First unveiled at the 2017 Geneva autoshow in March, the launch of the facelifted version of the Audi RS5 has come full circle with a host of new technological updates, whilst maintaining a retrospective homage to one of Audi Sport’s most prolific race cars.
The new RS5 is the flagship model of current-generation (B9) A5 model, based on parent company Volkswagen’s MLB (Modular Longitudinal Matrix) platform.
Audi Sport drew inspiration for the RS5 Coupe from the Audi 90 Quattro IMSA GTO race cars of the late 80s. The large air inlets, on either side of the ‘Singleframe’ radiator grille are much wider and flatter than in the base model.
Along the flanks, Quattro blisters which emphasize the wheel arches are 15mm wider over the standard Audi A5. The RS5 will also feature 19-inch wheels as standard, 20-inch optional wheels are also offered.
At the rear, the RS-specific diffuser inserts and oval tailpipes of the RS exhaust system finish off the exterior of the RS5. The new RS5 Coupé is also 74mm longer than the previous model.
The centerpiece of the RS treatment is the new 2.9-litre direct-injected V6 twin-turbo engine, which Audi developed from the ground up. The engine delivers 450 hp and peak torque of 600 Nm between 1,900 to 5,000rpm. The engine produces some 170Nm more than the outgoing 4.2-litre naturally aspirated V8 that it replaces.
The engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, sending power to all four wheels through the Quattro permanent all-wheel drive system which features a self-locking central differential.
Power is 40:60 asymmetrically distributed to the front and rear axles respectively, Audi Sport also offers an optional rear sport differential.
The RS5 is tipped to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds, and reach an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h. With the optional RS dynamic package, it can even reach 280 km/h.
Efficiency is also up by 17 percent, thanks to a ‘B-cycle’ combustion process with centralised direct injection – the RS5 is claimed to consume 8.7 liters/100km on the combined cycle.
The increased fuel economy is also due to a lower kerb weight, the RS5 tips the scales at 1,655kg – 60 kg less than the last generation car. A lighter carbon roof is also available as an option.
A revised five-link construction is used on the front axle. At the rear, a five-link suspension replaces the trapezoidal-link suspension used on the previous model.
With the standard RS sport suspension, the new RS5 Coupe sits 7mm lower than the base model. As an alternative, Audi Sport also offers the RS sport suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC), ceramic brakes and dynamic steering with RS-specific tuning. Drivers have three drive modes - individual, dynamic or comfortable using the Audi drive select.
The interior features RS sport seats, also available in fine Nappa leather with a honeycomb pattern – and the flat-bottomed RS multifunction sports leather steering wheel.
For the RS5, the Audi virtual cockpit will also provide information on tire pressure, torque and g-forces, while a shift light prompts the driver to upshift upon reaching the rev limit.
A comprehensive range of infotainment choices will also feature on the RS5, the optional ‘MMI navigation plus with MMI touch’ features a module that allows the car to connect to the internet via LTE technology using a permanently placed SIM. The system also allows for an in-car Wifi hotspot option. The Audi smartphone interface uses Apple Car Play and Android Auto to make selected apps available in a separate MMI menu.
The RS5 is slated to arrive at dealerships in Germany and other European countries in June 2017. The base price starts off at EUR 80,900.