Four Days In

It has been four full days since I’ve taken my Audi S5 home and I’ve clocked in over 330 miles since. Before I go into some more detail, I want to note that the S5 is my first car with a manual transmission. A couple of weeks prior to picking up the S5, a co-worker graciously helped me learn how to drive with a manual. The hours of practice definitely gave me a head start and have allowed me to enjoy the car almost off the bat.

As anyone can guess, I have stalled the S5 several times (in fact, I think I’m up to around 20 times now), though I am improving each hour that I’m behind the wheels. I really like the moderately mechanical feel of the shifter, though the clutch pedal feel is a bit muted. While Audi no longer actively mentions that the 2011 S5 has hill hold assist, the parking brake will automatically disengage when it detects forward motion. That, right there, has been a gift from the car deities.

This morning, I got a chance to let the tail wiggle a little bit with the help of the Sports Rear Differential and the fact that the newer versions of quattro send a bit more power to the rear wheels by default. I still don’t have the shift timing down nor have I tried to heel-and-toe my way through a tight curve.

Be it cruising along or trying to take on Skyline or Germantown, I just love the sound of the 4.2-litre V8 even if it is a bit muted. Of course, I can always roll down the windows, slap it out of gear and just rev up the engine.

If it’s not the V8 sound that grabs attention, it’s the coupe’s curves, the Sprint Blue paint, and the two-tone seats. Speaking of the seats, the Alcantara inserts provide an insane amount of grip and the seats themselves are very comfortable. I wasn’t tired after being in the seats for over three hours.

I am very glad that HD Radio is available for the 2011 model year, as I can get a couple of additional stations, including OPB Music, in case I’m bored with the music I’ve stuffed on to two Kingston 32GB SDHC cards (when equipped with navigation, the MMI system provides two SD/SDHC slots). Let’s just say I don’t have to worry about futzing around with an iPod. The only gripe that I have is that it does not remember that I set the play mode to shuffle if I shut off the car.

While I have not had a real need to use the navigation system (which I configured it to use a 2D map rather than the default 3D map, all because I like to have north pointing up), but the voice command system works beautifully. I tend to mumble syllables or words at times and it hasn’t caused an issue yet. Call quality, at least on my side, sounds as good as cell phone calls can be. It did take a while for it to pair up with my iPhone 3G running iOS 4.0.1.

Having come from a car with a tilting and sliding moonroof, I don’t really miss the fact that the S5’s moonroof only tilts. The main reason is the size of the moonroof lets in a lot of light and tilting it up does help with venting some air out.

While it is common for a German car to have useless or poorly located cup holders, there are two decent cup holders right behind the MMI controls and in front of the arm rest. The larger one holds my 27 ounch Klean Kanteen water bottle, though I have found a much better spot for it: the door pockets. There is a spot in the front of the pockets that are meant to hold water bottles. Boo yeah! So the two cup holders are now used to hold my phones when they are charging up.

Tomorrow is another day and another opportunity to stall, I mean, drive the S5.