The Audi RS 5 can sprint from zero to 100 kilometers per hour in 3.9 seconds. There was a time when people’s jaws will drop with those numbers. But with today’s traffic, 0-100 acceleration times are about as relevant as a 280km/h top speed (which also happens to be the RS 5’s maximum velocity when fitted with the optional dynamic package).
Nowadays, 50km/h is pretty much highest speed we achieve in our day to day driving. So, how fast can the Audi RS 5 hit 50? 1.9 seconds. Now, does that get your attention? We accelerate from zero to 50 everyday, but we never do it in 1.9 seconds. How exactly does it feel? Like being rear-ended by a bus—at least as far as your passengers are concerned.
That’s how quick, how strong, and how grippy the Audi RS 5’s potent combination of engine, tires, and all-wheel drive is. But the RS 5 is far more than just numbers. It’s a car that shares its powerful 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 engine with no less than the Porsche Panamera, after all.
Anti-SUV and anti-sports car at the same time. Among the growing number of “super” high-performance cars, super coupés are probably the rarest breed of all. We’ve always had supercars, then super sedans, and more recently, super SUVs (like the Lamborghini Urus). But carmakers haven’t exactly been scrambling to roll out coupés that can run with the best of Porsches and Lamborghinis.
Nonetheless, this didn’t stop Audi from producing a truly special coupé. Yes, there are still a few select individuals who want the unique and sporty style of a two-door, but don’t want to live with the space compromises of a low-slung sports car—but still want the extreme performance of a supercars. The Audi RS 5 Coupé is precisely that car.
Stand-out styling. The Audi RS 5 Coupé is the first Audi Sport model to feature the current RS design language. The designers drew inspiration for the car from the distinctive motorsport 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 car. The Singleframe radiator grille is much wider and flatter than in the base model. Additional air inlets and outlets are located next to the headlights and rear lights. Tinted bezels, meanwhile, frame the optional Matrix LED headlights.
The quattro blisters on the flanks emphasize the pronounced bulges over the wheel arches, which have been widened by 15mm. Huge 20-inch wheels are standard. The aggressive styling is capped by the RS-specific diffuser, the oval tailpipes of the RS exhaust system and a trunk-mounted lip spoiler.
But given all these overt styling cues, it’s the details that truly make the RS 5 stand out: the satin silver accents on the bumpers, window trim and side mirrors, the very strong and distinctive C-pillar, the understatedly small trunk-mounted rear spoiler, and the handsome silver alloy wheels that beautifuly fill out the fender wells.
All these design tricks and details result in a car that turns head wherever it goes. And this despite my test car’s very elegant-but-far-from-flashy dark metallic blue finish—and the absence of huge wings, supercar-wide flanks, or a swoopy silhouette. Audi just got everything right with the design.
Bi-turbo power. The all-new 2.9 TFSI V6 bi-turbo engine offers sharp increases in power and efficiency as well as an incomparably full-bodied RS sound. It delivers 450hp, and its peak torque of 600Nm—a whopping 170Nm more than the previous model—is available across an impressively broad engine speed range from 1,900 to 5,000rpm.
Putting prodigious power to the ground. Another factor in the greater efficiency of the new RS 5 Coupé is its significantly lower weight. It weighs in at 1,655kgs—60kgs less than previous model.
The bi-turbo’s power flows through a sport-tuned, eight-speed tiptronic transmission with optimized shift times and on to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive, which features a self-locking central differential. The drive forces are asymmetrically distributed 40:60 between the front and rear axles to give the car a more sporting rear-wheel drive-like feel. Audi Sport also offers the standard rear sport differential.
A revised 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, which improves comfort significantly. With the standard RS sport suspension, the new RS 5 Coupé sits 7mm lower than the base model.
Audi Sport also offers the RS sport suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) with RS-specific tuning, and the optional ceramic brakes and dynamic steering. Drivers can choose three modes to tailor their driving experience: Individual, Dynamic, or Comfort using the standard Audi Drive Select.
I left the Audi showroom on EDSA Greenhills with the car set on Dynamic and was unnerved by the very firm suspension setting, which let me feel every tiny imperfection on the highway’s very imperfect surfaces. It was downright uncomfortable even after just one kilometer of driving—but it should give tremendous feedback which would be valuable in a race or on a track day.
I switched to Comfort and the difference was like night and day. It didn’t transform into a cushy limousine, but it was markedly more comfortable indeed; but it was still several degrees firmer than a base Audi A5.
All this techno-wizardry results in a car that almost has extra-sensory perception in knowing where you want to go. You have barely turned the wheel a millimeter and the car is already changing direction—even on the Comfort setting. It’s not nervous or darty by any means; it’s just unbelievably responsive, much like a Mini Cooper or a Lotus. Impressive, considering that the Audi weighs at least a ton more than those ultra-nimble cars.
Sporty and functional interior. Swathed in black, the interior is of an extremely high standard and sportily equipped. RS sport seats—optionally available in fine Nappa leather with honeycomb pattern—and the flat-bottomed RS multifunction sport leather steering wheel underscore the character of the high-performance Coupé in the interior as well. The steering wheel rim bears the RS badge, as do the front seat backrests and the shift gate.
Space in front is generous, even for tall adults. But being a 2+2, the RS 5’s rear seats are decidedly for kids or adults on very short trips. Headroom isn’t bad, thanks to the reasonably high roofline, but legroom is definitely in short supply. And forget a third rear passenger. The seats are sculpted strictly for two and there’s that huge center hump for the transmission and rear axle.
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 brings the sporty contrast color red into play on the center console as well as on the armrests, the seat belts and the floor mats with RS logo. The steering wheel, selector lever, and knee pads are all covered with Alcantara.
The RS design package’s sporty design and high-tech dashboard brims with advanced features such as the Audi Virtual Cockpit and Multi Media Interface (MMI).
The Audi RS 5 is not an inexpensive car. In fact, it’s a very expensive car. But if you want to run with waist-high supercars and do so in greater comfort and with more space (for both passengers and cargo), then its P8.5 million price tag is an absolute bargain.
Engine: 450hp/600Nm bi-turbo 2.9-liter petrol TFSI V6
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic with paddle shifters
Drive: quattro all-wheel
Suspension (F/R): Five-link front and rear RS-tuned adjustable sport suspension
Brakes (F/R): Front/rear ventilated and cross-drilled disc brakes with ABS, EBD, and Brake Assist
L x W x H (mm): 4,649 x 1,860 x 1,366
Wheelbase (mm): 2,751