Audi RS5 (2010 – 2016) Review
Audi RS5 (2010 – 2016) At A Glance
Thunderous performance from lovely V8 engine. Understated styling. Great handling and traction. The usual high quality you'd expect from Audi throughout.
Not available as a manual which may put off some enthusiasts. Seven-speed transmission 'protects itself' so the car can be frustratingly slow off the line.
Sitting at the pinnacle of the Audi A5 range is the high performance RS5 - what many people see as the natural successor to the legendary Audi RS4. It's powered by an uprated version of the 4.2-litre V8 used in the S5 Coupe which delivers a mammoth 450bhp and a resulting 0-62mph time of 4.6 seconds - a match for even the mighty BMW M3. And not only does it sound great as you'd expect, with a deep rumble from those big oval exhausts, but the V8 is also the highest revving engine in the class, spinning up to 8,250rpm.
However, what makes the RS5 really stand out from the likes of the BMW M3 is the fact it comes with quattro all-wheel drive. The result is one of the finest handling coupes around with immense grip and incredible traction, even on slippery roads or when exiting a slow, tight corner. It flatters even the novice driver, although you're always aware that you've got a huge amount of power under your right foot.
It really does go like a rocket from standstill, but it doesn't have the unruly element of the M3. Instead the RS5 is a little more forgiving, allowing you to enjoy it in a relatively relaxed manner, rather than the often frantic feel you get behind the wheel of the BMW when you're driving quickly. It also rides incredibly well for a sports coupe that's so flat in corners, with firm but forgiving damping.
One downside for some may be the fact it doesn't have a manual gearbox. Instead, like many modern performance cars, it has an advanced automatic transmission as standard. In this case it's Audi's double-clutch S tronic system with seven speeds which offers super-fast shifts with steering-wheel mounted paddles as standard, so you can change gear yourself. It's not a cheap car to buy new, but it does come highly equipped and is also one of the more efficient performance cars of this ilk, averaging a claimed 26.2mpg.
Real MPG average for a Audi RS5 (2010 – 2016)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
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Reviews for Audi RS5 (2010 – 2016)'s top 3 rivals
On the inside of an Audi RS5 (2010 – 2016)
- Boot space is 380–829 litres
There's not much in the interior of the RS5 to make it stand out from a standard A5 Coupe but there are some subtle details to remind you that you're sitting in something a little special. There's the thick-rimmed sports steering wheel which has perforated leather with a contrasting grey stitching and is great to hold, while the instrument dials have black faces with white numbers and when the ignition is switched on, the red needles turn all the way to the limit and fall back to zero.
Sports seats come as standard and with their prominent side bolsters offer great lateral support but aren't so narrow that they become uncomfortable on long journeys. They're power-adjustable too and include a four-way lumbar support and an extendable thigh rest along with integrated headrests and embossed RS 5 logos in the backrests. As an optional extra, climate-controlled comfort seats are available which are ventilated and have perforated black Milano leather, while if you want a more performance feel you can opt for deeply contoured, manually adjustable bucket seats.
Like the A5 Coupe, the driving position is pretty much spot on with a low slung seat and plenty of adjustment in both the chair and the steering column. As a result it's easy to get a cockpit-like feel behind the wheel, helped by the raised central console, which is finished in carbon fibre. There's also an aluminium trim on the pedals and black headlining.
The rear seats are useable, even for adults, but with the front seats slid all the way back, there's minimal legroom, so four six-footers may find it a squeeze. But headroom is good for those in the back and it feels more spacious than you'd imagine. Practicality is pretty good to - the back seat backrests can be folded down and the boot offers 455 litres of space (plus the hatch swings up automatically when unlocked) which is pretty much the same as a BMW 3 Series saloon.
Standard equipment from launch (October 2010):
RS5 comes with a high level of standard equipment including 19-inch ‘5-spoke Aero' design alloy wheels with 265/35 R19 tyres, Audi drive select, Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) Sports suspension system with three level controls, RS high performance braking system, quattro with sports differential, Audi parking system plus with front and rear sensors, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, wlectromechanical parking brake, Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), front and rear ISOFIX child seat, front side airbags, Sideguard curtain airbags, Thatcham category 1 alarm, tyre pressure monitoring system, electric lumbar support for front seats, RS electrically adjustable Super Sports seats, Silk Nappa leather with contrasting piping and RS embossing, Audi Concert audio system, single CD, colour centre console screen, SD memory-card readerand AUX-IN socket in centre console, Audi Sound System speaker package with 10 speakers including subwoofer, carbon inlays, Colour Driver's Information System (DIS), deluxe three-zone climate control with separate air distribution and digital display for the driver and front passenger, front centre armrest including 12V power socket, multi-function steering wheel with aluminium-look gearshift paddles, adaptive lights including xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, LED rear lights, headlight washer system, auto-opening boot lid, electrically operated and heated exterior mirrors, RS body styling, a speed-activated rear spoiler and two oval exhaust pipes.
Car seat chooser
Child seats that fit a Audi RS5 (2010 – 2016)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
Driving Audi RS5 (2010 – 2016)
- Engines range from 4.2 FSI quattro to 4.2 FSI quattro S tronic Cabriolet
- Readers report Real MPG to be between 15–21 mpg
The 4.2-litre V8 engine in the RS5 Coupe and Cabrio is also used in the S5 Coupe but slightly confusingly not in the S5 Cabriolet, which instead is powered by a 3.0-litre supercharged engine. Of course being the top of the range model in the A5 range, the V8 in the RS5 has been upgraded with more power and has 450PS along with 430Nm of torque - that's more than a BMW M3 (with 420bhp and 400Nm) but not as much as a Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG (457bhp and 600Nm).
It's still the most potent normally aspirated V8-powered Audi ever made and with a 0-62mph time of just 4.5 seconds it's on par with the M3 and only fractionally (0.1 seconds to be exact) behind the Mercedes AMG. It sounds great when you start it up (which you can do using the neat engine start/stop button next the gear lever) with a lovely deep rumble from the sports exhaust and sounds even better when you accelerate.
At low speeds such as in town traffic the RS5 is amazingly easy to drive, almost docile in fact, so it's comfortable and relaxing when you want it to be. The ride is very impressive for a high performance car and this is probably the biggest difference between this Audi and its main competitors. Even on the optional larger 20-inch alloy wheels, it's still forgiving even over speed bumps and deals well with rough surfaces. Compared to an M3 it certainly feels a lot more relaxed and less frantic to drive, yet that's not to say it doesn't handle well. How long the tyres and rims will last is another matter.
As it's quattro four-wheel drive, traction is good, especially noticeable on wet roads or when pulling out of a junction. The ESP rarely has to intervene and the RS5 seems to effortless put its power down, giving you great acceleration when you want it without any fuss. It's just as good in corners too with sharp responses, although the steering is somewhat lacking in feel.
Audi has given the RS5 specific spring, damper and anti-roll bar settings while the suspension is lowered by 20mm, so it's very composed through fast flowing bends. Yet it never crashes or feels too firm and it's this blend that makes it such a great all-round, useable performance car. Audi's drive select vehicle dynamics control system helps too. A standard feature it has different settings from Comfort to Dynamic which alter not only the suspension settings, but also the steering (giving it more weight), gearbox and sports differential.
The rear sports differential (that's used in the S4 and S5) comes with a new centre differential that can vary torque between the front and rear axles. In standard mode, the four-wheel drive system is set 40:60 in favour of the rear wheels, but the centre differential can send up to 85 per cent of the power to the back. So in essence it feels very much like a rear-wheel drive car, but with the added security of quattro four-wheel drive, giving you the best of both.
Despite the fact it's quattro, the RS5 is still relatively economical for a performance car, especially when compared to the alternatives. The ECDC combined average is 26.2mpg with CO2 emissions of 252g/km and while the BMW M3 Coupe with the automatic DCT gearbox isn't far behind these figures, a Mercedes C63 AMG returns tests at 21.1mpg and emits 319g/km of CO2.
|4.2 FSI quattro||27 mpg||4.5 s||246 g/km|
|4.2 FSI quattro S tronic Cabriolet||26 mpg||4.7 s||249 g/km|
Audi RS5 (2010 – 2016) Models and Specs
|Kerb Weight||1715–1920 kg|
|Boot Space||380–829 L|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Road Tax Bands||L|
|Official MPG||26.4–26.9 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Safety Ratings|
On sale until July 2019
|RS5 4.2 FSI 450ps Quattro Limited Edition S tronic 2dr||£78,570||26.4 mpg||4.7 s|
|RS5 4.2 FSI 450ps Quattro S tronic 2dr||£69,570||26.4 mpg||4.7 s|
On sale until June 2017
|RS5 4.2 FSI Quattro 450 S tronic 2dr||£59,935||26.9 mpg||4.5 s|
|RS5 4.2 FSI Quattro 450 S tronic Limited Edition 2dr||£68,935||26.9 mpg||4.5 s|
On sale until October 2015
|4.2 FSI quattro 450 Limited Edition S tronic Auto 2dr||£78,505||26.4 mpg||4.7 s|
|4.2 FSI quattro 450 S tronic Auto 2dr||£69,505||26.4 mpg||4.7 s|
|4.2 FSI quattro 450 Limited Edition S tronic Auto 2dr||£68,870||26.9 mpg||4.5 s|
|4.2 FSI quattro 450 S tronic Auto 2dr||£59,870||26.9 mpg||4.5 s|
- In normal use, some (not all) RS5s are frustratingly slow off the line, slow out of side-roads and slow entering roundabouts due to the transmission ECU protecting itself from fierce inputs. Not the same deal as the original RS4.
What to watch out for
17-11-2015: Raspy running and fault code reading on 55k mile 2011 RS5 4.2 V8 led to diagnosis that the two cat converter matrixes were breaking up. Quoted £4k + by Audi to replace; £3k by an independent.
- February 2010: New V8-powered RS5 debuted
- March 2010
- February 2012
- September 2012: Audi launches RS5 Cabriolet
New V8-powered RS5 debuted
Thirty years after the original Audi quattro captivated the Geneva Motor Show, the new Audi RS 5 Coupe is about to do it proud with a combination of high-revving V8 power, super fast S tronic twin-clutch gear shifting and a new evolution of the world famous all-wheel-drive system featuring the latest differential technology. Following its debut at the 2010 Geneva Show, the extreme RS reinterpretation of the elegant A5 two-door is expected to open for order in the UK in the spring priced at circa £58,500, and will reach its first customers in October.
Developed by Audi high performance engineering and styling subsidiary quattro GmbH, the RS 5 is the latest in an illustrious lineage dating back over 15 years to the RS 2 Avant. This RS can of course also trace its roots to the original or ‘Ur' quattro launched in Geneva in 1980, but also to the critically acclaimed R8 sports car, the V10 FSI engine from which provides the technological basis for the new hand-built, high-revving 4.2-litre V8 FSI engine that spins freely and charismatically to 8,250pm, and delivers its 450PS peak output at this high point. A torque maximum of 430Nm is available between 4,000 and 6,000rpm, helping to power the new, 1725kg RS 5 to 62mph in 4.6 seconds and to an electronically governed 155mph top speed.
Intensive fine-tuning of the dual-branch intake and exhaust system allows the engine to breathe freely; four adjustable camshafts and tumble flaps in the intake manifold facilitate mixture formation. This not only maximises performance but also economy - up to 26.2mpg is possible. The engine and the entire drivetrain have been optimized to minimize friction, the oil pump operates on demand and an energy-recovery system conserves energy during coasting and braking.
Specially reinforced for its latest role, the remarkable seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission makes its RS debut in the RS 5, and with its high gearing also helps to minimise fuel usage. It consists of two clutches and two subsidiary transmissions. Both subsidiary transmissions are continuously active, but only one is powered at any given time by the engine. Gears are alternately shifted by the two clutches - at lightning speed, smoothly, and almost imperceptibly.
The seven-speed S tronic can operate in fully automatic mode - or the driver can shift via the innovative selector lever or shift paddles on the steering wheel. By means of the standard Audi drive select, the driver can switch in automatic mode between three different options: auto, comfort, and dynamic. In the launch control mode, the seven-speed S tronic ensures flawless acceleration from a standstill - at full power and with minimal losses in traction.
Like all RS models, the RS 5 also applies its power to the road with quattro permanent all-wheel drive, but this latest generation model has evolved further through a next generationcentre differential known as a crown-gear differential.
The self-locking crown-gear centre differential is compact and lightweight, and attains a high efficiency ratio. Thanks to its package of plates, it can widely vary the distribution of torque between the front and rear axles. If necessary, up to 70 per cent can flow to the front or as much as 85 percent towards the rear. The 40:60 ratio of the standard rear-biased configuration ensures highly responsive handling.
This new differential operates in conjunction with electronic torque vectoring, which influences all four wheels. If one of the inside wheels in a turn becomes imbalanced while the vehicle is at its operational limits, then the system slightly decelerates the wheel to prevent wheel spin. This results in exceptional traction on the one hand while generating a yaw moment which aids cornering.
The rear axle also features an already much praised new Audi driver aid - the sport differential - which actively distributes torque between the rear wheels in order to further boost stability and grip at the vehicle's limits of handling.
The latest generation version of the Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) system as used by the RS 6 also contributes to the exceptional handling capabilities exhibited by the RS 5. DRC connects shock absorbers on each side of the car diagonally to their counterparts by way of a central valve, which directs a flow of oil to provide additional damping force whenever a shock absorber is compressed, making for impressive gains in handling precision and stability. Via the Audi drive select system, the driver will be able to choose from three damper settings - comfort, dynamic and sport - according to preference and conditions.
With its RS-specific spring, damper and anti-roll bar settings, the RS 5 chassis sits 20 millimetres lower than that of the Audi A5 on 19-inch alloy wheels fitted with 265/35 tyres. These are executed in an exclusive 5-arm structure design. 20-inch wheels with 275/30 tyres on the rear are available at extra cost.
The brake system employs powerful internally ventilated discs, which measure 365 millimetres in diameter at the front axle. In order to maximize the dissipation of heat, the steel friction rings are perforated and connected by pins to the aluminium brake discs. The high-gloss black brake calipers bearing RS logos are made of aluminium, and the front units are fitted with eight pistons each. Ceramic carbon-fibre brake discs measuring 380 millimetres in diameter can also be specified as an optional extra. They are extremely lightweight, strong, and durable. The electronic stabilization program (ESP) incorporates a sport mode and can be switched off entirely.
The Audi drive select vehicle dynamics control system is a standard feature of the new RS 5. It allows the driver to switch between three modes of operation - comfort, auto, and dynamic - to adjust the steering weighting, the shift points for the seven-speed S tronic, the sport differential, Dynamic Ride Control, the engine and the exhaust system. And if the car is equipped with the optional MMI navigation system, a fourth mode allows the driver to customize their own profile.
For maximum enjoyment of the engine, Audi drive select controls the exhaust system's two throttle valves and the sound flaps; when they open, the rich sound becomes even more resonant. An optional Sport exhaust system offering an even more addictively bass-heavy V8 soundtrack is available at extra cost.
For even greater control over the steering, a dynamic steering option is also available at extra cost as a component of Audi drive select. The system adjusts the steering ratio to a vehicle's speed - directly for manoeuvring at low speeds and indirectly for travelling at motorway speeds. At the vehicle's cornering limits, it automatically ensures smooth handling via minor corrective actions.
The remarkable abilities which all these technologies convey on the RS 5 are highlighted subtly by its body, without tainting the purity of its classically beautiful coupe lines. The single-frame grille bears a shiny charcoal-grey rhombus-pattern grid and is flanked by xenon plus headlights with LED strip daytime running lights, below which are oversized air inlets. The newly designed bumper tapers downward into a splitter.
The flared wings with their crisp horizontal upper edges are reminiscent of the pioneering Audi quattro, and the side sills bear angular caps. The trim strips on the single-frame grille and near the side windows as well as the door mirror covers feature the distinctive matt aluminium RS look.
The tail end is dominated by two oval exhaust pipes integrated within the bumper. A large diffuser protrudes prominently upwards. The spoiler in the tailgate automatically extends at a speed of 75mph and retracts at 50mph. The extensively clad underbody of the RS 5 integrates air vents for the seven-speed S tronic and the front brakes. At motorway speeds, the aerodynamic characteristics of the RS 5 generate downforce to further enhance stability.
The subtle embellishments continue in the interior, which in classic RS fashion combines black Silk Nappa leather upholstery with carbon fibre and aluminium elements and additional features such as an oil temperature gauge and lap timer for circuit use. Electrically adjustable super sports seats with pronounced side sections and integrated head restraints are standard, and at extra cost these can be replaced by bucket seats with more prominent contours and folding backrests or ventilated and luxuriously upholstered climate-controlled comfort seats.
The RS5 was made available to order in the UK priced from £57,480 OTR for first deliveries in October 2010. It uses a 4.2-litre FSI petrol engine linked to seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission delivers 450bhp at 8,250rpm and 430Nm between 4,000 and 6,000rpm. As a result 0-62mph comes up in 4.6 seconds, there's a governed 155mph top speed while it can average 26.2mpg combined economy with 252g/km CO2.
The V10 FSI engine from the R8 5.2 FSI quattro provides the technological basis for the new hand-built, 4.2-litre V8 FSI engine that delivers its 450PS peak output at a heady 8,250rpm in the RS 5, along with a torque maximum of 430Nm at between 4,000 and 6,000rpm. Helped by fast-paced shifts from a specially reinforced version of the seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission, which makes its RS debut here, it enables the RS 5 to power to 62mph in 4.6 seconds and continue to an electronically governed 155mph top speed. Its impressive efficiency, bolstered by on-demand oil pump operation and energy recovery during coasting and braking, also makes up to 26.2mpg possible.
This remarkable engine and transmission pairing has the very best habitat in which to demonstrate its capabilities thanks to the integration of the Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) adaptive damping system adopted from the RS 6, the sport differential which already brings acute adjustability to the S4 and S5 and the latest generation quattro all-wheel-drive system with crown gear differential.
The self-locking crown-gear centre differential can widely vary the distribution of torque between the front and rear axles. If necessary, up to 70 per cent can flow to the front or as much as 85 percent towards the rear. The 40:60 ratio of the standard rear-biased configuration ensures highly responsive handling.
The Audi drive select vehicle dynamics control system is a standard feature of the new RS 5. It allows the driver to switch between three modes of operation - comfort, auto, and dynamic - to adjust the steering weighting, the shift points for the seven-speed S tronic, the sport differential, Dynamic Ride Control, the engine and the exhaust system. And if the car is equipped with the optional MMI navigation system, a fourth mode allows the driver to customize their own profile. Audi drive select also controls the exhaust system's two throttle valves and the sound flaps, enabling the exhaust note to be varied at will.
With its RS-specific spring, damper and anti-roll bar settings, the RS 5 chassis sits 20 millimetres lower than that of the Audi A5 on 19-inch five-spoke Aero design alloy wheels fitted with 265/35 tyres. Its purposeful body is also embellished by adaptive swivelling xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights and LED rear lights, a speed-activated rear spoiler and the now trademark oval RS tailpipes.
Inside, black Silk Nappa leather upholstery is complemented by carbon fibre and aluminium elements and additional oil temperature and lap timer gauges for circuit use. Electrically adjustable super sports seats with pronounced side sections and integrated head restraints are standard, as of course are comforts such as a 180-watt CD sound system, deluxe three-zone climate control, the Audi Parking System Plus with front and rear sensors, tyre pressure monitoring and an RS multi-function steering wheel with aluminium-look gearshift paddles.
Key options will include 20-inch alloy wheels, a sports exhaust system, HDD-based satellite navigation, adaptive cruise control and a 505-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system.
The Audi RS badge returns, reinvigorated, to its rightful place at the head of the A5 Coupé range in the new generation RS 5, combining new styling, mechanical and specification revisions with characteristically extreme performance from a high-revving 450PS V8. The more imposing, more efficient and more extensively equipped new incarnation of the acclaimed sports car can be ordered now at an OTR price of £58,725, and will reach its first British customers in April.
Styling updates are not surprisingly the first to make an impact in the new RS 5. They include a slight revision to the single frame grille design, sharper and more pronounced bonnet contours, new ‘solid band’ wraparound LED daytime running lights and LED rear lights, new look front and rear bumpers and a new ’10-spoke’ design for the 19-inch alloy wheels.
Inside, the most noticeable enhancements are likely to be the addition of Bluetooth mobile phone preparation, cruise control, DVD-based satellite navigation and Audi Music Interface iPod connection to the standard equipment list for this updated model. The cruise control system can also now be upgraded at extra cost to the adaptive system with braking guard, which uses radar sensors to control distance from traffic in front of the car between 19mph and 155mph, and can also initiate partial braking or full deceleration if its sensors detect an impending collision.
Interior design changes extend to a new flat-bottomed RS three-spoke steering wheel and detail improvements to the air conditioning, Multi Media Interface, mirror adjustment and electric window switchgear, the gear lever and the instrument stalks. New look optional inlays are also now available.
As before, the high-revving, naturally-aspirated 4.2-litre V8 that is hand built for the RS 5 and is closely related to the V10 that powers the R8 sports car delivers 450PS at 8,250 rpm and peak torque of 430 Nm at between 4,000 and 6,000 rpm. It launches the coupé from rest to 62mph in 4.5 seconds, and where possible on to an electronically-limited 155mph top speed, which can be elevated to 174mph if the extra cost speed limit de-restriction option is specified.
A combination of technologies from the Audi modular efficiency platform, including a recuperation system, enables the high-tech V8 to consume significantly less fuel on average than its direct competitors. Combined economy of 26.9mpg and CO 2 output of 246g/km are respectively slightly higher, and slightly lower, than before.
New electromechanical power steering which demands no input from the alternator while in the ‘straight-ahead’ position works in favour of efficiency, as does the familiar seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission with its long top gear, lightning-fast shifts and steering wheel paddle control.
Like all RS models, the RS 5 Coupé applies its power to the road with quattro permanent all-wheel-drive, which in this instance is further enhanced by the crown-gear centre differential that can vary the distribution of torque between the front and rear axles at lightning speed and over a wide range. Up to 70 per cent can flow to the front or as much as 85 percent to the rear, as necessary. The default 40:60 ratio of the rear-biased configuration ensures sporty handling. The electronic stability program (ESP) also integrates a sport mode which ensures that it intervenes at a later stage. It can also be switched off entirely.
The crown-gear centre differential works together with the torque vectoring system, which acts on all four wheels. If the load on the inside wheel is reduced too much while the car is being driven at speed, that wheel is braked slightly before it can begin to break traction. A sport differential is also available as an option, and actively distributes the power between the rear wheels via two superposition stages.
Five-link front and self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension with very high lightweight aluminium content offers exceptional supporting foundations for the advanced quattro system, and to further enhance control the new speed-dependent electromechanical steering supports the driver with slight steering corrections when braking on surfaces with different amounts of grip.
Large, internally-ventilated wave brake discs with eight-piston callipers and a 365-millimetre diameter at the front ensure unshakeable stopping power, and in the latest RS 5 they feature revised friction rings which help to reduce weight by three kilograms, improving the balance of unsprung masses in the process.
For especially committed drivers carbon fibre-ceramic brake discs are also available at extra cost, as is the Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) system, which uses diagonally opposed pairs of shock absorbers linked by hydraulic lines and a central valve. During fast cornering, the system intensifies the stabilisation of the front outside wheel for optimum stability and composure. Its response can be varied across three settings at the touch of a button.
A dynamic steering option is also available for integration into the standard Audi drive select adaptive dynamics system, enabling the actual ratio of the steering to be varied according to the four Audi drive select settings comfort, auto, dynamic and individual. When the dynamic steering option isn’t specified, the system can apply these same four settings to the steering weighting, along with the S tronic transmission’s shift points and the throttle’s response. It can also modulate the sound of the exhaust system, double-clutching when downshifting in dynamic mode.
The dynamic ride control and dynamic steering options are available individually or combined as part of a new Sport Package, which also includes larger 20-inch rotor design titanium-look alloy wheels to replace the standard 19-inch examples and a sports exhaust system that further amplifies the bass-heavy growl of the V8. Priced at £2,250, it offers a saving of £2,915 compared with specifying the options individually.
Audi launches RS5 Cabriolet
Opens for UK ordering in late 2012, with deliveries expected to begin here next spring. The lightweight ‘acoustic hood’ of the RS 5 Cabriolet offers a degree of sound absorption that runs its fixed head counterpart remarkably close, and at the press of a button opens and closes fully automatically in 15 seconds and 17 seconds respectively – even when driving at speeds of up to 31mph.
When open, it hardly affects the size of the spacious luggage compartment – it only requires 60 litres of its 380-litre total volume. The split rear seatbacks can be folded down individually, and a through-load facility from the boot to the rear seating area maximises versatility. Special reinforcements contribute to the convertible body’s high rigidity, and aluminium front wings compensate for some of the added weight of the reinforcements.
Not surprisingly the body benefits from the same subtle revisions that brought the RS 5 Coupe into line with new generation A5 models earlier this year. Styling updates include a slight revision to the single frame grille design, sharper and more pronounced bonnet contours, new ‘solid band’ wraparound LED daytime running lights and LED rear lights, new look front and rear bumpers and 19-inch wheels in a new ’10-spoke’ design. In the Cabriolet, a subtle matt carbon fixed spoiler lip on the boot lid boosts downforce – this can be body-coloured if required.
Inside, the cabin also features the latest RS 5 detail enhancements, including a new flat-bottomed RS three-spoke steering wheel, along with the new generation Coupe’s equipment upgrade, which brings Bluetooth mobile phone preparation, cruise control, satellite navigation and Audi Music Interface iPod connection to the already lengthy standard equipment list.
Cabriolet-specific standard features include automatic front seatbelt feeders, a wind deflector, the lighting package including LED interior lights and a rollover protection system incorporating aluminium plates which deploy upwards behind the rear head restraints. Key options include three-stage head-level heating and front seat heating for top-down comfort on slightly cooler days.
All assistance systems offered in the A5 model line-up are available as options in the RS 5 Cabriolet as well, including adaptive cruise control which is capable of initiating full brake application in an emergency situation, Audi side assist blind spot monitoring and the Audi active lane assist lane departure warning system. The standard parking system plus with front and rear sensors can also be extended to include a reversing camera.
In the multimedia field, the headline news is the Mobile Phone Preparation – High with Audi connect option, which lets passengers surf the web with their mobile devices via an integrated WLAN hotspot and also offers everything from Audi traffic information online to navigation with Google Earth images and Street View.
As in the Coupe, the high-revving, naturally-aspirated 4.2-litre V8 that is hand built for the RS 5 delivers 450PS at 8,250 rpm and peak torque of 430 Nm at between 4,000 and 6,000 rpm. It powers the Cabriolet from rest to 62mph in 4.9 seconds, and where possible can take it to an electronically-limited 155mph top speed, which at extra cost can be elevated to 174mph if desired. Thanks to a combination of technologies from the Audi modular efficiency platform, including a recuperation system, the high-tech V8 can also deliver real world fuel economy, with up to 25.9mpg possible according to the combined cycle test.
New electromechanical power steering which demands no input from the alternator while in the ‘straight-ahead’ position works in favour of efficiency, as does the familiar seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission with its long top gear, lightning-fast shifts and steering wheel paddle control.
Permanent quattro all-wheel-drive smoothes out power delivery, and is backed up here by torque vectoring, the crown-gear centre differential and the rear sport differential for even more stringent protection against traction losses and split-second allocation of torque between the front and rear axles and the rear wheels. Up to 70 per cent can flow to the front or as much as 85 per cent to the rear, as necessary. The default 40:60 ratio of the rear-biased configuration ensures sporty handling.
The body is 20 mm lower than that of the Audi A5 Cabriolet; its mounts are stiffer, and its anti-roll bars are larger and firmer. Five-link front and self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension with very high lightweight aluminium content imparts great agility, and large, internally-ventilated wave brake discs with eight-piston callipers instil complete confidence.
Carbon fibre-ceramic brake discs are also available at extra cost, as is the Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) system, which uses diagonally opposed pairs of shock absorbers linked by hydraulic lines and a central valve. During fast cornering, the system intensifies the stabilisation of the front outside wheel for optimum stability and composure. Its response can be varied across three settings at the touch of a button.
A dynamic steering option is also available for integration into the standard Audi drive select adaptive dynamics system, enabling the actual ratio of the steering to be varied according to the four Audi drive select settings comfort, auto, dynamic and individual. When the dynamic steering option isn’t specified, the system can apply these same four settings to the steering weighting, along with the S tronic transmission’s shift points and the throttle’s response. It can also modulate the distinctive, bass-heavy sound of the exhaust system. A sports exhaust system, identifiable by its black-coloured tailpipes, can be specified at extra cost to deliver even richer sound.