Audi Makes It Official: RS5 Coupe Powered by 450-hp Twin-Turbo V6
Audi has pulled the wraps off their new RS5 Coupe based on the latest A5/S5 platform, replacing the beloved naturally aspirated V8 with a 2.9L twin-turbo V6.
Providing some consolation for those mourning the passing of that 4.2L V8, the new 2.9L TFSI biturbo V6 makes up for it with power, 450 horses to be exact.
Audi spent quite a bit of time talking about their new design, the first time the Audi Sport GmbH (formerly Quattro GmbH) team has taken their body kits and big wheels to the new generation of Audi designs, but suffice to say that there is a body kit and big wheels that make it look like an A5 on steroids.
“The car’s V6 biturbo has been developed from the ground up and provides significantly more performance coupled with higher efficiency,” said Stephan Winkelmann, CEO of Audi Sport GmbH.
Audi’s direct injection and revised compression stroke are paired with a higher compression ratio achieves more efficient combustion, projected to improve 17 percent over the outgoing RS5. The two turbochargers are slotted in the V of the engine, and the charged air flows through a dual-branch system for quicker response, but what drivers will most appreciate will be the massive leap in torque, up from 317 lb-ft to 442, meaning that the engine management software is going to have to work that much harder to protect the standard Quattro all-wheel drive’s differentials. Power defaults to a slight rear bias (40:60), and the sport differential returns as an option to balance power between the rear wheels.
Benefitting both performance and efficiency is the B9 generation’s newfound weight loss. At 3,649 pounds (1,655 kilograms), it’s 132 lb (60 kg) lighter than its predecessor. If you want to show off its lightweight engineering, you can order the carbon-fiber roof exposed in all its glory.
SEE MORE: 2018 Audi A5 and Audi S5 Review
As with the S4 and S5, shifting is assigned to Audi’s eight-speed automatic, promising “optimised” though not necessarily faster shift times. Whether the shifting is quicker or not, the RS5 certainly will be, hitting 60 mph from rest in under 4 seconds (0-100 km/h in 3.9 seconds) and the optional dynamic package helps it reach a top speed of 174 mph (280 km/h).
Sitting lower and stretching wider than standard models, the blistered fenders accommodate minimum 19-inch wheels (20s are optional), updated five-link suspension in front and a new five-link suspension in the rear (replacing the trapezoidal-link setup). Audi promises that this will yield sportier driving characteristics and agility, but also improve comfort “significantly”. The options sheet includes the RS sport suspension with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC), ceramic brakes and dynamic steering with RS-specific tuning. Audi’s drive select system offers the usual personalization of steering, throttle and suspension calibration to suit different drivers or different moods.
The interior is a sporty black hole swathed in red-stitched, quilted “Fine Nappa” black leather, slathered in glossy carbon-fibre trim, and Audi’s superb steering wheel, which can optionally be wrapped in alcantara. And RS logos, all the RS logos. Meanwhile, Audi’s Virtual cockpit digital gauge cluster offers its usual wealth of information and adds tire pressure, torque and g-force display, plus a shift indicator light as you approach redline.
Jonathan eats, sleeps, and breathes cars. A family man through and through, Jonathan brings over 10 years of experience evaluating cars with a focus on the details that parents will be grateful for, and cars that drivers will appreciate.
More by Jonathan Yarkony