The DTM regulations prescribe two-door coupes – the Audi RS 5 provides the perfect basis for this.
RS stands for maximum performance and driving dynamics within a model range at Audi. With good reason, the RS models, just like the Audi R8, belong to the Audi Sport family. “The RS models embody the concentrated know-how from motorsport – and you can feel it,” Audi DTM driver Mattias Ekström raves about the car. “RS models are real driving machines which, thanks to Audi drive select, can be driven very gently as well – or you can bring out the wolf in sheep’s clothing …”
Audi uses the experience of the exceptional racer and all-rounder Ekström, who is adept at handling any automobile and any terrain, in the development of production models. For the RS 5, the brand benefited from his knowledge as well – for instance, with regard to optimal suspension tuning.
Like any of Audi’s RS models, the RS 5 Coupe has permanent quattro all-wheel drive on board, which Ekström would also like to have in his RS 5 DTM – but which is prohibited by the regulations. In normal operation, the crown gear center differential of the RS 5 splits torque between the front and rear axles at a 40:60 ratio. This split is varied at lightning speed as needed. Up to 70 percent of the power can be applied to the front and a maximum of 80 percent to the rear wheels. “This gives the RS 5 unique driving dynamics,” says Ekström. “Like my race car, the RS 5 starts to understeer only at a very late stage. That’s exactly what you expect of a sports car, as driving at the limit is simply most enjoyable this way.”
The RS 5 comes with a seven-speed S tronic double-clutch transmission with a long seventh gear ratio as standard equipment. It helps the extremely powerful V8 settle for an average fuel consumption of 10.5 liters per 100 kilometers.
“Shifting with paddles on the steering wheel, which we’ve had in the DTM since 2012 too, is really good fun,” says the 2004 and 2007 DTM Champion. “And we don’t even need to discuss the engine. It sounds almost as good as the V8 of my RS 5 DTM. When you step on the gas pedal the RS 5 takes off like a rocket.”
331 kW (450 hp) are provided by the 4.2 FSI, a high-revving V8 normally aspirated engine that delivers its maximum output at 8,250 revolutions per minute. Its torque of 430 Nm is available from 4,000 to 6,000 rpm. The high-performance coupe sprints from zero to 100 km/h in only 4.5 seconds. “This, too, almost reaches DTM levels,” says Ekström.
Ekström is not only convinced of the RS 5 in terms of driving dynamics though. The Swede loves modern design – and the elegant coupe with its distinctive, stylish contours, the carefully accentuated details and the high-grade interior is exactly to his taste. “Well, it’s all in the genes of Audi,” raves the DTM star. “You simply feel comfortable. Audi is a trendsetter when it comes to design. And you won’t find such fine, high-grade materials that also have a great touch with most other manufacturers.” Ekström knows what he is talking about as a member of the professional panel of judges of the ‘Golden Steering Wheel’ that puts the most important new cars through their paces year by year. That is why he knows their weaknesses and strengths. There’s just one problem: “I’ve got no idea what RS model to choose. The RS 6 is awesome. But the new RS 3 I was able to test in Finland in winter is fantastic too.”