Exactly three years ago, on August 27th, 2010, I finished all of the required paperwork to complete the purchase of my 2011 Sprint Blue Audi S5 at Sunset Porsche Audi. That day had been 4 months and 4 days in the making, as I placed the deposit on the order on my birthday.
For those not entirely familiar with my S5 order, I had chosen the following items:
- Sprint Blue Pearl Effect Paint
- Black Silk Nappa leather seats with Silver Alcantara Inserts
- 6-speed Manual Gearbox
- Prestige Trim (includes MMI Navigation plus, Advanced Key and Bang & Olufsen sound system)
- quattro with Sport Rear Differential
- Carbon Atlas inlays
Before all of the paperwork was completed, I was able to see the vehicle after PDI and give it a run around the block. That also gave me a chance to take some photos of the car, as a way to soak in the car while waiting for the rest of the financial processes to wrap up.
I opted to take a week of August 30th off from work to give me time to familiarize myself with the new car; and, most importantly, it gave me a chance to acquaint myself further with the clutch and gearbox (the S5 was the first car that I owned with a manual gearbox). I didn’t want to immediately attempt to take the car on the highways and freeways, in fear of stalling in traffic. I spent that week driving the car around town, getting used to what would be needed to drive in stop-and-go traffic. For most of the time, I left the Drive Select solely in Auto and didn’t futz with anything else in the car
By the time I had to go back to work, I had probably stalled the car a few dozen times and probably missed a gear or two. Thankfully, none of the stalls were on the highway or during heavy traffic. Once I started to get more familiar with the clutch and gearbox, I started experimenting with the different settings in the limited version of Audi Drive Select that comes with the Sport Rear Differential. Eventually, I settled on setting the Engine to Auto or Dynamic and both Steering and Rear Differential to Dynamic. For the times that the steering felt too heavy, I would just flick ADS over to Auto.
Since owning the S5, I have made several minor mods to the car. One of the first mods that I did was, after ordering a Ross-Tech cable and VCDS license, to disable the LED DRL wink when the turn signal is used. I also have used VCDS to set the Audi Drive Select default to Individual, rather than resetting back to Auto, enabled the convenience windows feature for the Advanced Key and enabled the (unused) lap timer. Recently, I decided to get a set of H&R spacers, 10mm up front and 15mm for the rear, to bring out the wheels a bit more and make it seem like the wheel well is filled out a bit more. I have no plans on installing a suspension, as I don’t want to ruin the ride by making it harsher than needed. Window tint (3M CR50) and clear bra were also installed.
Even though front license plates are required in the state of Oregon, if both plates are provided when the car is registered, I decided to remove the hideous US-style front license plate holder and installed a filler plate in its place. At this point, I have only been smacked with one “no front license plate” ticket (two weeks ago) by the lovely city of Portland. The check is in the mail.
Considering that the temperature in and around the Portland metro area can dip below 40 degrees F during the winter and I prefer to not drive on hockey pucks. So, I picked up a set of winter wheels and tires. Unfortunately, the winter tires are run-flats and completely demolish the ride and handling of the car when in use. With that, I try to keep them off of the car as much as possible. When not running on winter tires, my S5 had run on a set of Pirelli P Zero Rosso from the factory and, currently, a set of Michelin Pilot Super Sports. The OE set of Pirelli tires were great for the first 3,000 miles or so; but, they started to lose their grip, tire noise was horrible and wore out way too fast. The Michelin tires have been excellent so far.
One mod that I have been pondering over the three years is an AWE Tuning’s Touring exhaust system without the non-resonated downpipes. I’ve heard the exhaust, with the non-res downpipes, and knees go wibbly-wobbly each time. I haven’t pulled the trigger on the exhausts, mostly due to available budget. The reason for not going with the non-res downpipes when I pull the trigger is that I’m looking for a subtle upgrade to the exhaust; but, not one that adds too much more drone (highly sensitive) or is too loud for where I live.
During the summer of 2011, I was approached by representatives of the northwest chapter of the Audi Club to have my S5 be one of the two-door coupes to represent Audi; all, as part of the Cars in the Park event (coinciding with the Allure of the Automobile) outside of the Portland Art Museum. Considering that Sprint Blue S5s are not all-too common in the Pacific Northwest, I was chuffed when there was another Sprint Blue S5 representing Audi as well.
Last year, the editors for Edmunds.com’s InsideLine blog reached out to their readers asking for stories about their cars. I took up the request and decided to write about the story behind my S5 (aka #LoveMyS5), including what lead me to decide on an S5. Not only did the story get approved by the editors and get published, it was also picked up by Audi and shared out on to Twitter and Facebook. Unfortunately, Edmunds.com decided to completely re-do their website and site structure and their Readers Rides section is no longer. I was able to pull the edited version from Google’s cache and the Wayback Machine and posted it on my blog.
Other than a bit of #SharkWeek attention last year, my S5 has since lived a more low-key life and continues to be my baby. The S5 has, so far (knock on wood), avoided any major mechanical problems or involved in any accidents. There is some minor scuffs on the lower part of the front fascia when some road debris made contact with it. Also, within the first week of working at the new building for work, a careless idiot decided to open their door into my car. Both will be tended to in the near future.
Earlier this year, the front brake rotors were replaced due to excessive squeaking and squealing and was covered by a TSB. The S5 has several squeaks and rattles that have come and gone, and some have come to stay.
It has been an incredible three years and 28,300+ miles with my S5. Even though I have been tempted away from my S5 with various weekends with other Audis, including my #WantAnR8 weekend and a quick spin around in an Audi Exclusive Nogaro Blue RS 5, I think I’ll continue to love it for a while longer.
For additional photos of my 2011 Audi S5 throughout the three years, check out the following photo sets on Flickr: