At 4723 mm long, the new RS 5 is 74mm longer than the previous model. It has an additional 15mm in the wheelbase, providing good rear legroom for an average-height person.
It’s limited to four occupants, something that’s not unusual in a coupe.
The Audi RS 5 Coupe 2.9 TFSI quattro tiptronic, to give it its full title, comes to market at $157,700, $200 less than the outgoing car. But, as tested, also incorporated a carbon and black styling package consisting of front spoiler, sill extension inserts, rear spoiler and diffuser insert and exterior mirror housings in carbon, adding $10,900 to the price.
Our test car was fitted with the Audi Technik package, with a full-colour head-up display, Matrix LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, dynamic front and rear indicators, all-weather lights, motorway light function, plus wireless charging for some mobile phones. That’s added a further $3900 to come up with a total of $172,500.
Audi designers looked closely at the distinctive racing details of the Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO when penning the upgrades for the RS 5 Coupe. The single-frame grille is much wider and flatter than in standard models. Features include huge air inlets with the honeycomb structure typical of RS models.
Out back is an RS-specific diffuser insert, oval tailpipes and a surface-mounted spoiler lip. The RS 5 Coupé rolls on 20-inch wheels, available in a number of designs.
RS logos can be found on seats, steering wheel, door sills and the gear selector lever. Added RS displays in the virtual cockpit provide information on tyre pressure, torque and g-forces.
RS specific sport seats feature honeycomb stitching in Nappa leather. The flat-bottom RS multifunction sport steering wheel adds.
Audi RS 5 Coupe infotainment includes features such as the Audi virtual cockpit, Audi connect, smartphone interface and DAB+ digital radio. We loved the sound of the high-end Bang & Olufsen 3-D sound system.
ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
The 2.9-litre TFSI V6 twin-turbo engine offers 331 kW and 600 Nm of torque, the latter up 170 Nm on the previous model, across a band from 1900 to 5000 rpm.
The unit’s two turbochargers sit between the cylinder banks, the air flowing to turbochargers and travelling the short distance to the combustion chambers through a dual-branch system. Central direct injection provides even more efficient combustion.
The prodigious power is put to ground via an eight-speed tiptronic automatic with shift times designed to deliver a virtually constant stream of power to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system.
In the combined urban/highway cycle Audi says the V6 biturbo consumes just 8.8 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres, corresponding to 199 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre – 16 per cent better than the previous model.
The RS 5 easily attained a five star safety rating.
There are IsoFix anchor points and top tethers for the two rear seats,
Audi Pre-sense City includes Automatic emergency braking including pedestrian detection. It also has a full suite of safety items, ESC takes advantage of the quattro system in its wheel-selective torque control.
Adaptive cruise control and active lane assist make long distance cruising, especially easy.
Pre-sense front, collision-avoidance assist, rear cross traffic assist, turn assist, blind-spot warning. An excellent feature is exit warning system which detects cars and cyclists when opening doors.
In normal driving torque is divided 40:60 to the front and rear axles. In spirited driving up to 85 per cent of torque can be routed to the rear wheels.
A sport differential transfers torque to the rear wheel with most traction, aiding powerful acceleration out of corners.
Drivers can make their driving experience more personal with ‘individual’, ‘dynamic’ or ‘comfortable’ modes through the standard Audi drive select system. If that’s not enough, an RS sport suspension with Dynamic Ride Control can be optioned with the new RS 5 Coupé sitting much lower than the production model.
During our test runs, the drive select worked best in ‘comfort’ mode, ‘dynamic’ producing a far too stiff driving experience best left for track days. Superb acceleration of the RS Coupe held no fears when overtaking. There was little that held us up even on narrow, twisting roads.
Corners were navigated with just as much confidence, the car remaining flat to the bitumen in response even to the most testing steering inputs. Braking had the coupe coming to a halt to order.
Audi says the zero-to-100 km/h sprint comes up in 3.9 seconds and, without any track time to confirm this, we see no reason to doubt that.
Big, bold and seriously quick the new Audi RS 5 coupe is a machine that just calls out for keen drivers to get the best from their machine.
Audi RS5 two-door coupe: $157,700 (automatic)
Note: This price does not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Audi dealer for drive-away prices.
SPECIFICATIONS (Audi RS5 2.9-litre two-door coupe)
Capacity: 2.894 litres
Maximum Power: 331 kW @ 5700 rpm
Maximum Torque: 600 Nm @ 1900 rpm
Fuel Type: Premium unleaded
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 8.8 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 199 g/km
DRIVELINE: Eight-speed automatic
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4723 mm
Wheelbase: 2772 mm
Width: 1861 mm
Height: 1370 mm
Turning Circle: 11.6 metres
Kerb Mass: 1655 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 58 litres
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc
Three years / unlimited kilometres