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2013 Audi S5: All-around tech car (pictures)

With its Google Earth navigation system, Bang & Olufsen sound, and adjustable sport settings, the Audi S5 delivers satisfying performance on the daily commute and weekend road trips.

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Wayne_Cunningham.jpg

Wayne Cunningham

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1 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
Audi's S5, the sport version of the A5, may not be a supreme track car, but it drives very well on winding roads and during weekly commutes. For 2013, Audi updates the cabin electronics and makes some exterior changes.
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2 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
Both the S5 and A5 are sport coupes, with one of the best-looking exterior designs in the business. The subtle roofline runs gracefully toward the rear pillar and the grille is surrounded by an unbroken frame extending through the bumper line.
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Audi runs an LED light pipe across the top of the headlight, giving the car a unique look at night.
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The S5 gets a supercharged, direct-injection 3-liter V-6, good for 333 horsepower. Fuel economy is not bad for the car, with an EPA highway number all the way up at 28 mpg.
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As a coupe, the roofline drops over the rear seats, but not enough to seriously compromise headroom.
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Audi puts the S5 logo on the brake calipers.
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Quattro all-wheel drive comes standard on the S5, and an active sport differential is an option. Likewise, the car is also available with an adaptive suspension.
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The rear seats fold down, making for a clear cargo area between trunk and cabin.
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The S5 gets comfortable, power adjustable sport seats.
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A well between the rear seats limits the S5 to four passengers.
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Audi has been developing very cutting-edge cabin tech over the last few years, making its cars some of the most advanced on the road.
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The S5 uses electric steering boost, but the wheel turns too easily even at its most aggressive setting.
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Voice command is excellent in the S5, letting you enter addresses for route guidance as a single string. Paddles behind the wheel control the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
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The center LCD in the instrument cluster shows useful information, from route guidance to the currently playing music track to a digital readout of the car's speed.
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The console holds the shift lever and Audi's MMI controller, buttons, and a dial used to control everything on the LCD. This car lacks the touch pad Audi has begun to roll out in its newest models.
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The Drive Select feature lets you choose different performance profiles for the car. The Individual profile lets you program in such things as steering, suspension, and engine response.
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The rear-view camera includes trajectory and distance lines.
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Audi's latest menu screens use this elliptical format, which lets you use the dial on the console to select an icon.
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Audi integrated Google Earth with its navigation system, giving you satellite views of the car's location.
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Route guidance overlays the satellite imagery.
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One of the most useful destination entry features is Google online search, which can be accessed through the MMI or voice command.
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Audi also uses the car's data connection to bring in gas prices and weather.
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The Travel Information feature shows all the nearby locations from Wikipedia, complete with photos and a write-up.
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The S5 uses traffic data to dynamically program congestion-free routes.
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The phone system works very easily, pairing with your Bluetooth phone to show contacts on the LCD and let you access them through voice command.
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Among its media sources, the S5 includes Bluetooth audio streaming and an onboard hard drive for music storage.
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Audi's Bluetooth audio streaming implementation shows full track information on the play screen.
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Audi's iPod integration screen lets you browse by artist, album, and genre.
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The Bang & Olufsen audio option in the S5 is not as robust as the A7's, but it still sounds extremely good.

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