The Audi RS5 is headed to the US market, that much we already know, but in order to prepare it for its trip, Audi has decided to give it a little refresher. The 2012 Audi RS5 will be headed to our side of the pond with a few exterior modifications and an updated interior, but power will still come from the sports coupe’s V8 engine.

The facelift isn’t all that surprising considering the RS5’s slower brethren - the Audi A5 - received its own little modifications for the 2012 model year.

The facelifted RS5 has received several new, sharp accents to clean up its look, although at first glance, these changes may not be so obvious. The two that stand out the most are the new single-frame grille with beveled upper corners and standard xenon plus headlights with a more modern shape, framed by narrow strips of LED daytime running lights. Inside the RS5, Audi has dropped in race-style front seats.

The bells and whistles of the exterior and interior just about cover the minor facelift provided for the RS5. In terms of power, the sports coupe will be enjoying the fruits of the standard 4.2 liter V8 engine’s labor, delivering a total of 450 HP at 8,250 rpm and a peak torque of 317.15 lb-ft available between 4,000 and 6,000 rpm. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph will be made in 4.6 seconds, while top speed can be increased to 174 mph, upon request.

UPDATE 07/19/2012: Audi has just released US pricing for the RS5. Customers will be able to snag this sports coupe for $69,795, including an $895 destination charge.

UPDATE 09/12/2012: Audi America did one o the most craziest things we have seen in the past few years: they took a RS5 Coupe to "Snake River Canyon" for a very crazy experience. Check the new video to see what we are talking about.

Hit the jump to read more about the Audi RS5.

  • 2012 Audi RS5
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    FSI V8
  • Transmission:
    seven-speed S tronic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    450 @ 8,250
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • Displacement:
    4200 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.6 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    155.173 mph
  • car segment:
  • body style:


2012 Audi RS5 High Resolution Exterior
- image 416817

With only 1-2 years under its belt, the Audi RS5 should have been a few years away from getting any type of refresher. That being said, Audi’s plans to ship it over to the States alongside the new Audi TT-RS, have pushed the fast-forward button. For the new model year, the RS5 is 23 millimeters (0.91 in) longer and six millimeters (0.24 in) wider than the A5 Coupé, but six millimeters (0.24 in) lower. It has received a new single-frame grille with beveled upper corners featuring a high-gloss, anthracite gray honeycomb structure and a matte aluminum-look frame. Highlighting the new grill are the standard xenon plus headlights that are now framed with narrow strips of LED daytime running lights. These changes lead up to the revised hood and its new, sharper edges, as well as flared aluminum front fenders.

2012 Audi RS5 High Resolution Exterior
- image 416818

The sides of the Audi RS5 come equipped with side sills sport chiseled caps and the trim strips and side mirror housings have a matte aluminum-look finish. At the back of the refreshed RS5 is a dual exhaust system with two oval exhaust pipes, new LED lights, a larger diffuser, and a rear spoiler that extends automatically at 74.56 mph. Topping off the exterior look of the new RS5 are newly designed, 19-inch forged aluminum wheels with 265/35-series tires as standard. Customers can also upgrade to 20-inch wheels with 275/30-series tires as an option.

The Audi RS5 will be offered in eight exterior colors combined with different aluminum insertions - an inspiration from models like the Audi Quattro.


2012 Audi RS5 Interior
- image 416835

The inside of the Audi RS5 is all about combining sportiness with luxury elements, so Audi’s standard, power adjustable sports seats with integrated headrests are still available wrapped in either black leather or Alcantara. As an option, Audi is also offering seat upholstery in Fine Nappa leather in a choice of black or lunar silver with rock gray piping. For those that crave even more sportiness or just plain comfort, there’s new bucket seats with folding backrests or comfortable, climate-controlled seats with a ventilation function. The rest of the interior shines in black and can be further illuminated with narrow chrome clasps at the switches and control elements, carbon fiber goodies, and an array of inlays in your choice of carbon, brushed or etched aluminum, a high-gloss piano finish, or a light-colored stainless steel mesh.

2012 Audi RS5 High Resolution Interior
- image 416837

Other features for the 2012 Audi RS5’s interior are a new leather multifunction sport steering wheel, redesigned ignition key and shift lever knob, an optional MMI navigation system with an aluminum-look finish, and aluminum inserts in the door sill trims. The obligatory RS5 badges are also thrown in to differentiate this vehicle from any other.

As an option, Audi is also offering a carbon design package and different styling packages for the body in black or matte aluminum. Other options include adaptive cruise control, Audi side assist, adaptive light, MMI navigation plus, the Bluetooth online car phone, and the Bang & Olufsen sound system.


2012 Audi RS5 High Resolution Exterior
- image 416828

The new Audi RS5 will still be utilizing the old 4.2 FSI V8 engine setup, but it’s still good for 450 HP at 8,250 rpm and a peak torque of 317.15 lb-ft available between 4,000 and 6,000 rpm. This engine has a specific output of 108.1 hp per liter of displacement and comes mated to a standard seven-speed S tronic which can be controlled with a selector lever or with paddles on the steering wheel.

Audi has also provided the drive select driving dynamics system as standard for RS5 which allows the driver to select between three modes: comfort, auto, and dynamic. If the car is equipped with an Audi MMI navigation system, then there is also a fourth mode – individual – which can be configured by the driver. Audi drive select can also modulate the sound of the exhaust system, double-clutching when downshifting in dynamic mode. Then there’s the integrated launch control program which provides quick starts by managing the engagement of the clutch at mid-level revs.

2012 Audi RS5 High Resolution Exterior
- image 416829

With these features working together under the hood, the new RS5 can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 155.34. Throw in a bit more cash and customers can opt to boost that top speed to 173.98 mph.

For some, fuel economy is just as important as power these days so Audi has addressed that niche with a combination of technologies from the Audi modular efficiency platform, including a recuperation system, that allows the engine to consume significantly less fuel on average than its direct competitors.


2012 Audi RS5 High Resolution Exterior
- image 416831

The Audi RS5 carries many features to ensure the utmost on sporty handling for the RS5. For starters, Audi’s quattro permanent all-wheel drive sends power to all four wheels with the aid of the crown gear center differential. This compact and lightweight system works together with the torque vectoring system to distribute torque int he default 40:60 ratio. This setup also allows for a quick change in the distribution, up to 70% of the power can be sent to the front wheels and up to 85% can be shot back to the rear wheels.

Keeping the car in check even more is the 2012 Audi RS5’s five-link front suspension and a self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension, both made out of aluminum. This setup also drops the RS% by about 20 millimeters (0.79 in) compared with the Audi A5.

The suspensions are controlled via a new speed-dependent power steering, an electromechanical system with a direct steering ratio for highly precise road feel. This added feature also aids in fuel efficiency because the power steering doesn’t draw any energy when driving straight.


2012 Audi RS5 High Resolution Exterior
- image 416815

The Audi RS5 Coupe gets slowed to a stop with the use of large, internally ventilated wave brake discs, with the front discs measuring 365 millimeters (14.37 in) in diameter. The discs are joined by perforated steel friction rings that are connected to the aluminum brake caps via pins. This setup reduces tensions, quickly dissipates the heat, and prevents the transmission of temperature peaks. They also provide the RS5 with a 6.61 lb weight reduction. Adding to the brake setup are high gloss black calipers with eight piston each on the front, or carbon fiber-ceramic discs up front as an option.


Prices for the new Audi RS5 will be announced at a later date, but European pricing for the 2011 Audi RS5 starts off at €77,700 (about $106,000 at the current rates). US Customers will be able to snag this sports coupe for $69,795, including an $895 destination charge.


2012 Audi RS5 Exterior
- image 416896

The biggest competitors for the new Audi RS5 when it arrives on US soil will be the BMW M3 Coupeand the Cadillac CTS-V Coupe.

The BMW M3 Coupe is powered by a 4.0L V8 engine producing 414 HP and 295 lb-ft of torque, sinking behind the RS5’s numbers. Its top speed is also limited to 155 mph, but BMW does not have an option to increase it. BMW or Audi? On paper, we would say Audi.

The Cadillac CTS-V Coupe is where the competition gets a little stiffer. This speedster coupe gets a 6.2 Liter supercharged Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 V8 that makes a maximum output of 556 HP and 551 lb-ft of torque, mated to a Tremec TR6060 six speed manual. It makes the 0 to 60 mph sprint in only 3.9 seconds, but that may not mean much to some people. Cadillac has been long considered a boring brand aimed at the older side of the population. If history is considered, then Audi would get the nod, but the CTS-V is clearly a coupe that is prepared to give the RS5 a serious run for its money.

2012 Audi RS5 High Resolution Exterior
- image 416820
  • Leave it
    • Stiff competition in the Cadillac CTS-V
    • Did Audi pull the refresh card too quickly?
Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
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Show Comments


  (743) posted on 09.12.2012

After seeing the R8, I can’t even tell how beautiful this car is. But yeah, I can’t even say that it’s horrible as well.

  (517) posted on 03.5.2012

Its innovative technology isn’t only for entertainment but also for fuel efficiency. The performance isn’t limited; you can be not concerned about fuel consumption as you run smoothly on almost any platforms.

  (399) posted on 02.27.2012

Simple but in terms of capabilities of features, it’s great. It’s suitable to use in countries with four seasons too. As far as I’ve seen, it works well even on snowy roads. And with regards to its design, the interior is unexpectedly attractive than the exterior.

  (501) posted on 02.21.2012

Well, the competition is on fire. The race towards the fuel economy consumption has been a contest of whose car will gives more fuel efficiency. The Speed limiter can be removed?, that was impressive. The interior was good enough for me.

  (320) posted on 02.20.2012

The xenon headlights were cool. The edges give more defining a sportier look. The interior was very formal on a black leather with piano-gloss finishing. 

  (453) posted on 02.17.2012

Very good interior design, and the engine is quite powerful. I don’t like the set of wheels they used, it’s kinda common.

  (333) posted on 02.17.2012

With the new technology used, it improves fuel efficiency, and it has great performance numbers. Aside from that, Audi is highly consistent on creating glossy body paint that is very unusual to look.

  (427) posted on 12.27.2011

It looks more stunning and luscious than with its competitor. I’m just only a little curious on what will be its interior look like? Anyway, it’s a good thing that it has an impressive engine.

  (776) posted on 12.21.2011

Luscious indeed because on its body paint but unlike with you guys, I’m not so impressed with the looks of this RS5. I’m getting bored on the platform, and with the usual design that they are always using.

  (577) posted on 12.16.2011

I love the luscious appearance of this Audi RS5! Moreover, the design on its side rim is really so awesome on it. It’s great also that they perfectly matched its exterior into its sporty interior.

  (727) posted on 11.30.2011

The precision of its interior features is really awesome for this RS5 even with its exterior body paint. I also noticed that it looks better than on its corival, but I still find that its competitor had a more powerful engine.

  (428) posted on 11.22.2011

The hexagonal front grille of this RS5 is looking so perfect for it. Anyway, I still love the angst on its headlight. However, I’m not satisfied with its interior, well I think they didn’t justify the classy appearance of it.

  (474) posted on 11.21.2011

Audi really had the coolest vehicle ever! smiley Well, this RS5 maybe had a simple styling and detailing, but it’s still looking very attractive on that, and I must say that I really love the exclusivity of its interior.

  (472) posted on 11.20.2011

Audi’s vehicles are truly looking so cool, just like this one. RS5 really looks very satisfying from its exterior to interior features. I’m also glad to know that it had an impressive engine output.

  (830) posted on 11.16.2011

Headlamp of Audi is truly looking so cool! And this one had that coolest headlights that I’ve seen today! It looks so awesome either on its massive wheels, which had a very attractive design.

  (384) posted on 11.15.2011

Unlike you guys, I can’t feel the boredom that what you felt for the style and detailing of this RS5. Anyway, I am pretty sure that it would really be a stiff competition in the Cadillac CTS-V.

  (242) posted on 11.15.2011

To be honest, I’m getting bored on Audi’s platform design and styling. Their cars are always had the same design, which is very satiated to see. Anyway, I’m still glad that they maintain their vehicles to have an impressive engine.

  (488) posted on 11.13.2011

A typical platform and styling of Audi! However, I’m still so fond on its simple appearance, and it looks very sexy on its side rim and body paint. I’m also glad that it had a great performance number.

  (569) posted on 10.14.2011

Well, I can’t blame them, why they are so fond with the beauty of this Audi RS5. It can really captivate lots of attention on its sleek body paint! And I have to say that me also can’t wait for this one.

  (647) posted on 10.4.2011

Audi RS5 is one of the commendable brand car, always giving simply elegant cars in all their variants. Like in this sports car, basically look simple and common but very eye-catching with no particular or definite reason. Am I right or wrong?

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