The 2018 RS5 is official and packs a huge wallop of visual impact in person. In photos, it looks like a forgettable facelift of a car that’s been on the roads since 2010. But it really evolves in the flesh into a stellar supercoupe.
Design analysis quicktake? This new nose does rely on a lot of misdirection, however, to keep you interested. It is a buffet of intake scoops, layered spoilers, contrasting trim finishes and embossed branding/badges. We count 1) bodycolor 2) gloss black 3) brushed alloy and 4)carbon-fiber, to name four such finishes. (Look for black pack on blue showcar above – to strip the bright window trim!) The singleframe Audi grille is virtually invisible beside all this distraction.
When you do note the single-frame grille, it’s clearly moved forward and down – extending the hoodline visually. The hood is actually a real wrap-around this year: the shutlines move into the fenders. Slimmer lights front and rear look serious to the point of rage with an LED scowl of light racing to the cheekline of the new RS5’s fenders.
Continuity lines and glasshouse are deceptive: all panels are new, the fenders are wildly more expressive, while the impossibly large wheels/brakes are track-tastic.
Here is a car that aims to P.I.T. every M4 on the Nurburgring into the guardrail — with its sheer passing power!
450 ponies and 442 pound-feet of torque are special, sure. They make this move to turbocharged power easier to swallow by their sheer potency. That torque number is up a whopping 124 pound-feet versus the current model. This is an all-new 2.9-liter V6TT with lagless boost and a louder snarl than any Audi turbo before.
And that is torque you cant miss from the driver seat. The 62-mph sprint is quoted as 3.8 seconds officially, likely leading to about 3.6-seconds on the quicker US tarmac/rollout measurements. That is serious rapid, and matches our dream daily: the F-Type R! But for about $20k less cash at the RS5’s estimated $75k base price. And quicker in a straight line than any M4. We’d bet on C63-S Coupe beating them all in realworld sprints. Or perhaps the cheaper Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400!
The 40:60 standard quattro with magnetic shocks and (optional) sport differential out back are tweaked for more engagement and corner fun in 2018. The cockpit takes a big tech step forward, naturally.
On a final note, it is interesting that Audi has left some performance on the table in the RS5. This makes room for eventual RS5 Plus and perhaps a unique M4 GTS-like flagship down the road.
2018 Audi RS5
The new Audi RS 5 Coupé* is the first Audi Sport model in the new RS design idiom. The car’s all-new 2.9 TFSI biturbo engine produces 331 kW (450 hp) and delivers 600 Nm (442.5 lb-ft) of torque. Standard quattro drive distributes the power to all four wheels.
“The new Audi RS 5 Coupé is the gran turismo among the RS models from Audi Sport. The high-performance Coupé combines elegant aesthetics with high everyday usability. 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, in describing the new model.
The designers drew inspiration for the RS 5 Coupé from the distinctive racing details of the Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO. Massive air inlets with the honeycomb structure typical of RS models characterize the front end of the new Audi RS 5 Coupé. The Singleframe radiator grille is much wider and flatter than in the base model. Next to the headlights are additional lateral air intakes and outlets; tinted bezels differentiate the optional Matrix LED headlights. quattro blisters on the flanks emphasize the pronounced bulges over the wheel arches, which have been widened by 15 millimeters (0.6 in).
Sporty accents are provided by the RS-specific diffuser insert, the oval tailpipes of the RS exhaust system and surface-mounted spoiler lip. The RS 5 Coupé rolls standard on 19-inch wheels, with 20-inch wheels available as an option. The appearance packages – gloss black, carbon and matt aluminum – provide even more customization options. With a length of 4,723 millimeters (185.9 in), the new Audi RS 5 Coupé is 74 millimeters (2.9 in) longer than the previous model.
The 2.9 TFSI V6 biturbo engine, which Audi developed from the ground up, offers sharp increases in power and efficiency as well as an incomparably full-bodied RS sound. It produces 331 kW (450 hp). Its peak torque of 600 Nm (442.5 lb-ft) – up 170 Nm (125.4 lb-ft) from the previous model – is available across a wide band from 1,900 to 5,000 rpm. The top model in the A5 family sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.9 seconds and with the optional dynamic package reaches a top speed of 280 km/h (174.0 mph).
The 2.9 TFSI unit’s two turbochargers are positioned centrally between the cylinder banks. The ingested air flows to the respective turbocharger and into the combustion chambers through a dual-branch system for spontaneous response. The B-cycle combustion process with central direct injection represents a new level of efficiency among the RS models. The shortened compression stroke used here enables an engine process with a significantly higher geometric compression ratio. Combined with a power stroke that, while normal, is longer relative to the compression stroke, this allows for more efficient combustion and increased engine efficiency. In the NEDC, the V6 biturbo consumes just 8.7 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (27.0 US mpg), corresponding to 197 grams CO2 per kilometer (317.0 g/mi). This is an efficiency gain of 17 percent over the previous model. Another factor in the greater efficiency of the newRS 5 Coupé is its significantly lower weight. It tips the scales at 1,655 kilograms (3,648.7 lb), 60 kilograms (132.3 lb) less than before. A roof of carbon with a visible fiber structure is available as an option.
The biturbo’s power flows through a sportily-tuned, eight-speed tiptronic with optimized shift times to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive. The drive forces are distributed asymmetrically to the axles (40:60) to guarantee dynamic handling with optimal traction and the greatest possible safety. Audi Sport also offers an optional rear sport differential.
An updated 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. This benefits the sporty driving characteristics and agility. It also improves comfort significantly. With the standard RS sport suspension, the new Audi RS 5 Coupé sits much lower than the production model. Audi Sport also offers the RS sport suspension with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC), ceramic brakes and dynamic steering with RS-specific tuning. Drivers can make their personal driving experience more individual, dynamic or comfortable using the standard Audi drive select system.
Bathed in black, the interior of the new Audi RS 5 Coupé is extremely upscale and sportily appointed. Details such as RS sport seats with optional diamond stitching in Fine Nappa leather and the flat-bottomed RS multifunction sport steering wheel underscore the character of the high-performance coupe in the interior as well. There are RS logos on the seats, steering wheel, door sill trims and the selector lever. Special RS displays in the Audi virtual cockpit provide information on tire pressure, torque and g-forces. A shift light prompts the driver to upshift upon reaching the rev limit. The RS design package uses red as a sporty contrasting color. Package highlights are the steering wheel, selector lever and knee pads in Alcantara plus seat belts contoured in red and floor mats with the RS emblem. Audi Sport offers Sonoma green metallic as an exclusive paint finish for the RS 5 Coupé.
A comprehensive range of infotainment choices is sure to keep everyone on board entertained. The optional MMI navigation plus with MMI touch includes the hardware module Audi connect, which connects the new RS 5 Coupé to the internet via LTE. Thanks to the Audi connect SIM, which is permanently installed in the car, the flat rate data package for the connect services including Europe-wide roaming is free of charge for three years. Passengers can go online with their mobile devices via the Wi-Fi hotspot option. The Audi smartphone interface uses Apple Car Play and Android Auto to make selected apps available in a separate MMI menu. Control is easy and intuitive, thanks to natural language voice control, free text search and the multifunction steering wheel. The touchpad in the center console is used to zoom, scroll and enter characters. Further high-end technologies, such as the head-up display and as many as 30 driver assistance systems enhance safety, comfort and efficiency. The intelligent interplay between these systems represents another step on the road to piloted driving.
Over 13,000 units of the first-generation Audi RS 5 Coupé have been delivered to customers since 2010. The new high-performance coupé is coming to dealerships in Germany and other European countries in June 2017. The price is EUR 80,900.