Audi's A5 and S5 coupe gets a high-performance variant in the RS 5, a competitor to the BMW M3 and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG. It's powered by a 4.2-liter V-8 that's good for 450 horsepower. Other changes versus the A5 and S5 include a lowered suspension, sportier styling, a dressier cabin and many personalization options.
The RS 5 bears the same updates as the A5 and S5 for 2013, including new LED piping around the headlights, a modified grille and other tweaks. The RS 5 has a host of performance cues, including unique tailpipes, taller bumper inlets and a lower air splitter on the bumper. The changes add size: The RS 5 measures 0.9 inch longer and 0.2 inch wider than the A5, and its performance-tuned suspension results in a 0.8-inch lower ride height. Nineteen-inch alloy wheels are standard, with 20s optional.
An optional sport exhaust packs more sound and black pipes; a rear spoiler automatically deploys at 75 mph.
Distinctions for the RS 5 include a flat-bottom steering wheel and unique black-and-white gauges with a racetrack lap timer. Leather and Alcantara simulated suede sport seats are standard. Premium leather and ventilated seats are optional. Audi's drive select program allows drivers to dial in separate modes for steering and drivetrain response.
Under the Hood
The RS 5's 4.2-liter V-8 makes 450 hp at a screeching 8,250 rpm and 317 pounds-feet of torque from 4,000 to 6,000 rpm. Power gets to the ground through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic with paddle shifters and a launch-control program. Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive channels 30 to 85 percent of power to the rear wheels; in normal conditions it defaults 60 percent rearward. Stand on the gas and the RS 5 hits 60 mph in about 4.5 seconds, which is neck-and-neck with the M3 and C63.
A torque vectoring system can send more power to the outside wheels, enhancing midcorner dynamics. An optional sport rear differential doles out even more precise power between the left and right rear wheels. Variable-ratio steering, which varies steering ratio and not just power assist, is also optional, as is a three-stage adaptive suspension.
Standard braking hardware includes massive 14.4-inch front disc brakes and eight-piston calipers. Carbon fiber/ceramic discs are optional. Antilock brakes and an electronic stability system are standard. The stability system has a sport mode with higher intervention thresholds; it can also be turned off.
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