Automotive

Lighter new RS 5 makes the switch to turbo power

The new Audi RS 5 on show in Geneva
The new Audi RS 5 on show in Geneva
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The new Audi RS 5 on show in Geneva
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The new Audi RS 5 on show in Geneva
Power comes from a 2.9-liter V6 in the RS5
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Power comes from a 2.9-liter V6 in the RS5
The RS5 Coupe on show in Geneva
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The RS5 Coupe on show in Geneva
Taking the RS5 to the track involves lots of wings and scoops
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Taking the RS5 to the track involves lots of wings and scoops
The RS5 runs with a 60:40 rear/front power split with its quattro system
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The RS5 runs with a 60:40 rear/front power split with its quattro system
Diamond quilted leather is an option on the Audi RS5
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Diamond quilted leather is an option on the Audi RS5
The turbocharged engine in the new Audi RS5
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The turbocharged engine in the new Audi RS5
The DTM RS5 is a wild, winged monster
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The DTM RS5 is a wild, winged monster
The box flares on the DTM RS5 are all about downforce
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The box flares on the DTM RS5 are all about downforce
The adjustable rear wing on the RS5 DTM
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The adjustable rear wing on the RS5 DTM
The shape of the RS5 is steroidal 
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The shape of the RS5 is steroidal 
New wheel designs on the Audi RS5
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New wheel designs on the Audi RS5
The new RS5 is lighter than its predecessor
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The new RS5 is lighter than its predecessor
Under the skin of the Audi RS5
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Under the skin of the Audi RS5
Power is sent to all four wheels in the Audi RS5
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Power is sent to all four wheels in the Audi RS5
Under the skin of the new Audi RS5
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Under the skin of the new Audi RS5
The engine in the new RS5 is smaller and torquier than before
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The engine in the new RS5 is smaller and torquier than before
The pumped-up Audi RS5
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The pumped-up Audi RS5
The new RS5 will hit 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds
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The new RS5 will hit 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds
The diffuser on the RS5 is more pronounced than before
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The diffuser on the RS5 is more pronounced than before
The new RS5 is set up to have  a more relaxed character than before
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The new RS5 is set up to have  a more relaxed character than before
The singleframe Audi grille looks good on the RS5
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The singleframe Audi grille looks good on the RS5
An Audi getting sideways? The new RS5 promises a sharper steer than before
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An Audi getting sideways? The new RS5 promises a sharper steer than before
The virtual cockpit in the RS5 debuted in the TT
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The virtual cockpit in the RS5 debuted in the TT
The RS5's interior is the usual mix of leather and high-quality trim materials
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The RS5's interior is the usual mix of leather and high-quality trim materials

The last Audi RS 5 was always a slightly confused beast. It was fearsomely fast, but never managed to engage or excite like the BMW M4 and AMG C63, preferring straight lines to sinewy mountain passes. Rather than going after wannabe race drivers, the fresh RS 5 is designed to appeal to the more laid back driver with a new, more clearly defined focus on grand touring.

Unlike its V8-powered predecessor, the new RS 5 debuts a smaller, more efficient turbo V6 engine for Audi. The new engine makes the same 331 kW (450 hp) as the donk it replaces, but peak torque is now pegged at 600 Nm (443 lb.ft) – a whopping 170 Nm (125 lb.ft) more than before. As a result, the edgy new Coupe will hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.9 seconds on its way to a (derestricted) top speed of 280 km/h (174 mph).

In spite of this impressive performance, the smaller engine returns 8.7 l/100km (27 MPG) on the New European Drive Cycle (NEDC), which is 17 percent better than the previous car.

Power has never been a problem in fast Audis, though. Hotted-up RS models traditionally struggle in the corners, where their all-wheel drive system can leave them feeling a bit one-dimensional compared to tail-happy BMW M and AMG models. Although it says the new RS 5 is designed to be a big, comfortable grand tourer, Audi has still put time into making it a sharper steer than the last car.

The virtual cockpit in the RS5 debuted in the TT
The virtual cockpit in the RS5 debuted in the TT

Gone is the rear trapezoidal-link suspension, replaced with a new five-link setup, while the five-link front suspension has been revised as well. Also helping the RS 5 handle better is a carbon fiber roof, which contributes to a 60-kg (132-lb) weight saving over the outgoing car. Power is still put to the road through a quattro all-wheel drive system, tuned to send 60 percent of its power to the rear wheels in normal driving. Will that be enough to make the new car feel alive? Only time will tell.

One area where the RS 5 is already a winner is style, inside and out. The standard A5 is handsome, but it can't come close to matching the drama on offer in the pumped-up, borderline steroidal car launched in Geneva. Beyond the deep front splitter and more aggressive rear diffuser, the bulging wheelarches and bigger wheels give it a sense of presence rivals simply can't match.

The interior is standard Audi fare, which means there's lots of high-quality materials and dark leather offset by contrast stitching. The (very clever) virtual cockpit is standard, with dedicated displays when the driver switches into the racier modes, and the standard steering wheel has been swapped out for a flat-bottomed item. You even get knee pads on the center console, lest your vigorous driving lead to limbs bashing the center console.

Pricing for the RS 5 starts at €80,900 (about US$85,400) and the car is on show in Geneva. You can check it out in the video below.

Source: Audi

Audi RS 5 Coupé

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