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Crossovers and family sedans make up a huge part of the automotive market. These sensible, everyday vehicles are safe, spacious and efficient; in short they’re perfect for families, be them planned or… not. But for all their merits these cars are about as much fun as counting grains of sugar in a five-pound bag.
10. Chevrolet Camaro ZL1: $54,095
Today’s cars all seem to be focused on delivering fun driving experience that’s still friendly on gas. Those two elements are often an important factor in a car purchase, but sometimes you just want to feral thrill of a big, loud engine.
There’s a certain romanticism that comes with the combination of performance cars and a low V8 growl that isn’t the same with fewer cylinders. Maybe that’s why Audi decided to pull all the stops for this last iteration of their 4.2-liter S5, making a car we’re already nuts for even sweeter.
The next S5, you see, will move to a 3.0-liter TFSI V6 that will build on past performance and please most enthusiasts, but leave the nostalgic few puffing cigars and chatting about S5 exhaust notes of old. The out-of-the-box torquey grunt associated with the S5 will also exit stage left.
That’s why all fans who can manage to muster the cash should drop those cigars and try to get their hands on this Audi Exclusive build, after all there are only 125 being made.
From the outside-in here’s why this is the best S5 ever. To start, they’re all painted in Daytona Grey, a color otherwise reserved for RS models. They also get 19-inch Rotor design rims. Pop open the door, though, and you’ll see where Barry Hoch, Audi of America’s A4/S4/A5/S5/RS 5 product planner really got his hands dirty.
The seats are a real eye grabber: two-tone Polar Silver and Black S5 sport seats stitched together with silver thread stand out with brilliant style. The same black and leather wraps the armrests, shifter and steering wheel. The floor mats are bordered by the same silver leather found in the seats, completing the well-executed color contrast. Wide weave carbon fiber trim runs throughout the cabin and surrounds the piano-black instrument cluster.
Lexus has dropped a few serious hints that it is planning a coupe version of its all-new GS350. While attending the launch of the luxury sedan (we’ll have driving impressions once the embargo lifts November 23rd) we spoke to Lexus Corporate Manager of Product Planning Ben Mitchell, pushing him for details on a possible GS-F to sit as a rival to the BMW M5.
To our dismay Mitchell responded that there was “nothing to announce”, but then surprised us with a shred of info, disguised as a question. Speaking to a group of assembled journalists he asked our impression of the Audi A5/S5.
Response to the car was unanimously positive. The two-door Audi models are roundly considered to be some of the most beautiful vehicles on sale today, and we enjoyed our time with the S5 immensely.
As though Mitchell’s question didn’t reveal enough about Lexus’ intentions, he also commented that with the demise of the SC430, there is now a space in the automaker’s lineup that needs filling.
Of course, this isn’t an official confirmation, but considering the legendary silence that greets most questions regarding future products, this is a very strong hint that there will be another two-door Lexus joining the lineup beyond the current IS250C and IS350C models. And judging by our time spent behind the wheel of the new GS, this is one to wait for.
Audi is exploring the possibility of bringing more RS models to the American market, after years of on-and-off importation of select vehicles like the RS4 and RS6.
Both the TT-RS and RS5 are slated to be introduced for the 2012 model year, and the vehicles will be priced well above even the most expensive TT and A5 models. Like BMW’s M cars, the the RS models are sold in low volumes but are relatively high margin vehicles for Audi. The average transaction price for Audi vehicles has risen steadily since January of 2010, while rivals Mercedes-Benz and BMW have seen theirs fall (though their transaction prices are still higher overall)
Peter Scwarzenbauer, Audi’s U.S. sales head, suggested that future RS products could make their way to America, but declined to specify what was in the pipeline.
[Source: Left Lane News]
That online consumer car resource, Edmunds.com has labeled Audi automobiles the top choice in no fewer than four different categories when it comes to new vehicles.
Audi took home awards for best coupe in the $35-$45k category (A5), best coupe over $45K (S5), best wagon $35-$45k (Audi A4 Avant) and best SUV in the same price category (Q5).
“It’s clear that owners of Audi’s 2011 lineup of vehicles are very satisfied with their purchases,” declared Edmunds’ editor-in-chief Scott Oldham. He also said that visitors to the site continue to rate European and Japanese brand vehicles higher than their American counterparts. Must be the interiors.
BMW is planning to expand its range yet again, with reports of an upcoming 4-Series lineup that would compete against the Audi A5 Sportback in the burgeoning sporty hatchback segment.
Rumors have been flying about a possible 3-Series GT, a complement to the crossover-like 5-Series GT (shown above), but this may in fact be part of the supposed 4-Series models, which would include a coupe, sedan and even a convertible.
For now, the rumors are merely conjecture, and any vehicle wouldn’t arrive until 2013 at the earliest, but with the German marques making such a push to fill every possible niche market, count this one as more likely to happen than not.
Discuss this story at 4series.org
We regret to inform you that the subject matter behind the enticing title won’t live up to whatever thoughts are circulating in your head. Rather, Forbes’ list of “Americas Dirtiest Vehicles” has to do with pollution and gas mileage, and is mostly comprised of cars we ourselves would want to own.
Forbes used a variety of factors to determine what qualified for the list, with both carbon emissions and fuel consumption factoring in to the economy. “Heavy Duty” trucks were left off the list, as well performance cars that only get driven on special occasions, like the Ferrari 599 GTO (and, apparently, Mercedes’ AMG lineup).
Hit the jump to see the list for yourself
Audi‘s S5 has becoming one of our favorites. There’s classy yet bold exterior styling and a potent powerplant under the hood that makes it a thrill to drive. Unfortunately, however, our S5 is packed with a 4.2L V8 while our overseas friends get the more tunable 3.0L V6 supercharged powerplant we have in the S4. So Sportec is marketing this ‘Stage One’ tuning package to Audi S5 owners in Europe, we’re willing to bet our S4s could benefit from it as well.
Sportec’s tuning package offering consists of an air filter (that is oh-so-free-flowing) and an ECU remap. Naturally the forced inducted motor gets quite the boost from a retune and peak power jumps from 328-hp to 425-hp, close to a 100-hp gain. The torque increase isn’t as substantial, but still very respectable going from 325 ft-lbs to 379 ft-lbs. We’re guessing this simple pair of modifications makes our S4 (and their S5) an absolute blast to drive.
The Stage One tuning kit is available for a tad over $3,000 – not too steep of a price for 100 extra ponies. We do wanna say one thing, we’re digging the styling on Sportec’s demo S5 seen in the photos. It subdues the S5′s styling from aggressive to sleek and conservative. What can we say, we prefer our 400-hp beasts to look classy.
Official press release available after the break.
GALLERY: Sportec Audi S5
Jack Baruth is a many who wears many hats; auto racer, contributor to The Truth About Cars, musical savant and contrary to his reputation in some circles, an all-around nice guy.
Being in possession of a few too many cars, Jack has decided to turf his most infamous steed, his bright green Audi S5. While other sites have been breathlessly reporting on the sale, going so far as to judge the choice of color combination (Porsche Lime Green with a Tuscan Brown interior), we at Autoguide went straight to the source to get Jack’s take on the car.
“I was looking for something that captured the spirit of the early Seventies,” he said. “Also, I think people who buy black German cars and black out the windows are candy-ass douchebags and I wanted to make a strong statement to that effect. Lastly, I did it for the nookie.”
The S5 in question has quite an illustrious history, appearing in a few of Jack’s columns at SpeedSportLife and taking part in the Cadillac CTS-V Challenge. Having seen the car in person, we can confirm that it is visually striking and there really isn’t anything else like it on the road.