Audi Sport’s first RS-badged model hits us in the feels

There’s always some pressure in being the first of something, no matter what that something is. Sometimes, that pressure turns into a diamond and there other times when it gets pulverised by the weight of expectations tied around it. In the case of Audi and the new RS5, otherwise known as the first RS-badged Audi to come out of freshly rebranded Audi Sport division, the expectations that come with being the “first” was turned into this beautiful-looking machinery that’s very easy on the eyes.

Far be it for me to quickly confess to falling in love, but there is something about the new RS5’s design that’s tugging at those precarious heart strings. I can’t tell if it’s the sloping hood, the aggressive bumper with the massive inlets, or the natural coupe-like stance. Maybe it’s even a combination of all these things put together. What I can tell you is that the RS5 finally looks the part of a an RS model after years of seemingly being a blanket of blandness, hiding behind a badge.

This... this is what the Audi RS5 should look like. The sporty and aggressive front end combines with a muscular rear section to create a well-balanced look that fits into what an RS model should while also still clinging to status and class of being a mid-sized luxury sedan wearing a four rings badge. Even the windmill-like design of those 19-inch alloys comes naturally to the RS5, blending seamlessly into the overall design of the car while still having enough "pop!" to stand out on its own.

Just so it’s clear. The new Audi RS5 made its debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show this week. Even with the cavalcade of world debuts and concepts in that floor, the RS5 is probably going to be difficult to miss.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

The Audi RS5 is more than just its looks

The New Audi RS5 Is Very Easy On The Eyes High Resolution Exterior
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The New Audi RS5 Is Very Easy On The Eyes High Resolution Exterior
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You might have guessed by now that I like the Audi RS5’s design. But to be fair, there’s more to the car than just its looks. Sure, I can go on and on and start waxing poetic, but its looks is just a small part of the whole RS5 experience.

The car’s interior is also well-appointed, even though there is some complexity to the center stack that’s probably going to take some time to get used to. But the optional diamond stitching in Fine Nappa leather is a good touch, as is the Alcantara-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel and what looks to be generous amounts of carbon-fiber trim.

The New Audi RS5 Is Very Easy On The Eyes High Resolution Drivetrain
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There’s also something to look forward to under that sloping hood where a 2.9-liter TFSI V6 bi-turbo engine is sitting and packing 450 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque, good enough, at least with the optional dynamic package, to sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 3.9 tick-tocks, to go with a top speed of 174 mph.

On the surface, the Audi RS5 is beyond promising. All that’s left for the RS-badged coupe is to prove its worth on the road and track, although if I’m to trust that tingling sensation in my body, I’d say that it won’t have any problems passing on those tests too.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 2.9 TFSI biturbo engine
Horsepower 450 HP
Torque 442.5 LB-FT @ 1,900-5,000 RPM
0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) 3.9 seconds
Top Speed 174 mph

Read our full review on the new Audi RS5 here.

Press Release

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.

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