Sports coupes reside in that Rhode Island–sized space between fully indulgent sports cars and eminently sensible sports sedans.

To earn its garage slot, a coupe must adroitly juggle three somewhat contradictory attributes: sex appeal, driving joy, and 2+2 practicality.

The three premium coupes in contention here pit youthful cunning against confident maturity. The Cadillac ATS and Lexus RC350 F Sport are the class’s pop celebs; think Justins, as in Timberlake and Bieber. Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood—with 60 years of acting, directing, and scoring to his credit—is the Audi S5 analogue. Roots reaching back to 2007 didn’t inhibit Audi’s veteran sports coupe from busting BMW’s then-new 435i in our 2014 comparison test, so we took it and threw it against these fresh newcomers.

Yes, it’s familiar-looking, expensive, and seemingly past its sell-by date, but none of that stopped the Audi S5 from winning this comparison without breaking a sweat. The key to its success is a compelling repertoire. Every move this sports coupe makes affirms its champion status.

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Car and Driver Comparison Test: 2015 Audi S5 vs. Cadillac ATS Coupe 3.6 vs. Lexus RC350 F Sport! The Audi Wins!

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