Turn the tables on other mid-size performance coupes with Manhart’s latest tuning kit

Manhart Racing is known for creating some incredible tuning programs in the past, most recently turning the BMW M5 into an 800-horsepower powerhouse. Now the German tuner is turning its sights on the Audi RS5 with a new program that packs plenty of aftermarket punch. Ok, maybe it’s not as potent as the M5’s kit, but it’s still good enough to bring some extra level of excitement to Audi’s resident mid-size performance coupe.

In keeping with Manhart Racing’s tradition, the aptly named RS500 tuning program is packing the load with power and performance bits. It also features a number of handy visual upgrades in case you’re in the mood to turn your RS5s into something that looks right at home in the Fast and Furious franchise. But enough of the small talk. The RS500 program is largely tied into the objective of giving the Audi RS5 more than what it’s capable of. It’s about giving the RS5 the chance to maximize its potential as a performance car. It’s about turning the spotlight to arguably one of the most underrated performance cars in the market today. Give it some cosmetic upgrades, slap on a few engine upgrades, and dial up the suspension work. That’s the name of Manhart Racing’s RS500 tuning game and the results, well, they certainly speak for themselves. So if any of you own an Audi RS5 and you’re looking to give it an aftermarket touch, you’re going to need to take a long and hard look at what Manhart Racing has on the table.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Audi RS5 RS500 by Manhart Racing.

  • 2017 Audi RS5 Coupe RS500 By Manhart Racing
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V6
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    499
  • Torque @ RPM:
    517
  • Displacement:
    2.9 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.8 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    174 mph
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:

Exterior

  • Matte black body finish
  • Gold trim accents on the body
  • 21-inch Concept One wheels
2017 Audi RS5 Coupe RS500 By Manhart Racing Exterior
- image 742831
The predominantly matte black look of the two-door coupe is visually boosted by the gold accents throughout the body

This is a pretty straightforward tuning program so don’t expect anything complicated out of it. There aren’t any aerodynamic bits to talk about because there aren’t any to begin with. What Mansard did do was provide a good list of cosmetic upgrades that, at least in my mind, works well on the RS5. The predominantly matte black look of the two-door coupe is visually boosted by the gold accents throughout the body. I especially like the gold racing stripes running the whole length of the RS5. That’s a nice aesthetic touch that brings out a more personable side to the coupe. While I’m at it, the 21-inch Concept One wheels are solid inclusions as well, as are the gold trim surrounding them. It’s going to be next to impossible to notice how it looks when you’re driving the car, but look at how the gold trim separates itself from the wheels and the black rubber of the tires when the RS5 is on the road. Subtle hints like that go a long way in making a car like the two-door Audi look more appealing from a visual point of view.

Interior

2014 Audi RS5 Interior
- image 511744

Note: Audi RS5 pictured here.

One thing that must be said about Manhart Racing’s tuning program. It usually doesn’t showcase its interior upgrade offerings in public because most of it is actually of the personalization variety. That’s not to say that the tuner is lacking in this department. On the contrary, Manhart’s actually well versed in the art of interior customization, as shown by some of its previous works. So in the absence of any relevant details surrounding what’s available for the Audi RS5, feel free to let your imaginations run wild on what you can do to the interior of your RS5s. Some fancy leather upholstery perhaps? Maybe throw in some wood or carbon fiber trim?

Drivetrain

  • Software engine update
  • New output of 499 horsepower and 517 pound-feet of torque
  • Optional stainless steel exhaust system
2017 Audi RS5 Coupe RS500 By Manhart Racing Exterior
- image 742832
The RS5’s stock output of 450 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque gets boosted to a tidy 499 horses and 517 pound-feet of twist.

Manhart Racing hasn’t disclosed the specifics of the engine upgrade, but it’s easy to figure out that the whole program revolves around a software tune, something akin at least to its MHTronik tuning module that nets as much as 60 extra horsepower out of any engine it’s used on. In this case, the Audi RS5’s 2.9-liter bi-turbo V-6 engine is the lucky unit that’s going to be the recipient of Manhart Racing’s handiwork. The results are what you’d expect too as the RS5’s stock output of 450 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque gets boosted to a tidy 499 horses and 517 pound-feet of twist. That computes to an extra 49 ponies and 74 pound-feet of torque, right around the vicinity of what you can expect from the German tuner’s software tuning kit.

Needless to say, the extra shot of power should translate better performance times for the RS5. The tuner hasn’t announced the exact figures at this point, but with the standard RS5 Coupe capable of sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 174 mph, it stands to reason that the modified RS5 can cover the same distance in about 3.8 seconds before peaking at a top speed that’s in the neighborhood of 174 mph. Regardless of the actual figures, a 500-horsepower Audi RS5 sounds like a great investment to me. Last but certainly not least is a optional stainless steel exhaust system that itself can accommodate catless downpipes.

Suspension

2017 Audi RS5 Coupe RS500 By Manhart Racing
- image 742834

Accompanying the cosmetic and engine upgrades that are included in the RS500 build is a custom KW coilover suspension kit. Not only does it bring the ride closer to the ground, but it also helps facilitate an improved ride for the Audi RS5, the kind that you won’t be able to get if you buy the two-door coupe in stock form and leave it as it is.

Pricing

2017 Audi RS5 Coupe RS500 By Manhart Racing
- image 742835

The total price of the RS500 program is fluid depending on how much work is done on the car’s interior. You can take comfort though by knowing that the whole kit probably won’t be as expensive as you think, especially with how simple it all is from the perspective of the whole RS500 kit. In lieu of that, I’m expecting the price tag for this program to sit somewhere in the $20,000 range, maybe even cheaper than that provided that you don’t request any exotic leather on the cabin of the coupe.

Competition

Audi RS5 by mcchip

2013 Audi RS5 by McChip-DKR High Resolution Exterior
- image 528652

Truth be told, there haven’t been that many tuning programs to come out for the Audi RS5. I don’t exactly know the reason behind it, but it is a telling reminder that not all aftermarket kits are created equal.That’s not to say that the RS5 has been ignored by this subsection of the auto industry because there have been some programs developed specifically for it in the past. One of these programs comes to us by way of mcchip, which unveiled its kit for the RS5 back in 2013 for that year’s version of the sports coupe. That kit followed a different blueprint though because it revolved largely around a three-stage engine upgrade that got as much as 600 horsepower and 435 pound-feet of torque out of the RS5’s old 4.2-liter V-8 mill. That’s a lot of power for an older model of the RS5, but then again, the engine that model carried was bigger than the new-generation model. Just goes to show you how much aftermarket potential the RS5, regardless of model year, really has.

Read our full review on the Audi RS5 by mcchip.

Conclusion

2017 Audi RS5 Coupe RS500 By Manhart Racing Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 742828

I’ve always found it intriguing - maybe even weird - that the Audi RS5 doesn’t get as many tuning programs as some of its rivals from BMW and Mercedes-Benz AMG. Maybe it’s because the two-door Audi sports coupe isn’t as popular as its rivals, but whatever the case may be, I’m actually happy that Manhart Racing took a stab at developing one. It may not be the most comprehensive tuning kit in the world, but it’s more than enough to accomplish its goal of bringing something new to the table for the RS5. On that end, I’d call Manhart’s RS500 tuning a kit something that’s worth a long look should you be in the market for an aftermarket program for your RS5s.

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References

Audi RS5

2014 Audi RS5 Exterior
- image 574081

Read our full review on the 2017 Audi RS5.

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