After what feels like a wait for much too long, Audi has finally elevated their 2nd-generation A5 Sportback to RS levels following the Audi Sport-ification that led to the RS5 Coupe. In some significant ways, then, this Sportback is at once a) of no surprise and b) is entirely predictable.
Nonetheless, a hot version of Audi’s new A5 Sportback is enough reason to celebrate. In this angry looking green metallic finish, the car looks positively menacing, if a little on the ostentatious side. Even then, it somehow manages to fit in an air of genuine sophistication.
In terms of its mechanical package, the RS5 Sportback delivers in nearly every way a mirror of the two-door RS5 Coupe. Under the bonnet lives the same 2.9-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol motor that is also shared with the Porsche Panamera and Cayenne, generating 331kW and 600Nm of torque from as early 1,900rpm and sustained to 5,000rpm.
This engine, which is also rumoured to somehow find its way into the R8 supercar (fingers crossed), delivers much more raw grunt than the previous 4.2-litre naturally aspirated V8, thus the RS5 Sportback is able to dispatch 100km/h from rest in just 3.9 seconds. And despite Audi claiming that the V6’s engine note is worthy of comparison to the old atmospheric, we all know that that’s wishful thinking.
Like all of these newest generation of RS models, Audi has opted to replace its dual-clutch S tronic transmissions with a more conventional 8-speed torque converter automatic. Quattro all-wheel drive is also present, of course, shuffling drive to whichever corner needs it the most, all while a locking centre differential keeps a watchful eye to minimise slip. Over the standard A5 Sportback, the RS5 has 7.0mm lower suspension, generally firmer springs and dampers, and more aggressive camber rates even compared to the in-betweening S5.
The car features 15mm wider tracks and a corresponding 15mm fender extension, a fascia that’s a medley of high gloss honeycomb and intricate LED illuminators so bright that fog lamps are unnecessary. And in spite of Audi’s best efforts to keep weight down, the high level of luxury and technology crammed into the all-new RS5 Sportback means that the scales are tipped at 1,840kg.
Inside, the car’s four occupants are treated to plenty of perforated, hexa-pattern leather sports seats, carbon fibre accents on the dashboard and transmission tunnel, Audi’s latest MMI infotainment suit with Virtual Cockpit and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Meanwhile, each RS5 Sportback will come equipped with Audi’s active safety suite that includes AEB, cross traffic alert, active cruise control, and the very useful traffic jam assist.
Audi says that production of the the all-new RS5 Sportback will begin very soon, with customer deliveries for the United States slated for the second half of 2018. Presumably this will apply with approximated accuracy with markets outside of North America as well.