For Audi, growing its product offering has been a successful business model and strategy. The newest addition to the lineup, the Audi RS5 Sportback, made its global debut this week as the 2018 New York International Auto Show was getting under way.
Last year, the manufacturer introduced the A5 and S5 Sportback versions, and is now completing the triumvirate with the RS5, which should be commercially available in the next few months. The car offers up 444 hp and maximum torque of 443 lb-ft. Obviously the Quattro all-wheel drive system is included; this essential tool will help keep all those horses from pulling the car off the asphalt during accelerations and when passing.
Esthetically, the RS5 borrows heavily from the more imposing RS7, clearly part of a desire for a certain homogeneity, but also because the two vehicles are inspired by the 1970s-era Audi 100 Coupe.
The engine behind all that raw power is a 2.9L twin-turbo V6 wedded to an 8-speed Triptronic automatic transmission. These elements combine to give the RS5 Sportback a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of under 4 seconds. Just a few years ago, that kind of capability was restricted to truly exceptional speed demons.
There are other differences to the Sportback than just under the hood. The model rests 0.27 inches closer to the ground in comparison with the S5, and gets a five-link front suspension that ensures more precise steering and more incisive road handling. The back end features a sport-calibrated differential and benefit from 60% of the engine’s power in normal conditions. If the road surface gets grubbier, the computer managing the powertrain comes into play to redistribute power accordingly.
The RS5 is wider by a half-inch and is made more imposing still by the presence of exclusive exhaust tips, front air intakes with a beehive lower end, a black spoiler on the trunk and a front diffuser, as well as matte-painted side view mirrors.
Audi has not divulged price information for the newest Sportback, but it’s realistic to expect it to hover around the $82,500 price tag affixed to the RS5 Coupe version.