Audi RS5 (2010–2016)

Model History

February 2010

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.

March 2010

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.

February 2012

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 RS4 Cab Side

September 2012

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.

What does a Audi RS5 (2010 – 2016) cost?

List Price from £64,735
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