NEW FOR 2009:

– Standard stereo auxiliary input
– Shift paddles no longer standard on 3.2; available in S Line package
– Technology Package adds Audi Side Assist
– S Line Package includes leather and perforated Alcantara seat fabric with embossed logo
– Navigation Package adds voice control system

Introduced as all-new models in 2008, the A5 and high-performance S5 undergo only tweaks to their list of features, with an auxiliary input jack standard on all models, and the addition of technology such as Audi Side Assist and a voice controller for the navigation system.

The A5 is powered by a 3.2-litre V6 that makes 265 horsepower, mated to a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission. The S5 uses a 4.2-litre V8, producing 354 horsepower, also with a six-speed manual. A six-speed automatic with Tiptronic manual mode is also available. Both models use Quattro all-wheel drive, with a normal 60/40 front/rear bias that seamlessly switches power if more traction is required at either axle.

Features on the A5 include 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic tri-zone climate control, power-folding and auto-dimming heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, self-levelling bi-xenon headlamps with washers, LED daytime running lights, fog lamps, rain-sensing wipers, auto up/down front windows, cruise control, keyless entry, tilting glass panel roof, heated power leather seats, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, floor mats, wood accents, leather-wrapped multifunction tilt and telescopic wheel, auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, driver information centre, heated washer nozzles, six-CD/MP3 stereo, and Sirius satellite radio.

The S5 adds 19-inch alloy wheels, sport suspension, larger brake rotors, rear spoiler, adaptive headlamps, garage door opener, keyless ignition, silk nappa leather sport seats, brushed aluminum accents, and Bang & Olufsen sound system.

Beautifully styled, the two-door A5 features extremely comfortable seats, sharp handling, and spirited performance that becomes even more evident with the V8 in the S5. Rear-seat passengers will notice the lack of headroom, and the big glass sunroof only tilts up, instead of sliding back, but these are minor quibbles in a vehicle this nice.

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