2014 Audi RS 5 Review
It was only a matter of time until Audi reacted to losing high-end coupe sales here in the U.S. to the likes of the Mercedes C63 AMG or the BMW M3. Audi didn't have anything that could go head-to-head with these luxury competitors. That's changed now with the RS 5.
Though the Audi RS 5 has been available for several years in other countries, Audi enthusiasts in the U.S. are delighted to see it here at last. Certainly, it's the exclusivity and the RS image that make Audi a new alternative to the BMW M and the Mercedes-Benz AMG brands. The RS 5 builds on Audi's almost "luxury cult car" reputation, where performance, technology, availability and price are the defining factors that make cars in this class so desirable. Plus, the RS 5 provides enviable performance of 0-to-60 mph in about 4.0 seconds from a 450-horsepower, hand-built engine.
When you consider that the Audi A5 Coupe has a starting price of $38,745, the starting price of $69,795 for the Audi RS 5 Coupe is way up there -- nearly $32,000 more. The RS 5 Cabriolet version is $78,795, and even if you have that kind of cash on hand, there's no assurance that you can get one of the 1,500 units marked for the U.S. market. They are rare. By comparison, the Mercedes C63 AMG Coupe with a 6.2-liter, 451-horsepower V-8 has a starting retail price of $63,235 and the V-8-powered, BMW M3 Coupe starts at $62,325, including gas guzzler tax, and generates 414 horses.
Regardless of the price tag, the RS 5 is a very special car with lots of bragging rights. Based on the A5/S5 coupe, the RS 5 is the product of Quattro GmbH, Audi's equivalent to the BMW M division or the Mercedes-Benz AMG organization. It's an in-house engineering skunkworks that's responsible for a long list of Audi variants, including the R8.
Powering the Audi RS 5 is a 4.2-liter V-8 engine that produces 450 horsepower and 317 lb.-ft. of torque. Power goes to all four wheels through a seven-speed automated dual-clutch manual transmission with shift paddles. EPA-estimated fuel economy figures of 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway and 18 mpg. These figures don't trigger the U.S. government's gas guzzler tax.
The Audi RS 5 is the top performance version of the A5 coupe and cabriolet. It comes in one well-appointed trim level. Standard features include 19-inch wheels with summer tires, adaptive xenon headlights, LED running lights, a speed-activated rear spoiler, a panoramic sunroof, auto-dimming and heated mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, keyless ignition/entry, tri-zone automatic climate control, 12-way power front sport seats with four-way lumbar adjustment, driver memory functions, heated front seats, leather upholstery, carbon-fiber interior trim, split-folding rear seats, Bluetooth and a 10-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and iPod integration.
Adding the optional MMI Navigation package gets you a navigation system with voice activation, Audi's MMI infotainment interface mounted on the console, a rearview camera, Bluetooth streaming audio, Audi Connect (enhanced Web-based navigation, information and WiFi access) and a premium 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system with HD radio.
To that, the Driver Assist package can be added, which includes adaptive cruise control, a blind spot monitoring system and adaptive steering. The Titanium package adds 20-inch wheels, dark exterior trim and body-colored mirrors. Stand-alone options include 20-inch wheels, ceramic front brakes, leather/faux suede front seats, sport exhaust, a power rear sunshade and aluminum interior trim. Including all of the available options runs the RS 5 coupe price up to about $80,000, and it's a certainty that all 1,500 will sell out.
Manufacturer Photo: The Audi RS 5 features a high-revving 4.2-liter V-8 that delivers 450 horsepower and 317 lb.-ft. of torque, propelling the RS 5 from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. A seven-speed S tronic transmission with launch control enhances performance, boosting the RS 5 to an electronically-governed top track speed of 174 mph. The Audi drive select system adjusts the vehicle's transmission shift characteristics, throttle response, dynamic steering and sports differential.
Copyright, Motor Matters, 2013