Versions of the Audi RS 5 have been on sale in Australia since October 2010 when the first coupe was launched. It was joined in October 2013 by a cabriolet variant and now by the first-ever five-door RS 5 Sportback.
The Sportback is 59 mm longer than the coupe in both wheelbase and overall length as well as being 76 mm higher to cater for three rear seat passengers. The coupe only seats two in the back.
At front of the Audi RS 5 Sportback features a flat, wide single-frame grille, large air inlets with honeycomb fill, LED headlights, power-dome bonnet bulge and a ‘quattro’ embossed front spoiler.
In profile the Sportback is taller than the coupe with quattro blisters above the wheel housings. The rear features an RS-specific diffuser insert and exhaust system with wide oval tailpipes and a fixed spoiler lip.
Inside Sportback’s basic black interior there are numerous reminders that you’re in an Audi RS (it stands for RennSport or “racing sport” in German) with RS logos on the seats, flat-bottomed steering wheel, door-sill trims, floor mats, gear selector lever and the Audi virtual cockpit.
The interior is beautifully finished with brushed aluminium and carbon-fibre highlighte. There are Nappa leather seats with honeycomb patterned stitching with the option of upgrading to Alcantara with red stitching as part of a $3300 RS design package.
Two other packages, each at $10,900, add carbon and either matt aluminium look or black styling.
Standard equipment includes 20-inch alloy wheels with red-painted calibers, head-up display, phone box light wireless smartphone charging, USB sockets front and rear, privacy glass and panoramic glass sunroof, the Audi virtual cockpit, Audi connect, smartphone interface and DAB+ digital radio and Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system.
The RS 5 Sportback is powered by the same 2.9-litre bi-turbo V6 as the coupe. It generates up to 331 kW of power and 600 Nm of torque from 1900 to 5500 rpm and, like the coupe it can get from zero to 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds – despite 60 kilograms of extra weight.
Transmission is through an eight-speed tiptronic automatic with Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system.
The RS sport suspension has Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) to position the Sportback lower than the production A5 Sportback models.
Drivers can make their driving experience more personal with ‘individual’, ‘dynamic’ or ‘comfortable’ modes through the standard Audi drive select system.
We will be getting into the new Sportback for our extended review as soon as possible and providing our detailed drive impressions on this spectacular new car.
Audi RS 5 Sportback is on sale now priced at $157,700 (the same as the coupe) excludes dealer delivery and government statutory charges.