The B8 Audi S5 is muscular Teutonic Sports Coupe, offering something in between a Mustang and a S4, Audi’s 2-door entry to the German coupe category is pretty darn good out of the box. Unfortunately, like any new Audi product, there are a few nagging details that need to be sorted for the Audi S5 to be the best it could possibly be.
In this article we’ll be going over the basic modding options available to you for getting the most out of your B8 Audi S5, ranging from making it look and sound better to outright making it faster – all laid out in a straightforward, easy to follow manner.
#1 – Wheels
The factory B8 Audi S5 Wheels are pretty dull, and only a few people are ever impressed by the stock wheels. Check out how an S5 looks on a set of HRE Flow Form FF01 wheels above. That’s a very different look than stock, wouldn’t you agree?
As with nearly every other car on the planet, the S5 just looks better on a nice set of wheels. The style and color wheels you choose sort of ‘sets the tone’ for the rest of your build, kinda like the Bass Guitarist to your car’s exterior’s Lead Guitar (let’s call the Exhaust the drummer). So when you want to mod your Audi S5, a set of aftermarket wheels for B8 Audi S5 is a great place to start.
Audi B8 S5 on HRE FF01 Wheels in Liquid Silver 20×9 /Hankook Ventus V12 Evo2
As far as style goes, there’s a wide variety of options to suit every budget and taste – from affordable cast wheels to beautiful bespoke Modular forged wheels, we’ve got an option that’s perfect for you and your exactS5.
With the B8 Audi S5, the body lines and cleaner styling calls for a wheel that pairs nicely with the car’s styling language and your personal tastes. We offer stylish wheels from HRE Performance Wheels, Forgestar, Klutch, BC Racing, Avant Garde, WatCooled IND, Niche Wheels, MRR, TSW Wheels, VMR Wheels and more.
We’ve shown you some HRE’s, check out a few examples that’ve been popular for the B8 S5.
Forgestar Wheels are another high quality option befitting your S5 – like the HRE FF01s, Forgestar Wheels are Rotary Forged aka Flow Form – which, translated from engineer-speak, means they’re both lightweight and strong. The concave F14 Forgestar Wheels for Audi are an especially popular choice.
The multispoke look of Forgestar CF10 Wheels for Audi works incredibly well on an S5.
TSW Nurburgring Wheels for Audi are also another great budget option.
Of course, these are just suggestions – there are dozens of wheel styles available and far too many to cram into one post, so check out our selection of wheels for B8 Audi S5 here.
B8 Audi S5 Lowered on H&R Street Performance Coilovers for B8 Audi S5
Though you now have the wheels sorted, the car still sits high enough to get over taller snowbanks in the winter. That means even on a sports coupe S5 there’s still a good bit of wheelgap. There are a coupe of different options for B8 Audi S5 Suspension on the market, and each type of suspension product has its own advantages and compromises. We’ll cover the basics so you can decide for yourself exactly how you want to get low, and exactly how much lower you want to be.
The most “minimally invasive” way to lower your Audi is a set of springs for B8 Audi S5, which replaces the OEM springs with another, shorter set of springs for enhanced handling performance and a superior look – the S5 above is sitting on a set of H&R Sport Springs for B8 Audi S5 – it basically eliminates the wheelgap but isn’t super aggressive – and it’s set permanently at this height. You can’t adjust them. But the springs themselves are very affordable. We offer Lowering Springs for B8 Audi S5 from GMG Racing as well.
Lowering Springs are very affordable only in terms of the cost of the parts themselves, if you factor in installation costs for first installing the springs, then taking it all apart again a few thousand miles later when the OEM shocks are worn out, the cost difference relative to coilovers gets smaller and smaller.
As we’ve said many many times before, and we’re sure we’ll say again – it is just as much work tto install a set of coilovers as it is to install a set of lowering springs, and you get the added benefit of a higher quality shock absorber unit – which may even be adjustable – that’s been specifically designed to work with the lower ride height springs, and a set of coilovers as a part of your B8 Audi S5 Suspension offers you the flexibility to have control over exactly how much lower the car is.
Contrary to the popular belief, coilovers are not just for ‘racetrack only’ use – and that’s hardly the reality – most of the Mod Experts here – myself included- are running coilover suspension in our own personal daily driven cars. The craziest thing is that sometimes coilovers can be MORE COMFORTABLE than the OEM suspension if set up correctly, as was my experience in my own Fiesta ST after installing a set of coilovers from ST Suspensions.
KW Suspension Coilovers for B8 Audi S5 are one of the finest options available for your B8/B8.5 Audi S5 Suspension, offering adjustable height, bound, rebound – with their stainless steel finish, these coilovers will stand up to whatever road grime and crap the snowbelt states can throw at them. What’s more, if you have electronically adjustable shocks and want to retain that functionality while also lowering the car, a set of KW Height Adjustable Springs for B8/B8.5 Audi S5 are the perfect way to pull that off.
As with many cars, the rear is a separate shock body with a height adjustable spring perch. If you intend to do mostly street driving with the occasional canyon run or AutoX day, it’s hard to go wrong with the H&R Coilovers for Audi S5.
If you don’t live in an area where snow is a problem, or are on a tighter budget, you can skip the Stainless finish, as that’s really not going to benefit you much beyond looking all shiny and pretty, so ST Suspensions XT Coilovers for B8 Audi S5 are a great option if you’re on a tighter budget. If you’re strapped for cash yet still want an adjustable shock, there are the BC Racing Coilovers for B8 Audi S5, which offer a 30-way adjustable coilover at a much lower pricepoint, meaning you still get the full range of adjustments available.
But what if all the adjustments of the coilover are greek to you, or you don’t think you’ll want to hassle with changing up the settings manually every so often, but still want to have control over how much lower the car is?
You’re in luck – there are few alternative coilovers on the market that do offer the adjustable height you’re after, but forgo the adjustable shock in favor of a fixed-damping shock absorber that’s been spec’d for your S5.
Are you worried about the ride quality of your Audi S5 if you lower it on coilovers? There’s a coilover just for you – Vogtland Suspension Coilovers for B8 Audi S5. These coilovers are TUV approved and are built using Vogtland’s in-house-manufactured springs paired with a Galvanized shock body from KW (the same type used for ST Suspensions) that’s been spec’d with comfort in mind.
Which brings us to Exhaust Systems for B8 / B8.5 Audi S5. The OEM Exhaust system is pretty friggin quiet. It’s designed with German road standards in mind, which are much stricter than what cars have to face here in the states. Fortunately here in the good ol’ US of A, we can have a loud exhaust if we feel like it, because MURICA.
An exhaust system for B8 S5 will free up a little bit of power, and opting for sport cat or catless downpipes when you are getting a system will also help keep the motor running a little cooler with that supercharged V6 and let you enjoy the unique engine note a roots supercharged motor has to offer.
What makes a good exhaust system though? Is it the loudest one available? The one that makes the most horsepower?
The best exhaust for B8 Audi S5 – definitively – is the one you like the sound of most. Mindblowing, right? Just as Art is subjective – “in the eye of the beholder”, or in this case “ear of the beholder” – listen to sound clips of the systems you’re considering in action, so you can decide what tone you like best and what you feel like you can live with.
AWE Tuning has built up a reputation over the years for their attention to detail and have made quite a name for themselves. Controlling the tone of their exhaust systems and refining the system is something that AWE specializes in and prides itself on, spending many man hours developing and testing each and every one exhaust system designs before releasing them to the public.
Most AWE systems are very customizable, allowing you to make the system louder or quieter based on your tastes and offers several tip options. They offer two main versions – the perfect-for-street-use AWE Tuning Touring Cat Back Exhaust for B8/B8.5 Audi S5 – and the super loud, “let’s be a racecar!” AWE Track Edition Cat Back Exhausts for B8/B8.5 Audi S5 – if you’ve got a convertible, AWE offers the AWE Tuning Cat-Back Exhaust for B8 Audi S5 Cabrio for you droptop guys out there.
While some Audi aficionados out there might think they want the “Track” version, really, if you want a LOUD exhaust on your street car, you want the TOURING version, but without resonated downpipes. Listen to the stark difference between the two and see for yourself.
The Remus system also offers the This system increases horsepower and torque and delivers a unique yet distinctly German exhaust note. Give it a listen below:
If you’re looking for an aggressive exhaust note that sounds beefy and beastly, an Eisenmann Exhaust for B8 Audi S5 might be a great choice for those of you who want to turn heads wherever you go.
Another option for those who have an aggressive exhaust note in mind, a Billy Boat Exhaust for B8 Audi S5 is another solid catback option that will yield noticeable HP/Torque gains and a deep rumble yet has been specifically designed to prevent interior resonance.
The Billy Boat Exhaust for B8 Audi S5 definitely has a different look to it than other systems with super-aggro oversized round quad tips.
Of course, if you’re not sure what your best options are, you can always chat with a Mod Expert and they can point you in the direction of an exhaust system you might like based on the traits you’re looking for – give em a call at 714-582-3330, chat live at ModBargains.com or simply stop by the ModAuto showroom in La Habra, CA Monday thru Saturday 8a-5p and speak with an expert in person.
#4 Make a Statement with Your Exterior
If you’ve already handled the wheels, dropped the car a bit and done whatever you like with the exhaust, then perhaps it’s time to consider making that S5 look a bit like it’s yours.
If there’s one negative thing you can say about Audi styling, it’s that sometimes the Germans can be a bit lacking in artistic flair. Luckily, changing up the aesthetic of your B8 Audi S5 is easier than you might think, and there are quite a few options on the market to help you create a look for your B8 Audi S5 Exterior that suits your style. A Carbon Fiber lip like the Deval Carbon Fiber Lip for B8 Audi S5 shown above is a great way to add some trackday-inspired aggression to your front end.
A Carbon Fiber hood for B8 Audi S5 is always a great way to both lighten the front end of the car as well as give the car a more track-oriented look.
A rear spoiler like this C-Style Trunk Spoiler for B8 Audi S5/A5 can round out the look of your S5’s rear end, and can be had in paintable FRP or Carbon Fiber to suit your tastes.
APR Performance offers this APR Carbon Fiber Trunk Spoiler for B8 Audi S5/A5 as well that offers a different look and more aggressive styling.
#5 Powering Up Your S5’s Performance
Now let’s talk about power and performance. There are a couple of key things to address when you’re modding for optimal B8 Audi S5 Performance. The 3.0 TFSI V6 is a different animal than many other cars and has unique problems specific only to roots supercharged cars.
The Roots blower on the 3.0TFSI V6 engine is great at making low end torque, but like any roots blower it has its shortcomings that need to be addressed as well. Namely, HEAT SOAK. The old temperature monster plagues Audi’s latest n greatest sport sedan, and it’s out to rob you of power by sending your air charge temperatures sky high.
As we’ve mentioned before, AWE Tuning discovered during R&D testing that their 3.0TFSI S5 (the world’s fastest Full-Weight, Full Interior S5) was losing nearly 30whp after just a few WOT pulls on their dyno. Being ones never to leave something “half done”, AWE then set out designing this beefy cooling setup.
You have a few options for combating the insane levels of heatsoak these cars suffer from – both from premier names in tuning. AWE Tuning, a long time Audi specialist, offers the AWE Cold Front Cooling System for the B8/B8.5 Audi S5 3.0 TFSI, which replaces and augments several key cooling components to ensure the motor stays cool and producing its intended output, pull after pull.
Yeah, the system is a bit pricey, but the cooling system is the #1 issue that you should address if you’re looking to get more power out of your S5.
So after you address the cooling system, then what?
Upgrading the intake isn’t without its gains, as you can pick up at least 15hp / 10tq by installing a performance air intake, and a free flowing intake will allow you to better hear that trademark Eaton Roots-Blower whine. “WRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR” has never been a more beautiful sound to behold.
You have a couple of options for your intake upgrades for the 3.0 TFSI – the AWE Tuning S-Flo Intake for B8 Audi S5 3.0TFSI, which is the more “OEM+” option and a touch more conservative.
If you’re okay with a more aggressive look under the hood, Injen technology offers a great solution for the 3.0 TFSI. The Injen intake for B8 S4/S5 replaces the OEM upper airbox lid and fits a high flow filter and tubing to deliver a gain of 18whp and 14wtq at all four wheels – this intake happens to be the one from the S4 that an S5 forum member installed in his S5 making one more option available to the S5 crowd. We can’t guarantee it’ll work on everyone’s S5 until Injen confirms the fitment themselves, but if you want to roll the dice, it is an option.
Beyond the intake and the cooling system, what other upgrades are available? Well, the fun thing is that increasing power is surprisingly easy with a Roots-Supercharged engine, and AWE Tuning has a solution that allows you to do just that, and the way you achieve that is much simpler than you’d think – just change the supercharger pulley!
AWE Tuning offers a combination of a pulley/belt combined with a software reflash to yield a whalloping gain of up to 100 crank hp and 80 crank tq over stock.
As you can see, there are a number of different ways to go about building more power with your 3.0 TFSI engine – if you’re not sure about what the best option for you might be or have questions, feel free to ask a Mod Expert, call 714-582-3330 or chat live at ModBargains.com
The S5 can get moving with authority thanks to that 3.0 TFSI motor- however, the OEM B8 Audi S5 Brakes seem to fall short, especially if you’re an aggressive driver (you know who you are) or plan to track or canyon the car on a regular basis. That means that with all that thrust pushing you forward, you need some beefy stoppers to bring all that mass to a halt.
There are a couple ways to beef up your stopping power- we’ll start with the easiest. You can always go with the Audi Sport Big Brake kit, but let’s say that you don’t have the budget for 24-Hours-of-LeMans grade stopping power. (We didn’t say that was the cheapest, just the easiest.)
One of the more inexpensive ways to beef up the B8 Audi S5 Brakes‘ stopping power is more budget-friendly than you might think – a set of StopTech Drilled & Slotted Brake Rotors for B8 Audi S5 are a great place to start, pair these with a set of StopTech Street Performance Brake pads for B8 Audi S5 for a noticeable increase in stopping power.
If you’re on a tighter budget, R1 Concepts offers their slightly-less-fancy E-Line series rotors in plain front / plain rear , slotted front / slotted rear, or both drilled/slotted front with drilled/slotted rear for Audi S5 applications.
The last affordable-but-effective Brake upgrade for the S5 is an upgrade that’s effective on nearly every make and model – a set of NeuSpeed Stainless Steel Braided Brake Lines for B8 Audi S5 will give your brakes a more positive feel, a firmer pedal and the stainless steel braided construction does not expand under pressure like the OEM rubber lines sometimes can, thereby denying the brake fluid a potential place it can boil and create air bubbles in the system.
By installing an upgraded set of Brake Rotors, superior compound brake pads and stainless steel brake lines all together, you’ll net a major increase in stopping power for a fraction of the expense of a big brake kit.
That said, if upgraded versions of the OEM components still aren’t enough, we also offer the
AP Racing Big Brake Kit for B8 Audi S5 here to give you enough stopping power to give yourself whiplash several times over.
We hope the mods we described in this piece for the B8 and B8.5 Audi S5 (3.0TFSI) has explained some of the basics of modding the B8 S5 as a platform, but we should mention once again that this is simply a general overview and there’s a lot more than we can fit in here.
Each of our Mod Experts owns and modifies their own personal vehicles and have years of firsthand experience building modified cars – including Audis like yours. Give the Mod Experts a call at 714-582-3330, chat live at ModBargains.com or just stop by the ModAuto showroom (which is also our install facility) in La Habra, CA on Lambert Rd at Harbor Blvd Monday thru Saturday, 8am – 5pm PST.
Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next time!
Story & All Original Photos by Nick Gregson
Select Photos Courtesy Manufacturers