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Cooley's Logbook: 2013 Audi S5

The S5 is now a V6 car and, to my surprise, smaller than an A4. But it's big enough to house a ton of tech.

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Brian Cooley Editor at Large
Brian Cooley is CNET's Editor at large and has been with the brand since 1995. He currently focuses on electrification of vehicles but also follows the big trends in smart home, digital healthcare, 5G, the future of food, and augmented & virtual realities. Cooley is a sought after presenter by brands and their agencies when they want to understand how consumers react to new technologies. He has been a regular featured speaker at CES, Cannes Lions, Advertising Week and the Publicis HealthFront. He was born and raised in Silicon Valley when Apple's campus was mostly apricots.
Expertise Automotive technology, smart home, digital health. Credentials
  • 5G Technician, ETA International
Brian Cooley
2 min read
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Car Tech
Watch this: 2013 Audi S5

A number of Audi purists (and a couple of intenders around the office) groaned when I showed them the new S5 with its V6. And it turns out they are on to something. Not that the car isn't responsive, but there is a point where the power flattens out right when you think it will keep coming. You actually have to be good about selecting gears and reading the situation ahead. Welcome to the new downsized world -- and to actually driving, not just throttle pressing.

As a number of you were quick to point out, I misspoke that the V6 in this car is turbocharged -- the "T" in "TFSI" on the engine cover is just nonsense, and in fact the engine has a supercharger bolted on top, which I should have noticed. Having a blower helps the power come on without lag to speak of, but doesn't do much to fatten up a torque curve that could use a couple milkshakes.

This is the first review I've done of an Audi with connected Google services in which I also knew the price of that connection after the complimentary 6 months times out. After that, it's $30 a month, which seems fair as a data plan goes, but not when you realize how little you will use it. It's not like this is a smartphone or hot spot: it's a car that has its main mission outside acquiring data. Yes, you can use the in-car hot spot to connect a bunch of passenger laptops and tablets, but I defy you to do that without an uprising since you'll be slicing an already lame 3G connection too thin.

Overall, it's a very cool and stylish car that scores a CNET Editors' Choice but, in my book, it costs just a bit too much for two useable seats when done up CNET Style: around $67,000.