For Audi enthusiasts

054season apr 001 photo



7 June 2009

11,103-13,605 miles

I remember the first time I drove an Audi S5. It was on the international launch for the car in Verona, Italy. I was hammering along down some winding countryside roads when I stopped to shoot some photos in front of this palatial Italian estate straight out of a Shakespeare set. In the next half hour as I’d shoot the silver coupe with its red leather innards in front of a gigantic and ornate iron gate, a healthy number of Italian men stopped their cars to admire the new Audi gran turismo. In the official home country of exotic supercars, Italians aren’t shy about sharing their admiration of a beautiful automobile and the S5 was generating plenty of amore.

That trip was back in the spring of 2007, and the comely V8 coupe would make it to U.S. shores by December of the same year. It’s now been nearly a year and a half since American motorists first laid eyes on the S5 in the buff, so you wouldn’t expect the love to continue for so many months. But it does, which is a bit of a surprise in today’s A.D.D. and 24-hour-news-cycle era.

We’ve said it many times in these reports, how we get comments here and honks with thumbs up there. It begins to sound cliché, but we can’t remember any Audi short of the R8 — even the venerable first-gen TT when it was new — that brought about so much admiration from general passers by. That very fact is a testament to Walter da Silva’s lines – they will assuredly be a classic when this car has graduated to elder status.

That doesn’t mean the car is without flaws, though. We have experienced a bit of odd behavior with the clutch – nothing earth shattering, but it feels as if it might be slipping just a tad and the pressure on the pedal is also a bit inconsistent. The pedal intermittently stuck just the slightest bit at the bottom of its travel, and the action of the pedal felt rough. We noticed this at around 8,000 miles and took the car in for inspection.

We scheduled an appointment at Audi of Tyson’s Corner to get a second opinion. The dealership duplicated our issues and, upon placing a call to the Audi Tech Line, they were instructed to replace the master cylinder. Some B7 RS 4s had an issue with the master cylinder and a pinched clutch line, and there was a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) posted to fix this problem, so it was thought this was the same issue with our S5.

With busy schedules and the clutch affliction a minor nuisance, we continued to drive the car until we could get it in for the work.

The fix unfortunately didn’t fix the problem and clutch symptoms remained. Since the master cylinder had been replaced, and this was a hydraulic issue, the only thing left to replace was the slave cylinder.

The dealership placed an order for the part, which had to come from Germany and thus took a week to arrive. With our clutch problems not affecting the car’s drivability, we continued to drive the S5 while we waited.

Once the piece arrived, it was installed and our clutch issues were completely solved. All work involved was performed under warranty and without incident.

Our only other complaint with the car is the discoloration of the light silver leather on the driver’s seat that we’ve mentioned before. Either dirt or dye from blue jeans appears to be darkening the seating area with a slight blue tint. We’re still eyeing our options and are about to place an order with Griot’s Garage for some product that might remedy the situation. More later.

4 Season Audi S5 Main Page

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