2013 Audi RS 5 at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show

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  • Competes with: BMW M3 coupe, Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG coupe, Cadillac CTS-V coupe
  • Looks like: A beefed-up S5 which is, in turn, a beefed-up A5
  • Drivetrain: 450-hp, 4.2-liter V-8; seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission; all-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: Summer 2012

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.

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Photo of Joe Bruzek
Managing Editor Joe Bruzek’s 22 years of automotive experience doesn’t count the lifelong obsession that started as a kid admiring his dad’s 1964 Chevrolet Corvette — and continues to this day. Joe’s been an automotive journalist with for 16 years, writing shopper-focused car reviews, news and research content. As Managing Editor, one of his favorite areas of focus is helping shoppers understand electric cars and how to determine whether going electric is right for them. In his free time, Joe maintains a love-hate relationship with his 1998 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am that he wishes would fix itself. LinkedIn: Email Joe Bruzek

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