VerdictOnCars

Latest First Drives

Audi RS5

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"Three decades might have passed since Audi revealed its original four-wheel drive performance Quattro coupe to the world, but the lineage is palpable in this two-door, four-seat sensation"

"Three decades might have passed since Audi revealed its original four-wheel drive performance Quattro coupe to the world, but the lineage is palpable in this two-door, four-seat sensation"

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What is it?

The Audi RS5 is the latest flagship for the manufacturer's much-admired RS division. Three decades might have passed since Audi revealed its original four-wheel drive performance Quattro coupe to the world, but the lineage is palpable in this two-door, four-seat sensation.

Beneath the muscular yet subtle body lies a 4.2-litre V8 FSI engine producing 444bhp at 8,250rpm. That's 30bhp more than the Audi R8 manages at its 7,800rpm redline. It's also been mated to the manufacturer's S-tronic twin-clutch gearbox - a first for an RS model.

The seven-speed automatic is the standard transmission for the RS5 and means that, with the help of its launch-control mode, it will accelerate to 62mph in 4.6 seconds and onto a limited top speed of 155mph.

But Audi's high-performance variants aren't all about straight-line speed; it's the Quattro all-wheel drive system that sets the car apart from other super-coupes.

The RS5 gets a newly developed centre differential for the four-wheel system capable of a higher distribution of power between the front and rear axles. Essentially (and appropriately for the target audience) this means that up to 85 percent of the engine's output can now be sent to the rear wheels.The UK-spec car will also receive Audi's Dynamic Ride Control as standard. The system, which offers the driver the choice between 'dynamic', 'automatic' and 'comfort' settings, is optional on European models, but Britain's potholed roads mean it is essential kit. Especially given that the RS5 sits 20mm lower than the standard A5 on 19-inch alloy wheels and firmer springs.

Other standard features include electrically adjustable sports seats, a 180-watt sound system, three-zone climate control, parking sensors and RS-specific multi-function steering wheel. Adaptive cruise control, sat nav, 20-inch alloys and a sports exhaust are all on the options list.

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