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Audi RS5 review - Audi's most entertaining coupe yet?

James Disdale
24 Nov 2017
Verdict:

A more rounded car than before, delivering crushing all-weather pace, but comfort and refinement comes at the expense of character

Evo Rating: 
Price: 
£62,900
For 
Effortless performance, confidence-inspiring handling, impressive refinement and comfort
Against 
Characterless engine, lack of driver involvement
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The original Audi RS5 debuted in 2010 and was arguably the brand’s best attempt yet to recapture the magic of its legendary ur Quattro. Featuring a similar four-seat coupe body, flared wheel arches and four-wheel drive, it ticked all the right boxes. And while it lacked the original’s five-cylinder soundtrack, it compensated with its howling V8.

In fact, this naturally aspirated 4.2-litre 8-cylinder unit was the dynamic highlight. The rest of the car just failed to live up to the promise of its raw ingredients. It was fast and composed, but it lacked the driver involvement that marked out the best, such as the BMW M4.

> Audi RS5 vs BMW M4 vs Mercedes-AMG C63 S - Supertest review

However, there’s now an all-new Audi RS5 that’s been developed to address the old version’s shortcomings. Lighter, faster and powered by a powerful new twin turbocharged V6, it promises to be one of the firm’s most engaging and entertaining machines yet. At least that’s what Audi claims.

Before you even so much as open the driver’s door Audi is keen to point out that the RS5 has been designed to cover a wider brief than its immediate rivals. In fact, bosses stress that this is a high performance GT car that can be transformed into razor-sharp sports coupe as and when the mood takes.

Audi RS5 in detail 

> Performance and 0-60 time - The RS5 edges out the competition in a launch style start covering 0-62mph in 3.9sec and is capable of de-limited 174mph top speed.

> Engine and gearbox - The 2.9-litre, twin-turbocharged V6 develops 444bhp, but the gains have been made in the mid-range courtesy of 442lb ft of torque available from 1900rpm.

> Ride and handling - The new RS5 has progressed significantly over the old model, lighter, more focused and hugely capable, although it still feels a bit inert alongside rivals.

> MPG and running costs - The smaller blown engine makes the RS5 more efficient than its predecessor, with Audi claiming 32.5mpg on a combined cycle.

> Interior and tech - The RS5 does justice to Audi’s reputation of producing class-leading interiors crammed with an endless list of tech functions.

> Design - A collection of tasteful exterior tweaks imbue the RS5 with the necessary aggression to wear the RS badge.

> Audi RS5 vs rivals - evo 240 saw the Audi RS5 meet the M4 Competition Pack and Mercedes-AMG C63 in an evo Supertest.

Prices and specs

The Audi RS5 weighs in at £62,900, which means it undercuts natural rivals such as the BMW M4 Competition Pack (£64,010) and Mercedes-AMG C63 (£63,475).

It matches the competition for kit, too, with sat-nav, LED headlamps, and Nappa leather seat trim. Yet it’s still possible to go overboard with options and splash out on items such as 20-speaker Bang and Olufsen hi-fi, a carbon fibre exterior styling pack and a driver pack that raises the top speed to 174mph.

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