To RS5 or not to RS5 that is the question
As far as aggressive styling goes Audi are leading the pack, if they keep going at this rate customers will start complaining that the car is too scary to get in or bites them when they get out.
Another first class interior that Audi just can’t seem to get wrong.
Aesthetics aside the big question that every RS enthusiast need an answer to is the new 3.0 litre bi turbo capable of wooing the fan base replacing the well-loved 4.2 V8 that gave the RS models such engaging drivability. Well this engine is a marvel in its own right and wallops the outgoing V8 with catapult like torque that means you actually need to use the head rest to prevent whip lash. However the fizzing, primal V8 sensation is missing. Although so is the nose heavy handling and guzzling fuel consumption 2 big wins for most.
Out with the old 4.2 V8 in with the new bi-turbo 3.0
The fact is this RS5 will get 43 Km’s to the gallon or 27 miles. Despite this great increase in fuel the BHP remains 444 but the torque is up from 317 to 413. Compare that to the outgoing V8 the BHP is the same however torque is increased by 30%. That is a substantial tweaking from the boffins at Audi.
The RS5 handles really quite well. Turn in hard and find no nose wobble or understeer that bothers and the car shifts the torque around to the inside rear wheels as the Quattro system is biased for rear wheel push. Great for tarmac hugging exits on roundabouts that begs to be exploited on the track. The steering is on point and unlike the TTS we drove actually had ample feedback from the road which is great to have back as electronic steering tends to remove it. The gear box is a slick 8 speed ZF, it is a delight to use, and we played with manual option but decided the ZF was actually better left to decide the right gear for us.
So what are the downsides of owning the new RS5?. Well none really, but it depends as this is actually a rather clever well marketed RS model. If you are a previous RS5 enthusiasts you are no doubt in falling into 2 groups. The first who appreciates the neck aching toque, new styling, handling and superb increase in fuel economy who will buy one no questions asked. The second are the fans who miss the primal sensation of the V8 so they will move up the RS6 and live happily ever after – who wouldn’t.
The truth of the matter is current fans will upgrade or relish in the benefits of the new engine either way. New comers will be impressed all round. The car is spacious for two adults in the back for a few hours of road time and the boot is huge. The RS5 we had came with a medium amount of options costing almost 117K USD a little close to the base R8 or RS6 that comes with a huge list of options as standard. With the base starting at 97,820 USD we would keep it as near as possible to standard. Although the self-fitting bucket seats are fantastic we would probably drop those and stick with the normal. Our car came in Limona green which caused divided in appreciation where ever we went. The Audi red, yellow or the outstanding blue we would choose any day.