Could it be faster than its published performance times?

Audi has pulled the covers off of the RS5 Sportback at the 2018 New York Auto Show. The RS5 Sportback is the latest version from the RS5 family, following in the footsteps of the RS5 Coupe. As first impressions go, the four-door performance sedan not only looks positively stunning, it also packs a mean punch that allows it to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just under four seconds.

Audi Claims The New RS5 Can Do 0 to 60 MPH in Four Seconds, But What Can it Do Under "Ideal Conditions?" Exterior
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The RS5 Sportback is about as “RS” as it can get.

The Audi RS5 Sportback has a mean one-two punch. It’s a sight to behold, a credit to Audi’s design team. I’m not going to spend too much time talking about its design, but there are some noteworthy elements that deserve mentioning. The front section, in particular, looks amazing. From the headlights to the Singleframe grille with the RS-specific honeycomb air intakes, every design element in this part of the car is spot-on. Even the sharp lines outside the intakes create some aggressive depth to the sedan. The coup de grâce, though, is that sloping hood with the sharp creases. We saw a similar design on the RS5 Coupe, but this looks like it was creased to perfection. Combine that with the car’s dimensions — one inch wider and 0.28 inches lower to the ground than the RS5 Coupe — and you have the makings of a very solid design job. Good work, Audi. The RS5 Sportback is about as “RS” as it can get.

Let’s talk about its performance abilities now. The RS5 Sportback is powered by the same 2.9-liter, turbocharged, V-6 engine that you can see under the hood of the RS5 Coupe. Not surprisingly, it offers the same amount of output — 444 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque — as its coupe counterpart. It’s also mated to an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission that sends all that power to all four wheels courtesy of Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system.

Audi Claims The New RS5 Can Do 0 to 60 MPH in Four Seconds, But What Can it Do Under "Ideal Conditions?" Exterior
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All told, the RS5 Sportback is capable of splitting the times from 0 to 60 mph in under four seconds on its way to a top speed of 155 mph

All told, the RS5 Sportback is capable of splitting the times from 0 to 60 mph in under four seconds on its way to a top speed of 155 mph. If that’s not enough to satisfy your lust for speed, Audi’s also offering the Dynamic Plus package that increases the performance sedan’s top speed to a mouth-watering 174 mph.

It’s all shaping up to be a car that can give segment stalwarts like the BMW M3 and the Mercedes C 63 AMG a serious run for their money. It also begs the question, given the recent admission of Stephen Reil, Audi Sport’s Head of Technical Development, Stephen Reil, about the RS Coupe’s performance capabilities.

For those who need a refresher, Reil commented on the RS5 Coupe’s performance times last year and said that the numbers were conservative to what it could actually do. According to Reil, the RS5 Coupe’s published acceleration time of 3.9 seconds can be achieved under the “worst of conditions.” More importantly, he claimed that the coupé could actually sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds “under ideal conditions,” making it faster than the M3 and the C 63 AMG.

Audi Claims The New RS5 Can Do 0 to 60 MPH in Four Seconds, But What Can it Do Under "Ideal Conditions?" Exterior
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According to Reil, the RS5 Coupe’s published acceleration time of 3.9 seconds can be achieved under the “worst of conditions.”

If that was the case for the RS5 Coupe, should we expect something similar out of the RS5 Sportback? Is it actually faster than its published time? We won’t get an answer until the car goes out on sale, but we’ll find out soon enough. In the meantime, keep staring at the RS5 Coupe. That’s what we’ve been doing for the last hour or so.

References

2018 Audi RS5 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Audi RS5.

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Read more Audi news.

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Read more New York Auto Show news.

Press release

Joining the performance family, Audi Sport launches its latest RS model - the Audi RS 5 Sportback. Making its world debut at the 2018 New York International Auto Show, the RS 5 Sportback offers a balance of high design and driving dynamics.

The 2019 RS 5 Sportback represents the latest model in the highly successful Audi Sport family, with breakthrough 5-door coupe design and exceptional performance. "The Audi RS 5 Sportback is a completely new offer for our customers. Our progressive interpretation of a five-door high-performance coupe has neither a predecessor model nor a direct competitor," says Michael-Julius Renz, managing director of Audi Sport GmbH, about the latest member of the RS family. “The Sportback offers the ultimate in functionality with maximum performance."

Powertrain and performance
The 2.9 liter TFSI V6 biturbo engine delivers power, efficiency and distinct RS sound. The new biturbo engine generates 444 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque available in a wide rev range from 1,900 to 5,000 rpm. The Audi RS 5 Sportback sprints from 0 to 60 mph in under four seconds and achieves a top track speed of 155 mph, or increased to 174 mph with the optional Dynamic plus package.

The two turbochargers on the 2.9-liter engine of RS 5 are positioned directly inside the “V” promoting engine responsiveness and performance. For high engine efficiency, power and torque, the V6 engine uses a centrally mounted fuel injector and a combustion method with shorter compression and longer expansion phases. This B-cycle combustion process with central direct injectors further supports efficiency of the powertrain.

Drivetrain
The power of the 2.9 TFSI reaches the quattro permanent four-wheel drive with self-locking center differential via a sporty eight-speed Tiptronic® with optimized shifting times. It distributes the drive forces asymmetrically 40:60 on the axles - this guarantees both responsive handling and optimal performance. A traction control system manages distribution for maximum acceleration with minimal slip and the standard quattro sport rear differential to maximize driving dynamics.

Chassis
The redesigned front five-link suspension with lightweight construction offers greater steering precision and improved handling through optimized steering-rack placement direct at wheel centers. With the standard RS sport suspension, the RS 5 Sportback sits 7 mm lower than the 2018 S5 Sportback. RS sport suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control, which uses steel springs and adjustable dampers that are connected to one another via diagonal oil lines and a central valve, is also available. Drivers can customize their driving experience through the standard Audi drive select system, which offers four drive modes: comfort, auto, dynamic and individual.

Design
The exterior design of the new Audi RS 5 Sportback picks up on distinctive details from motorsport past and features direct design inspiration from the Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO. As with any vehicle that bears the RS badge, the RS 5 Sportback features development rooted in motorsport and technologies that embody the Audi Sport authenticity of “Born on the Track. Built for the Road.” The wave-design shoulder line underscores the athleticism through the body and the flared box fenders provide cues to the standard quattro® all-wheel drive, in addition to widening the body by 15 mm on each side over its S5 Sportback sibling.

The RS 5 Sportback features a wide and flat Singleframe® grille, large RS-specific honeycomb air intakes, matte alu-optic front spoiler with quattro script, matte alu-optic exterior mirror housings and high gloss black side sills. Enhancing the distinct and sporty rear, the Sportback features a RS-specific diffuser, oval RS exhaust pipes and a high gloss black rear-lip spoiler.

The refined interior of the RS 5 Sportback, with seating for five standard, includes impressive RS accents and driver-focused technologies. The RS 5 Sportback features the Audi brand’s hallmark wing-design wrap-around dashboard with driver-oriented interior including user-friendly controls. From its S sport seats with RS embossing, flat-bottomed, perforated leather RS sport steering wheel and gear shift, and stainless steel pedals, the RS 5 Sportback offers an all-encompassing performance Audi Sport package.

Infotainment and driver assistance
While offering outstanding performance, within the cabin, the RS 5 Sportback integrates benchmark technologies including standard Audi smartphone interface, which provides Apple CarPlay™ and Google™ Android Auto integration for compatible mobile devices, available Audi virtual cockpit and full color head-up display. Unique RS displays in the Audi virtual cockpit inform the driver of tire pressure, torque, a shift light indicator and g-forces.

While performance remains the highlight, the RS 5 Sportback offers a host of advanced driver assistance systems that are designed to help drivers navigate the road with increased confidence. The new model’s high level of standard systems include Audi pre sense® basic, Audi pre sense city, Audi side assist, rear cross traffic assist and Audi pre sense rear, as well as available adaptive cruise control with stop & go and traffic jam assist, traffic sign recognition, Audi active lane assist and high beam assistant.

The 2019 Audi RS 5 Sportback will be on sale in the second half of 2018.

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