feel quite as pinned as an RS bucket. My wife and I are food tourists (e.g. we travel to places to sample their local foods and regional delicacies whilst on holiday), and yet the seats are still bang on the money for people who fall into the category of ‘shapely’ or ‘generous’ rather than ‘gazelle-like’ or ‘athletic’. Once your chest reaches 48” (mine, not the wifes!) you’re realistically too wide for an RS bucket, yet the S cars S-S-S’s give you that extra bit of girth in the wings to sit comfortably for extended periods.

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    I’m really pleased the black edition model finally gets the flat bottomed steering wheel treatment as it’s been long overdue in the S5 cabin (nearly 6 years behind the S3 8P). As I’ve mentioned above, the only real omission on the wheel is the ‘custom button’ which is just a blanking plate on the S5 (should have been a ADS toggle switch). The new larger S-Tronic paddles fall much better under the fingers than those of yesteryear whilst turning the wheel.

    [​IMG]

    I can heartily recommend the heated seats, but the electric memory for anyone sharing a car is a god send. Finding seat position Utopia is hard enough, but the thought of having it tampered with when the missus decides to go on a joy ride is too much to bear, so if you share your car with anyone else DO consider memory seat.

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    The 3G MMI is a bit of a mixed bag. It’s a touch slow to initialise from start up, and I’m disappointed that Audi saw fit not to engage functions like ambient footwell lighting or alarm chirps from within the cars set up menu meaning you have to take the convoluted route of making VCDS and deep menu changes within the MMI system. These are then vulnerable to dealer software updates. The new 7 digit postcode search is a blessing after too many years of 5 digit, but it’s not the quickest system on the market, and the menus can be a touch cumbersome to navigate at times (given there are so many sub menus buried within the 4 outer buttons). I’d rather ALL car adjustments were under a single main set up menu, and the new A3 8V has shown that Audi are finally getting the MMI system menus rationalised so maybe we have that to look forward to in future iterations of the product.

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    Other than that there is a great mix of power supplies, connectivity (assuming you have MMI high / AMI etc.), and with the latest variants offering connectivity for USB cables which deliver artwork on screen, Bluetooth music streaming and in car wi-fi you feel like Audi have finally drifted (even if by accident) firmly into the 21st century. The SIM card provides very good traffic updates, and can do the full Google mapping if you’ve got data allowance to burn, but be aware that if you allow your phones to connect to in car wi-fi it will always default to it when in range and won’t use your phones 3G/4G allowance. We’ve unintentionally caned a quarter of a gig without using Google Nav once in a month and that’s with an afternoon sat at Portsmouth ferry harbour, so keep this in mind.

    [​IMG]

    However it’s not all great news as the B&O system can be a bit hit or miss, and required very particular set up to ensure you get the best sound from it. Personally I find it far from audiophile; the bass is lazy and clumsy, the treble/high mids in the front is overly prominent and means a disconnect from the bass driver in the footwell is very apparent. However it’s perfectly acceptable for day to day listening, but I remain unconvinced it’s real B&O as it doesn't have the traditional B&O sound (I think the drivers are badged under licence). The A6/7/8 systems cost nearly 10 times as much which speaks volumes, but I’d not have paid those kind of sums for manufacturer supplied car audio so I’ll stick with where I’m at (I may try a bit of Dynamat in the boot at some point to tighten the bass). I’ve done all I can in terms of using Apple Lossless files from a hard drive (limiting DA conversions), and SD cards, so I have to assume it’s largely as good as it gets. To be honest when playing DVD's it has a nice spacious sound (if a little rangey volume-wise), so it works well where the pure sound quality is less important.

    [​IMG]

    On the theme of acoustics I have to say I’ve learned to accept the often maligned ‘Soundaktor’ system which pipes artificial noise into the otherwise whisper quiet cabin. It adds a drama that I can feel is often missing from modern Audi’s, and whilst I hate to admit it probably contributed to me putting ink on the purchase invoice as it all added to the effect of ‘feel good’ when giving the car a good thrumping! I won’t be pulling the fuse out any time soon (or until I can afford the Akrapovic exhaust system).

    [​IMG]

    I’ve always looked at the rear seats and wondered whether they were just for decoration or a realistic seating proposition. I can report having carried two adults (admittedly with front seats wound forward a bit) you can carry passengers with legs as long as you’re prepared to compromise a touch in the front. Access is passable if you’re fairly able bodied, but don’t expect to just drop into the seats, there is some limbo-ing involved. This is strictly a 4 seat car (although I hear you can spec a fifth seat in the sportback), which seems weird for such a wide car, but not unwelcomed given I don’t really fancy looking in the rear view mirror to see any of my friends or colleagues ‘straddle riding’ my transmission tunnel however short their skirts might be!

    One area the S5 does score very highly is on practicality. Whilst the rear seats are a bit marginal the boot space is cavernous (enough so to carry enough luggage for a week in France – and believe me we don’t travel with just a spork and a pair of reversible undies). Also it has a full size spare in the boot (as well as the Quattro paraphernalia which robbed the S3 of so much boot depth. I always had to run the S3 with the rear seats tipped down for longer road trips, and there was always a distinct lack of space for drinks and other guff that you accumulate as you live with the car. There are cupholders, cubby holes and charging points aplenty (esp. if you spec the luggage pack), and the curry hooks are just the icing on the storage compartment cake!

    [​IMG]

    On the whole with the ambient lighting enabled, LED lighting installed, and the plethora of dashboard buttons to fiddle with the car does feel amply appointed with toys and gadgets to make it feel a really premium product. The tweaks have lifted it to feel very fresh and up to date, with only the slightly small in dash screen and MMI ergonomics letting the side down. Generally I’m very pleased in terms of the refinement of the car.

    [​IMG]



    4 - Overall (4/5)
    Specced up the S5 can reach close to the mid £50k’s before any dealer contributions, so my expectations were probably unreasonably high from the outset. I know it’s not a stratospheric sum of money by today’s standards but for me it’s still a fair chunk of wedge given how much I see exiting the bank account each month for a hunk of tin. Realistically, if you’re going in with a 15% deposit on a PCP (dealer contributions included), by the time you pay for the car, insurance, service costs and incidentals you really need to be setting aside close to a £800 a month (assuming your insurance is circa £400 pa and you’re doing no more than 10k miles a year).

    From kerbside the midlife facelift did the already rather beautiful S5 very little harm at all. It took a thing of beauty and gave it a slightly fresher face (and some significant under-skin modifications), so I’m glad I waited for the most refined of the breed to be honed before dipping my toe in the water. If you can stretch to an 8.5T I’d heartily recommend it (unless you have realistic plans to supercharge the V8).

    It’s easy to get carried away with a new car which is why I’ve given it a 1000 miles before I got the daggers out alongside the keyboard to scribe up my review, but here are a list of things that would elevate the car closer to 5 starts in my personal view:

    • Stop / start system should fully 'disable-able' using MMI
    • Electrically adjustable / memory steering wheel with longer reach
    • Better choice of 20” rims from factory
    • More intuitive MMI menus
    • Manual gearbox option
    • More aggressive bark from the OEM exhaust system to offset the need for a soundaktor
    • ADS toggle button on steering wheel
    • Less restrained top end power

    I’ll be honest, I’m nit-picking, but then as this is a public forum intended for the enlightenment of a broader audience rather than a fanboy club for heralding ‘what I’ve got is best’, I feel inclined to stick the boot in wherever I’ve felt it offers merit in doing so.

    I’m conscious that the car I’m reviewing here has been facelifted in late 2011, yet the underpinnings of the original design were probably being sketched out on a drawing board some 8-9 years ago (2005-6). So from a pure design perspective it’s an incredibly elegant and tastefully designed car to have stood the test of time like it has. Other than tucking the wheels too deep within the arches the designers have achieved something classic and timeless with S5 and I’m very much a fan (so much that I passed up on the unashamedly brash C63 or fresher faced 435). I think the C63 would have closer met my performance needs, but it’s just too rash and lairy for my tastes and doesn’t offer an all year round proposition like the Quattro does.

    So for others looking to make a similar transition what do I recommend? If you’ve come from a modified 2.0T and don’t have the wedge to blow on supercharging the V8 variant then go for the V6 as its much easier to tune to something that will resemble the kick in the back power you probably crave. However, remember this is a very different proposition to the ‘3’, its more GT than point and shoot, and its luxurious cabin only enhances this sensation further. It’s so cossetting that its only when you realise the speedo has made a dash for license losing territory you then start to realise it is a pretty quick car. I found my brain needed time to recalibrate to the linear power deliver rather than surge and pause (for gear changes) that you get in a lightly blown turbo charged engine running higher boost.

    So would I go back to S3? If economics were the key driving factor then I’d have to, but for now the ‘5’ seems to be a great allround place to be. I’m not quite sure I’m grown up enough for it yet, but I’m certainly warming to its charms with every day I own it. If the next RS3 / TT 420 type platform is a game changer I could be tempted back to a smaller chassis, but for now I’m content riding this wave. I wasn’t sure in the first week or so whether I’d made the right choice, but the S5 seems to subtly find a way of getting under your skin.
    I’ll do another review at 10k intervals with any further insights / cost updates to reflect the ongoing ownership proposition.

    For reference, car specification:

    Black Edition pack (19" Anthracite Rotors / Tints / Black Optics / B&O / MMI 3G / AMI)
    Lunar/Black Super Sports seats
    Tech Pack High
    Comfort Pack (inc. heated / folding / dimming mirrors)
    Memory Seats
    Audi Drive Select
    Sports Diff
    Damper Control
    Dynamic Steering
    Parking Advanced with rear camera
    Advanced Key / Start Button
    Phone prep high with Audi Mobile Connect
    TPMS
    Heated Seats
    Storage Pack

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2014
    #1
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  3. NHN
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    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Jun 19, 2014]
    Hey Warren, give me a chance to read it all, but even the pics deserved a big LIKE already :)
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  4. Snake Pliskin
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    Snake Pliskin Well-Known Member

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    [Jun 19, 2014]
    Wow ... that was a serious review :icon_thumright:

    Pretty much bang on the money too and agree more or less with everything you say.

    We both entered the S5 from 'pretty much' the same cars: manual S3/TTS - certainly the same engine / power / delivery, so the move to the 5 / 3.0t supercharged / S-tronic / heavier car / more luxury / Super Sport Seat were very comparable.

    It is very interesting what you say about the power as for me personally there has always felt to be plenty there on tap for me ?
    I am trying to analyse if I am sensing the 'surge' any differently or how I could feel I am not lacking power over the TTS.
    I know that with the manual YOU have immediate and total control over precisely when you want to change gear etc and how long to hold - and tbh this is essential in a turbo car IMO as .....

    I once had a TTS s-tronic for a period of 2 weeks while my car was in the Dealers and I did not gel with this car at all.
    Felt detached from the driving experience and hated the LAG off the line in 1st gear which had caught me out a few times at junctions.
    It left me cold for the s-tronic and I was over joyed to get my manual TTS back.

    Weird then - that I have gelled with the S5 auto ?
    I think I put this down to a couple of things ...

    The S5 is pure luxury inside as you note too above and feels ultra premium - a real step up from the old S3 and TTS.
    I 'think' this somehow changes your mind set as you sit back in the stupidly comfortable super sports seats and you feel the thick rimmed leather steering wheel and place your arms on the door arm rest and the perfectly adjustable centre arm rest - something which was a BIG omission on the TT / TTS (no centre arm rest - that did annoy me).
    So - it changes your mind set and it does encourage you to "grow up" and I think then the S-tronic in this mind set and with a bigger / heavier / GT cruiser type car feels like AUTO is more suited - it just adds to the simplicity at which this car can take you effortlessly from A to B and in complete comfort an style.

    Either way - I have adapted well to s-tronic, although like Warren I am by no means now sold on it.
    I equally like manual and if my next car has both I would go manual, as I just can't justify the £2k cost.
    But as the S5 is s-tronic or nothing, I had no choice and am still glad I am experiencing this for the time I own the 5.

    Now getting back to the power ...

    Off the line - in D - its plenty fast enough.
    Off the line - in S - its stupidly fast and astonishingly instantaneous.
    Using launch - LOL I still have not tried this - just don't feel the need as its SO rapid in S :)

    In gear for overtakes ...

    If I am going for an easy overtake, I will leave it in D, as it can still do this with ease.
    If I wanna ensure I get past as quickly as possible then I drop it into S which immediately drops 1 or 2 gears in preparation and when I'm ready hit the gas pedal and you're off.
    Ive also noticed that if you press the gas pedal FLAT to the floor it can even drop the gears another gear.
    With it being supercharged, there is no lag and it is so linear as you note.
    So at no time have I felt under-whelmed by the power either off the line or for over taking.

    The only thing I can think, is that you can time an over take in the turbo car to ensure you are not in the lag spot and by doing so you can ensure immediate power is there and keep it red lined and you won't hit lag in the next gear.
    Perhaps with the S5 I have got in the habit of "timing" an overtake and setting everything up so when am ready to overtake it then goes - either way it certainly 'feels' faster than my TTS was.
    Also in S mode, the rev needle seams to wind round forever and in one gear you can get up to ******** 70 mph ******* :) in no time at all - and if you do need to change gear, the car takes care of that and the acceleration is just endless !!

    Enough ramblings from me for now anyway - may add more later - but just wanted to share these thoughts for now.

    Amazing review though mate - EPIC review and love the 1st photo :icon_thumright:

    Had to LOL at your seat comments too - but they really are a show stopper aren't they and knew they would be a great thing for you.
    I covered 400 miles yesterday and both there and back got out the car and felt incredibly fresh - part of that is the seat comfort for sure.
    I also agree, bucket seats may hold you firmer - but I don't need that for road driving and don't take my own car on track :)
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2014
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  5. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Jun 19, 2014]
    Really interested to see others views in comparison. My first S3 was pushing 380bhp+, whereas my second was only 335bhp. Those cars could accelerate from 60+mph like a bullet from a gun, whereas the S5 just doesn't have that top end urgency. It's quick, but not stupid quick, and it bought me such confidence in overtaking that I'm now feeling slightly naked without that point and shoot acceleration on tap. I had a quick diesel in front of me that decided half way through the manoeuvre that he didn't particularly want to be overtaken (which I thought was charitable), and with the S3 it would have been no contest whereas the '5' had to work harder than I thought it should. It's nothing some basic fettling shouldn't resolve, but it needs doing as to me the car feels slightly blighted without it. No showstopper as I understand the limits, but I was slightly surprised.

    Many thanks for the kind words on the review, and glad to see we're largely aligned on view point as I wondered whether I was maybe being a bit harsh.
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  6. Snake Pliskin
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    Snake Pliskin Well-Known Member

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    [Jun 19, 2014]


    Think I have realised the difference mate ....

    Your last S3 was modified and my TTS was "stock" at 260 ish BHP and 0 to 60 in 5.6 seconds
    So the S5 to me is up on BHP @ 333 and 0 to 60 is 4.9 aided by s-tronic.
    In which case I have gained in performance whereas your last S3 had pretty much the same BHP @ 335.

    I mentioned in another couple if posts that I covered a few miles yesterday, so that experience is still fresh in my head and the long journeys are where you really appreciate the 5 for its comfort, refinement and for me the occasions when you get to cruise and waft along at :) 70 mph :) devour road and get to your destination in record time LOL with ridiculous ease !

    I think that once you have fettled with your S5 in the same way you have modded your previous cars and get the performance up, I reckon you will then be really happy - you will also have once crazee quick car, thinking back to that vid you posted of that modded S5 :w00t:
    #5
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  7. Sandra
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    Sandra MODERATOR Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jun 19, 2014]
    Really good write up and interesting read Warren. :) x
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  8. GlynRS2
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    GlynRS2 Active Member

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    [Jun 19, 2014]
    Excellent write up with some great points made. :thumbsup:

    From my experience with various RS Audis (2/4/6) is that they are all different in character with respect to power delivery and it takes some time to adjust your driving style to get the most from the car. Ultimately you have come from a modified car back to a factory spec one. However you have bought one that is extemely tunable. I think even a "light" remap by an appropriate expert will pretty much address the issues that you raise. However, I agree the front brakes will then need some attention. :think:

    Can't wait to get mine now :racer:
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  9. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Jun 19, 2014]
    I was getting sub 4.7s 0-60mph launches on the first S3 and around 5s on the second, and early 13s quarters, so I think this is where the S5 feels a bit asthmatic once it gets up to speed. On the first car I was running uprated fuel pump, RS4 fuel pressure regulators, 400bhp+ capable intake system, catch can, uprated DV, Stage 2+ remap, uprated plugs, full turbo back exhaust with race catalysts. Without going big turbo it was about as good as it got on a £/bhp ratio. These mods meant it could keep pulling way beyond 120 without as much as a hesitation, so in some part I will have to go the modified route. I've had a sneaky test in an RS5 since and that didn't feel that quick either, so I always had a likely uphill battle on my hands.

    What's gutting is you spend nigh on £50k and you have to start tinkering, these cars have every capability of being very quick but due to marketing and euro regs they all get shoe horned into pretty little stepped hierarchies that match the price point!
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  10. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Jun 19, 2014]
    Pics of the RS2 please. One of my all time faves! Not aiming to put people off any way, the S5 has tremendous qualities, it's just amazing how much you still need to spend as 'Joe Public' to make things right (and then invalidate your warranty). I really need a Porsche 911 Turbo but unfortunately I have champagne tastes and water money!
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  11. GlynRS2
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    GlynRS2 Active Member

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    [Jun 19, 2014]

    Okay seeing that you asked here you go:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    :cool:


    One of only 180 rhd cars made and it was in mint condition ...I still regret selling it. :banghead:
    #10
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  12. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Jun 19, 2014]
    Oh my lord, that is just super special. What a stunning car. Makes the S5 seem a bit ordinary. Definitely one of my all time favourites, lush colour too.
    #11
  13. GlynRS2
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    GlynRS2 Active Member

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    [Jun 19, 2014]
    Porsche Polar Silver :cool:
    #12
  14. Ghost
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    Ghost Boo!

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    [Jun 19, 2014]
    Great write up and refreshing read… not just the norm… “i love everything about it” review. :icon_thumright:

    Grate work with the photos too…
    :hi:
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  15. DAYTONA500
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    DAYTONA500 Well-Known Member

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    [Jun 19, 2014]
    Great write up Warren as always ,Glyn hit the nail on the head when he said "it takes some time to adjust your driving style to get the most from the car".I had the same problem coming from the RS3 you've got to plan overtakes more carefully the S5 is a big car and im sure you will get the most out of it the more you drive it.
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  16. Statler
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    Statler Old enough to know better

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    [Jun 19, 2014]


    Beautiful, I love the garden stripes on the rear seat backrest... attention to detail or what!

    If I recall correctly it was advertised in a plain blue?
    I had a white 80 Sport when that was launched and drooled over the pics. Well out of my range at that stage unfortunately.

    Have I told everyone how much I loved the 80 Sport???? ;-)
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  17. GlynRS2
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    GlynRS2 Active Member

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    [Jun 19, 2014]
    RS Blue RS2:

    [​IMG]
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  18. Shrek5
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    Shrek5 Well-Known Member

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    [Jun 19, 2014]
    Don't think there is too much I'd disagree with there Warren, I sort of know what you mean about rolling pickup but don't think it's that bad, sometimes you just need to kick it down a gear more than you'd think. For example it happens most on the motorway when you are (for example) in the outside lane waiting for the road, it clears, so you start to roll on to the accelerator, ok it picks up but you want a bit more, so you roll on a bit more... and more and more. To the point I find actually just mash the throttle into the carpet and it's plenty fine. I find that even in Sport mode although less pronounced than Auto or Comfort.

    Also wonder how you are getting on with the engine as you were having apparent issues with different quality fuels which I've never experienced and that's using only 'premium' fuels (all Shell VOptiNuclear+ apart from one tank of BP Ultimate).

    After that I think that the single most used button in mine (after the start button of course!) is the disable stop-start button, which is massively irritating. I'd settle for either being able to disable it in Individual or it not being active in Dynamic... I'm mean seriously... I'm in dynamic I don't want to roll to the lights and have the engine die on me just as they change back! Grrrr.

    If the most used button is one to disable something... it's probably not quite right. In fairness it's probably more of a trust thing than an actual problem most of the time, but it is more of a hinderance than a help IMHO.
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  19. grchmason
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    grchmason Member

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    [Jun 19, 2014]
    Have the misfires been sorted now?

    Cracking review really enjoyed reading it!!!!!
    #18
  20. scotty76
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    scotty76 Well-Known Member

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    [Jun 20, 2014]
    Thanks for taking the time to do the write up Warren. I agree the S-Tronic is not flawless, but I am enjoying it very much in my S4. It makes pootling about in traffic very relaxing. I just sit back, listen to the radio and go with the flow. I have had it make what I can only describe as a "snatchy" gear change, usually when setting off from low speeds. Only had this happen twice so I'm thinking I just caught it out and it wasn't in the correct gear for my situation. I'm glad I watched the Audi YouTube video on how to use it as that's been helpful.

    I'm still trying the stop/start. It's a touch annoying at times but mostly I don't notice it. I do find it odd if I stop at traffic lights using the brakes that it stops the engine, but then if I put the parking brake on it restarts! The major annoyance is turning into my street which is a right turn. I have to stop, let a handful of cars pass and then go for a gap. Usually just as the cars pass it stops. The other thing I wonder about was, haven't we always been told that starting the car is one of the most mechanically stressful parts of a journey on the engine? So why then is frequent stop/starts a good idea? Perhaps this was just a myth put about by the makers of Slick 50. :)

    And onto the engine. Coming from a stage 1 2.0T FSI I find it meets my expectations perfectly in that it's a good step up. Yesterday was the first time I flicked the Drive Select into Dynamic and oh my, that was quite different. I don't have MMI so can't set Individual so it's all or nothing for me. Looking forward to the car being run in and exploring it more.

    Thanks again.
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  21. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Jun 20, 2014]
    I'm wondering if it was a bad batch of fuel as it seems to have stopped but the only other issue may have been lots of short journeys with out longer runs. If you don't get the plugs hot enough a veneer of fuel can glaze onto the ceramic collar and electrode (common issue on some TFSI cars).

    I do need to do another fault code check soon just to make sure all is well.
    #20
  22. Shrek5
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    Shrek5 Well-Known Member

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    [Jun 20, 2014]
    I think one of the problems with the stop-start (for me at least) is there isn't a lot of play with the brake pressure required to activate it. For example, I sometimes find I roll up to a junction knowing I'll need to be decisive so I don't apply too much pressure to keep the engine running, then as I'm waiting I subconsciously increase the pressure and out cuts the engine. Which, for me at least, distracts me for a moment.

    I've also had one instance where I stopped at lights, engine stopped as expected, but then when it came to move off (I think I'd put it into 'P' so that I didn't have to keep my foot on the brake) I moved back into gear lifted my foot and nothing. Just a message saying something like "Stop-Start has been disabled, please restart manually", cue a momentary flap as I think WTF, flap with the gear selector, hit the start button... hit it again because that killed the ignition, car starts, start to roll forward lights change. Didn't I feel the prize tw*t with the cars behind me (justifiably tooting) having to wait an entire cycle of the lights again.

    It's only done it once, but of course that's all it takes to shake your confidence with it...

    I think, as well, the other issue I have with it, and no doubt this is an age thing (i.e. anyone learning to drive now probably won't have this issue) is as scotty says above I always think back to being told starting a car was one of the most stressful parts of the process, and also worry that when I'm on a short journey it could leave me without enough juice one day. So if the journey is a longer one I tend to leave it alone but when I'm just pootling about near home I disable it...

    In short, it's mostly unobtrusive, but when I notice it, it really is annoying...
    #21
  23. Shrek5
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    Shrek5 Well-Known Member

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    [Jun 20, 2014]
    Jeez listen to me moan about Stop-start... I suppose I should consider if that's the worst thing I can find about it's not all bad! :blahblah1::laugh:
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  24. DAYTONA500
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    DAYTONA500 Well-Known Member

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    [Jun 20, 2014]
    Warren mines been lumpy on idle and thought nothing of it but i might as well say, yesterday i had to call out Audi assistance for an eml light on .To cut a log story short mines at the dealers with an oil pressure switch malfunction {P164B} and I'm now driving an A3 Die sel.
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  25. Snake Pliskin
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    Snake Pliskin Well-Known Member

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    [Jun 20, 2014]
    I didn't realise the S5 had stop/start when I ordered the car.

    Just assumed being the S5 it would not apply :)

    Found out few months after ordering and though $$$$hhhhiiiittt gonna hate that.

    Thought I would be constantly turning it off - but REALLY surprised how I find it doesn't bother me one bit.

    Never an issue at lights as I am in the habbit of always putting the parking brake on - leaving in D - so the engine never cuts.

    If I am on the brake pedal, it always re-starts by the time my foot is on the gas pedal so all happy.

    I did have one instance a couple of months ago at a pay barrier where I was reaching out the window for a pay card, engine cuts, barrier went up and car would not go forward and I got in a similar flap - saying stupid **$$%^^ing auto box - eventually got it going but that was the only occasion its pi$$ed me off.
    #24
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  26. Snake Pliskin
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    Snake Pliskin Well-Known Member

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    [Jun 20, 2014]



    I will say again Guys ....

    I have ONLY ever ran my car on 95 ron (adhering to the fuel flap label which says 92-95 ron) and car has always ran super smooth.

    The only thing I do ensure is that I get a tank of "oil company" fuel (usually Shell 95 ron) every once on a while as I do believe the additives they put in their fuel over say the Supermarket stuff is likely to be superior so good to flush a tank of their higher quality stuff through every so often - but limited choice in my town - mainly just Supermarket so I have to get the good stuff when out of town.
    #25
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  27. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Jun 20, 2014]
    Shrek, I was cussing the stop start again today as I went to Waitrose, turned it off. Got back in the car, went to get fuel, forgot to turn it off again, cuts out! I forget to keep turning it off, but I blame myself for being an idiot.

    This morning when I got in the car I pressed the stop / start, nothing. Pressed it again, nothing. Got key out of pocket, pressed car open button, pressed start button, nothing. Pushed key into ignition slot, fires up straight away??????? I was going to get Stg1 today as I'm up in Northants for funeral but again I'm compelled to hold off.

    Daytona, so sorry to hear about your issue. I'd always assumed that the rough idle was fuel saving behaviour in map, as V6 engines are usually so smooth, but shame to hear of your issue. Seems quite a few of these cars have rough idles, so hard to tell if its indicative of the failure.... Shame they didn't put you in something more interesting, but should feel good when you get it back.
    #26
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  28. Snake Pliskin
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    Snake Pliskin Well-Known Member

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    [Jun 20, 2014]
    One other factor possibly .........

    I don't have the drive select - and am I right in thinking there is an option to run an 'economy' mode ?

    So mine just runs the same all the time.

    I am sure sometimes the more "tech" you have the more chance there is of something going wrong !!

    Does the economy mode shut down some of the cylinders ?

    If so, gotta be complex stuff all that.
    #27
  29. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Jun 20, 2014]
    I'm really not sure. I did wonder but I can't find any mention of selective cylinder technology in the brochure, I think it must run exceedingly lean. I do agree that in some cases all these modes running various states of tune won't necessarily facilitate best running if the ECU is constantly having to adapt to new running characteristics.
    #28
  30. Shrek5
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    Shrek5 Well-Known Member

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    [Jun 20, 2014]
    Good point Snake, as I've also said I have only ever run mine on Shell or BP premium stuff - the point being I don't think it should matter if it's 95 RON as per the fuel cap or the Premium stuff > 95 RON, either way it should run smooth IMHO.

    Also never had the keyless throw a wobble so far... touches wood... wait no that doesn't sound right on a forum...

    Daytona, sorry to hear yours is needing some work, hopefully it won't take long and you'll be back on the road in the S5 in no time. :racer:
    #29
  31. Shrek5
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    Shrek5 Well-Known Member

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    [Jun 20, 2014]
    Pretty sure there is no COD shenanigans, Economy AFAIK just dulls the throttle response (and it really does blunt it!) and possibly does something with the mapping.

    Just wondered if it is something to do with the MY2015 remapping and improved economy - but then that doesn't make sense as yours is MY2014 IIRC?
    #30
  32. AdamZA
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    AdamZA Well-Known Member

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    [Jun 20, 2014]
    Great write up Warren. Think the Revo remap will solve all your problems with the lack of urgency with the car. Stock maps never seem to be good enough! When are you planning the remap?
    #31
  33. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Jun 20, 2014]
    As soon as I'm 100% the car is Ok, hopefully sooner rather than later as it's too slow!
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  34. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Jun 21, 2014]
    Today's question for current owners:

    When you have the car set to Dynamic in ADS, which to my mind should be balls out, does pulling back the gear knob into 's' make further difference to speed/aggression of drive?

    I had a rather interesting drive to Banbury yesterday and it was quite a slow journey due to traffic volumes. I found the gearbox to constantly be trying to get me to 7th gear (or highest gear), irrespective of what ADS mode I was in. I understand it's economical, and good for long term reduction of wear, but I'd only expect this in comfort or efficiency mode, not dynamic or individual. In the end I changed to left hand pushed gear lever to manage the changes myself, but the gear changes down the box to standstill were quite clattery and raspy between 3rd, 2nd and 1st when coming to a standstill.

    It's an S car FFS, if I'd wanted some maniacal 7th gear obsessed low revving taxi I'd have bought a small diesel. To get it to act like an S you seem to need to drive the accelerator pedal far more digitally than I'd like, so hopefully the Revo DSG map will bail me out of this 'interesting' dilemma too.

    I was really hoping to like S-Tronic and after reading countless gushing threads in the 8P/8V sections as to how good it's supposed to have become, but I'm personally somewhat disappointed with it. Great around town, super smooth gear changes, but doesn't meet the fanboy hype.

    A pic to offset the rant!

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014
    #33
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  35. Snake Pliskin
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    Snake Pliskin Well-Known Member

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    [Jun 21, 2014]
    Oooooh that's a nice picture mate.

    Can't fully comment as I don't have the drive select - so for me it's just D or S :)

    However .....

    In D I find the car perfect for day to day driving - pulls away really smoothly, no jerks ever and gear changes are crazy seamless - it's all very smooth & controlled and to be fair plenty fast enough if I floor the gas pedal.

    In S there is a VERY noticeable change - the throttle response is much sharper and if you flaw it as the driver I feel the extra surge and I can see the passenger being pushed back in thier seat - it also holds the gears for much longer.

    I hardly ever keep the car in S mode for long as it is just so twitchy to drive and feels like its on its toes so round town it's too full on and after an over take is completed unnecessary so always go back to D. So I only ever really use S for a start off the line I want to gun or of I want the fastest possible overtake or acceleration say joining a dual carriageway or motorway.

    For me personally there is ample power :)

    I do however think the car has both improved economy and performance as the miles have increased.
    #34
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  36. Shrek5
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    Shrek5 Well-Known Member

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    [Jun 21, 2014]
    Hmmm, in mine with Dynamic mode it would never go into 7th unless either you set the adaptive cruise (and would dropout of 7th the moment you disengage ACC) or go into manual and tell it to be in 7th. For me if you are in Dynamic and pull back it puts it into a normal 'Drive' mode.

    The only real clatter I get is if slowing down in manual/dynamic I request first at anything more than a few miles an hour, basically I never go for first now unless coming to an absolute halt.

    If you want we could do a back to back comparison at some point to see if it's different.
    #35
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  37. Shrek5
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    Shrek5 Well-Known Member

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    [Jun 21, 2014]
    Oh and nice pic by the way.
    #36
  38. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Jun 21, 2014]
    Glad you mention the slight clatter Shrek as I thought I may not have done up the 034 mount properly. Like you I now avoid 1st gear completely unless I've stopped as the gearbox didn't like it even when the car was just rolling a tiny bit. Now I think back it's in individual it drops to 7th (at above 30mph!), whereas in dynamic it makes the hunt for 6th as soon as my foot eases off.

    Like you Snake I find the car a bit lurchy in S gearbox mode by comparison to D, but given it holds the gears a bit better it's a tough call which one I prefer as I do like to hear a few revs pass before the car changes up. Sometimes I look down after accelerating away from a junction and within about 10 seconds I'm in 7th gear! it's just such a step change from what I'm used to in the manual maybe I need to acclimatise!
    #37
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  39. Statler
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    Statler Old enough to know better

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    [Jun 21, 2014]
    I can only comment on the auto box in the Jag, which is well off topic I know but... it has D and S modes, in D it's probaly like the S-Tronic drives in D. In S, driving on the paddles, it should remain in 'manual' mode, but sometimes it has a mind of it's own and will change up. It can be rather frustrating.

    Coming from a manual, I really have to spend time working it all out. It is a different car to a manual and if I try to drive it as such it'll bite me at some point... I've found myself trying to take off from a junction in 5th at times, fortunately the car will realise and dump down to second and pull, but that's really down to me :)

    What am I tryng to say here? Well, I think you need to work your head into the car rather force the car to work as you are used to.

    Does that make any sense? Hopefully it does, lol

    BTW, I test drove a Q5 with S-Tronic and around town it was beautifully smooth, couldn't feel the gear changes. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to drive it in S mode.
    #38
  40. DAYTONA500
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    DAYTONA500 Well-Known Member

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    [Jun 21, 2014]
    As you say "it's just such a step change from what I'm used to in the manual maybe I need to acclimatise!".Warren I've had a B8 S4,RS3and now the B8.5 S5 all S tronic and all of them were/are not smooth from 2nd to 1st {it must be an S tronic thing}:think:.You need to STOP comparing it to your S3 ,:no:they are two TOTALY different cars and driving styles an imo can't be compared.As we've said before you need to change your driving style to suit the car.If you want to control the car then push the stick across to the left and gear change yourself :racer:otherwise the car will adjust everything to suit the road and driving conditions .
    #39
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  41. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Jun 21, 2014]
    I hear what you're saying, but after another hour or two of soul searching and considered reflection if I'm honest I don't like it. I'm therefore going to have to change the characteristics of the car to closer suit my preferences on this one, and it will cost what it costs and will undoubtedly come with other negative knock ons (warranty / wear & tear / MPG etc.).

    I'm not going to pay this much for a car and spend the next 4 years accommodating negative characteristics that don't hit the sweet spot. I'm not the worlds best driver by any stretch, but I've done quite a lot of track time, professionally led tuition sessions and have a well formed view from previous cars I've modified as to how you can end up with something quite a bit better than you started out with, so within the coming weeks and as funds allow the changes will commence. I need this car to be slightly less GT, and just slightly more focussed. The changes should only be subtle, but I'd given myself a challenge to see if I could leave it be and live with a factory car. Unfortunately it seems I can't!
    #40

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