Particularly as our first sampling over some tight, winding and quite rough roads in Sydney established this as the best balanced of the A5/S5 family.
Now that may not be saying a lot as the 5s have not drawn rave reviews for their dynamics, but this version’s combination of relatively light 1490kg kerb weight and the traction taming effectiveness of its mechanically torque split all-wheel drive system changes much of that.
There’s little sign of the front-wheel drive A5’s errant steering and a far more compliant ride than the heavy S5 V8 manages. Our experience was good enough on standard suspension to suggest keeping the extra $3600 charged for adaptive dampers in your bank account.
But the star of the show is the engine. A new take on an old favourite, it is a silent assassin. Maximum torque between 1500 and 4200rpm and peak power between 4300rpm and 6000rpm makes for seamless, lag-free performance and a believable claimed 0-100km/h time of 6.5 seconds.
It is also a compelling advocate for the new generation of direct injection turbo-petrol four-cylinder engines that are being embraced across the automotive world.