Audi’s promise of an even hotter version of its S5 for U.S. buyers will come to fruition when the RS 5 goes on sale next year. The 450-horsepower RS 5 has been available overseas, but it gets new front and rear styling — like the newly tweaked 2013 A5 and S5 — before coming stateside.
Unlike the recently announced S6, S7 and S8, there are no turbochargers lurking under the RS 5’s hood. The 4.2-liter’s power comes naturally aspirated, making peak power at a screaming 8,250 rpm. For those mourning the upcoming demise of the V-8-powered S5 coupe — replaced by a similarly powered and more efficient supercharged V-6 for 2013 — the RS 5 will be the only V-8 option in the A5/S5 lineup. Teamed with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, zero to 62 mph comes in 4.6 seconds.
The RS 5 gets gaping air inlets on each side of the bumper, a unique grille with matte silver frame and anthracite gray honeycomb mesh, plus a front splitter. Sharper edges in the hood make the RS 5 look wider when viewed from the front. Around back, new LED taillights work with the more athletic redesigned lower bumper.
High-performance features include a lowered suspension with adjustable driving modes, launch control for quick starts, 40/60 front/rear power split of the all-wheel drive and larger brakes. A sport exhaust system and carbon fiber-ceramic brakes can also be equipped.