Audi’s new RS5 Coupe is an excellent grand tourer. Quick, fairly, luxurious and techy, it is the kind of automobile I may simply and fortunately stay with each single day.
However whereas the RS5 might earn straight-As in its core topics, it will not be handing over any additional driving-enthusiast credit score. Throughout-the-board spectacular because it is perhaps, Audi’s imply, inexperienced efficiency machine feels a bit too buttoned-up for its personal good.
Robust coronary heart, strong bones
Audi’s 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 engine is a incredible piece of labor. Output is greater than ample, the RS5 Coupe loaded with 444 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, all of which is on the market throughout a broad vary in every gear. And with a slick-shifting eight-speed computerized transmission and the surefooted energy supply of Quattro all-wheel drive, the RS5 can speed up to 60 miles per hour in a scant Three.7 seconds, simply barely inching out its BMW M4 and rivals.
It isn’t horribly inefficient, both. The EPA charges the 2018 RS5 Coupe at 18 miles per gallon metropolis, 26 mpg freeway and 21 mpg mixed, and even after every week of spirited driving, I noticed a median of 21.5 mpg.
The RS5 is a automobile that is super-easy to drive quick. The usual RS sport suspension is stiffly sprung however not back-breakingly harsh — the form of setup you may simply get away with on easily paved surfaces. That stated, you will possible need to go for the $Three,350 Dynamic bundle, largely for its adjustable suspension. Audi’s Dynamic Trip Management affords three settings — Consolation, Auto and, you guessed it, Dynamic — and the variations between every mode are noticeable sufficient to make them helpful ought to the RS5 be a automobile you press into all kinds of driving obligation.
That the Dynamic pack additionally will get you the RS sport exhaust is barely an added bonus, even when the accompanying soundtrack may stand to have a bit extra quantity. Audi does channel pure engine noise into the cabin at increased speeds, however I might somewhat have extra bass from the again.
Alternatively, you may go for the $6,000 Dynamic Plus Package deal, which bundles the aforementioned choices and provides an elevated, 174-mph prime pace, a carbon-fiber engine cowl and, most crucially, ceramic composite entrance brakes. The 174-mph prime finish is just about ineffective in the US (other than theoretical bragging rights), and whereas the ceramic brakes are a lot highly effective and efficient, the usual metal stoppers work simply advantageous. Click on this feature field if you are going to repeatedly monitor your RS5, but when this factor by no means sees a race circuit, you will be simply advantageous with the less-expensive common Dynamic pack.
The $1,150 Dynamic Steering possibility, in the meantime, is a worthwhile addition as a result of it is one of many better-tuned variable-ratio setups obtainable right this moment. You get the conventional broad vary of help in Consolation and Auto modes, however swap it over to Dynamic (there’s that phrase once more) and the RS5 locks into a set 13.5:1 ratio, making certain predictable, linear motion.
Let’s loosen up that collar
This all feels like a recipe for sports activities automobile excellence, and certainly, the RS5 delivers the numbers. However should you’re hoping for an unhinged, raucous expertise — just like the one provided by the Mercedes C63 — you are out of luck.
For starters, the RS5 just isn’t a light-weight, tipping the scales at Three,990 kilos, some 300 kilos greater than a BMW M4. And since roughly 60 p.c of that weight is located up entrance, the RS5 tends to nose-dive into tight corners, with a little bit of predictable understeer at increased speeds. Round again, the usual sport differential can torque-vector energy aspect to aspect as wanted, which is useful in controlling oversteer do you have to get again on the throttle too shortly earlier than the rear finish settles.
Actually, the RS5 is a automobile that prefers relaxed inputs, irrespective of the pace. It could a lot somewhat blast down winding nation roads than carve technical canyon corners. Make no mistake, the RS5 affords extra involvement than a too-technical BMW M4, however it could’t match the outright exhilaration of the ripsnorting C63.
As cozy as it’s techy
It isn’t only a grand tourer when it comes to driving type, both. The RS5 is a world-class luxurious automobile, with no scarcity of consolation, comfort and tech options.
For starters, the game seats are supportive and cozy, with tasteful honeycomb-pattern distinction stitching. Colour selections are just about restricted to black or grey for the seats themselves, and the one obtainable sprint trim is gloss carbon fiber. Being a coupe, cabin occupancy is greatest reserved for 2, however ought to it’s essential shove adults into the RS5’s hind quarters, you will discover it is not a complete penalty field.
You may need the $2,600 Navigation bundle, not for the embedded maps themselves, however for the addition of Audi’s glorious Digital Cockpit. This is likely one of the greatest digital gauge clusters obtainable anyplace, and the extra I take advantage of it, the extra I benefit from the reconfigurable shows. There’s even an RS-specific display with a digital speedometer inside a rev counter, proper within the center, with extra efficiency knowledge exhibited to the proper.
Audi’s MMI interface handles infotainment duties, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility commonplace, in addition to a Wi-Fi hotspot. The eight.Three-inch middle display is a lot shiny with crisp graphics, and the accompanying voice and handwriting recognition features work in addition to could be anticipated. My solely actual criticism is that the menu and submenu construction itself is a bit complicated when organising a few of the automobile settings.
There isn’t any scarcity of superior driving aids, both — even when you need to add the Driver Help Package deal with a view to get them. Fork over $Three,300 and you will get adaptive cruise management, lane-keeping help, a colourful head-up show, high-beam help, top-view digital camera and site visitors signal recognition.
How I might spec it
The 2018 RS5 Sportback begins at $69,900 (not together with $975 for vacation spot), however truthfully, nobody’s shopping for them that low cost. An Audi spokesperson lately informed me that the overwhelming majority of 2018 mannequin yr RS5s are going out the door for at the very least $80,000, and primarily based on my most well-liked spec, I can see why.
Audi affords the RS5 in quite a few fetching hues, and I might be remiss to not order mine in Sonoma Inexperienced, even when it does add $575 to the underside line. From there, I am going to take the 20-inch wheels seen on this check automobile, which price $2,500, although additionally they require the addition of the cool-looking $1,500 Black Optic Package deal. As for different choices, I am taking the $2,600 Navigation pack, $Three,350 Dynamic pack (not the Dynamic Plus possibility), $950 Bang & Olufsen premium sound system and $1,150 Dynamic Steering, for a grand whole of $83,500. Tick each possibility field, nonetheless, and you may attain as excessive as $94,300.
However then there’s the Sportback
Remember, thewill hit sellers later this yr, priced from $74,200. And whereas it would seem to be the coupe can have a small worth benefit, I can not think about that’ll be the case for for much longer. Audi will supply the Sportback with Digital Cockpit, navigation, direct tire stress monitoring and different goodies as commonplace gear, and I might think about the 2019 Coupe will get comparable packaging. On the finish of the day, you need to actually simply have to decide on whether or not you need two doorways or 4.
Personally, I am all about that Sportback. The RS5 is not fairly the monster I might hoped it’s, however its refined, relaxed demeanor and superior utility for individuals and issues means it is a automobile I might fortunately have as a each day driver. Good because the Coupe is, for an on a regular basis all-rounder, it is arduous to argue in opposition to the performance afforded by that fairly Sportback form.