The RS 5 Coupé is the star athlete of the A5 family. It offers the power and handling of a powerful sports car packaged in the body of an alluringly elegant coupe. The design has now gained several new, sharp accents, with numerous features that characterize the other A5 models also making their way to the RS 5.
The Audi RS 5 Coupé uses a high-revving, normally aspirated V8 displacing 4,163 cc. This engine is closely related to the V10 that powers the R8 high-performance sports car. The 4.2 FSI delivers 331 kW (450 hp) at 8,250 rpm, with the peak torque of 430 Nm (317.15 lb-ft) available between 4,000 and 6,000 rpm. The engine has a specific output of 108.1 hp per liter of displacement. The potent response, the eager revving and the rich, melodious sound mark the V8 as a thoroughbred racing engine.
Hand-built at the plant in Györ, Hungary, the 4.2 FSI launches the Coupé from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 4.5 seconds. Audi will increase the electronically governed top speed from 250 to 280 km/h (155.34 to 173.98 mph) upon request. Thanks to the combination of technologies from the Audi modular efficiency platform, which also includes a recuperation system, the high-tech V8 consumes significantly less fuel on average than its direct competitors.
With its high efficiency and its long top gear, the standard seven-speed S tronic also contributes to the good fuel economy. Drivers can let the lightning-fast dual-clutch transmission shift automatically or change gears themselves using the selector lever or with paddles on the steering wheel. The integrated launch control program provides for rocket-like starts by managing the engagement of the clutch at mid-level revs.
High end: quattro with crown-gear differential
Like all RS models, the RS 5 Coupé also applies its power to the road with quattro permanent all-wheel drive. The crown-gear center differential at its heart is compact and lightweight. It can vary the distribution of torque between the front and rear axles lightning-fast and over a wide range, with up to 70 percent flowing 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 crown-gear center 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 dynamically, that wheel is braked slightly before it can begin to slip. Audi offers the sport differential as a complementary option that actively distributes the power between the rear wheels via two superposition stages.
Precise and stable: the chassis
The chassis of the RS 5 Coupé unites fast and precise turn-in, high cornering speeds and supreme stability. Most of the components of the five-link front suspension and the self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension are made of aluminum. The new speed-dependent power steering is an electromechanical system with a direct steering ratio for highly precise road feel. It supports the driver with slight steering corrections when braking on surfaces with different amounts of grip. Because the power steering draws no energy when driving straight ahead, it helps to enhance efficiency.
The taut setup lowers the body by 20 millimeters (0.79 in) compared with the Audi A5. Newly designed, 19-inch forged aluminum wheels with 265/35-series tires are standard; 20-inch wheels with 275/30-series tires are available as an option for the high-performance coupe.
The brake system of the RS Coupé features large, internally ventilated wave brake discs, with the front discs measuring 365 millimeters (14.37 in) in diameter. The steel friction rings with their wave-like outer contour are perforated and connected to the aluminum brake caps via pins. This direct structure reduces tensions, quickly dissipates the heat and prevents the transmission of temperature peaks. Moreover, the redesigned shape of the friction rings results in three kilograms (6.61 lb) of weight being saved in total, thus improving the balance of unsprung masses.
The calipers are painted high-gloss black; the front calipers have eight pistons each. The RS 5 can be optionally equipped with carbon fiber-ceramic discs up front. The electronic stabilization program (ESP) integrates a sport mode and can be switched off entirely.
Upon request, Audi equips the RS 5 with a particularly dynamic damping technology – the sport suspension plus with DRC dynamic ride control. The diagonally opposed pairs of shock absorbers are linked by hydraulic lines and a central valve. During fast cornering, the system intensifies the stabilization of the front outside wheel. The sport suspension plus features a three-stage, variable damping characteristic.
The Audi drive select driving dynamics system comes standard with the RS 5 Coupé. This system allows the driver to select between three modes – comfort, auto and dynamic – for the characteristics of the steering, the seven-speed S tronic and the accelerator. And if the car is equipped with an Audi MMI navigation system, there is also a fourth mode – individual – which can be configured by the driver. Audi drive select can also modulate the sound of the exhaust system, double-clutching when downshifting in dynamic mode.
Dynamic steering is another module available for Audi drive select beside the sport differential and the damping characteristic in the sport suspension plus. It uses a superposition gear to vary the steering ratio by nearly 100 percent as a function of speed and countersteers slightly at the cornering limit.
Unmistakable: The design
The RS 5 Coupé has an athletic road stance, and its classically elegant two-door lines dazzle with clear-cut accents. The new single-frame grille with beveled upper corners features a high-gloss, anthracite gray honeycomb structure and a matt aluminum-look frame. The standard xenon plus headlights are framed by narrow strips of LED daytime running lights. The air flows through large openings embedded in a distinctive bumper featuring a splitter edge like on a racing car. Sharper edges make the engine hood appear more three-dimensional so that the RS 5 looks even lower and wider when viewed from the front.
The flared aluminum front fenders and the rear side elements with the sharp horizontal upper edges are reminiscent of two classic Audi models from the 1980s – the all-wheel drive pioneer Audi quattro and the Sport quattro. The side sills sport chiseled caps; the trim strips and the side mirror housings have a matt aluminum-look finish.
The tail end is dominated by the two oval exhaust pipes of the dual exhaust system, which are integrated into the redesigned bumper. Audi also offers a sport exhaust system with a more voluminous sound and black exhaust tip bezels. The LED rear lights are also new and feature continuous light strips. The large diffuser extends far upward, and the spoiler in the rear hatch extends automatically at 120 km/h (74.56 mph).
The extensively clad underbody integrates air vents for the seven-speed S tronic and the front brakes. Thanks to its advanced aerodynamics, the RS 5 Coupé generates downforce at high speed to further enhance stability.
The dynamic looks alter the dimensions slightly. The RS 5 Coupé is 23 millimeters (0.91 in) longer and six millimeters (0.24 in) wider than the A5 Coupé, but six millimeters (0.24 in) lower. Eight exterior colors are available, from solid, metallic and pearl effect finishes to a specially pigmented crystal effect paint.
Dynamic elegance: The interior
The vehicle’s dynamically elegant styling also extends to the interior. The standard sport seats with integrated headrests are power adjustable and covered in a combination of black leather and Alcantara. Audi also offers seat upholstery in Fine Nappa leather in a choice of black or lunar silver, both subtly accented with rock gray piping. Other options include bucket seats with folding backrests or comfortable, climate-controlled comfort seats with a ventilation function. The interior is bathed in black, with narrow chrome clasps at the switches and control elements providing delicate accents. Inlays are available in a choice of carbon, brushed or etched aluminum, a high-gloss piano finish or a light-colored stainless steel mesh.
The new leather multifunction sport steering wheel with its thick rim is flattened at the bottom and features a new, even easier control concept. The ignition key and the shift lever knob have also been redesigned. Even the steering column stalks have been updated. The instruments have black gauges and white lettering with special scaling. When the ignition is turned, the red needles of the speedometer and tachometer run quickly up to the limit before returning to zero for a touch of sporty flair. Typical of all RS vehicles, the door openers are two delicate bars.
The driver information system with color display includes an RS menu with a lap timer and an oil thermometer. It displays a special RS welcome screen when the car is started. A piano-finish fascia in the instrument panel frames the instrument cluster. The pedals, the footrest and the buttons of the optional MMI navigation systems shine in an aluminum-look finish. Aluminum inserts adorn the door sill trims, which are accentuated with RS 5 badges.
Audi also offers numerous exclusive features for the interior. A carbon design package is available for the engine compartment, as are a variety of styling packages for the body in black or matt aluminum look. A broad range of high-performance assistance and communication systems round out the optional extras program. Among these are adaptive cruise control, Audi side assist, adaptive light, MMI navigation plus, the Bluetooth online car phone and the Bang & Olufsen sound system.
The new 4.0 TFSI
Audi is expanding its engine lineup with a new, high-performance gasoline engine. The 4.0 TFSI, which is used in slightly different configurations in the S6, S6 Avant, S7 Sportback and S8, develops between 309 kW (420 hp) and 382 kW (520 hp), and as much as 650 Nm (479.42 lb-ft) of torque. The new V8 is a high-tech engine featuring numerous innovative solutions.
The youngest member of the large Audi family of V engines, the 4.0 TFSI shares all of their typical characteristics. It has the classic cylinder angle of 90 degrees, the chain drive for the four camshafts and ancillary units is on the back to save space, and the cylinder case is a cast aluminum-silicon alloy. This eight-cylinder unit is very light in weight, and its highly compact construction has resulted in its length being reduced to 497 mm (19.57 in).
Fuel is provided via Audi’s FSI direct injection system. Switchable flaps in the intake ports induce a rolling type of movement in the incoming air for improved combustion. Like almost every Audi engine, the new 4.0 TFSI also follows the principle of downsizing, where forced induction replaces displacement. One turbocharger per cylinder bank compresses the intake air. This is known as twinscroll technology, where the exhaust flows to the turbine wheel at high speed through two separate ports and enables torque to be developed extremely early, just above idle.
The two turbochargers and the intercooler are located in the inside V of the cylinder banks rather than in the usual location outside next to the crankcase. Audi has structured the cylinder heads in an innovative way. The exhaust side is on the inside, the intake side on the outside. This layout provides for compact dimensions and short gas paths with minimal flow losses, and the 4.0 TFSI reacts immediately to the gas pedal as a result. Sophisticated insulation of the hot components, in particular the exhaust manifold, stabilizes the thermal conditions in the inside V.
A further innovation is Audi’s cylinder management. In low to intermediate load and rev ranges, it deactivates two cylinders in each bank of the V8, reducing fuel consumption significantly. Thanks to a comprehensive package of innovative measures, the engine remains smooth and quiet during these phases. Shutting down the cylinders is virtually imperceptible. This cylinder management function is provided by the latest version of the Audi valvelift system by closing the intake and exhaust valves of the affected cylinders.
The 4.0 TFSI employs all the technologies from Audi’s modular efficiency platform. These range from measures to reduce friction, the start-stop system and the recuperation system to innovative thermal management that deactivates the water pump during the warmup phase to quickly bring the oil up to temperature. The new regulated oil pump varies the oil pressure in two stages, and the oil jet cooling for the piston heads is characteristic-controlled. The new 4.0 TFSI provides for powerful performance in all of the large S models while at the same time demonstrating its high efficiency potential.
Delivery of the Audi RS 5 Coupé started in April 2012 at a base price of €78,750 in Germany.