“And each mile on the Nordschleife equals 9 miles on the road,” says the RS5’s product supervisor Anthony Garbis.
The result is one in every of Audi’s quickest and quickest 4-seat coupes ever.
Sadly, Arizona’s State Police of their white Ford Explorers have little curiosity in us sampling the RS5’s 174 mph prime velocity or its three.7-second zero-60 mph acceleration. Underneath crisp blue skies, we’re northbound in a Sonoma Inexperienced RS5 (an unique shade) on Route 87 towards Payson, a sleepy enclave within the Tonto Nationwide Forest made well-known by writer Zane Gray within the Nineteen Twenties. The extensive-open 4-lane dips, dives and bends, however its fifty five mph velocity restrict is strictly enforced, and Arizona’s boys in blue armed with prompt radar have simply written up two in our group for extreme velocity. In response to the victims, the officers wrote the citations whereas quizzing them concerning the RS5’s specs. Good.
The A5 household now gives eight fashions in three bodystyles, and it makes up 10 % of Audi’s gross sales in the USA. RS fashions, which additionally embrace the RS3, RS7 and TT RS, are most efficiency automobiles that sit on the prime of their mannequin strains and battle BMW’s M merchandise and the gang at AMG for fanatic wishes and dollars. The 2018 RS5 is aimed squarely on the BMW M4 and Mercedes C sixty three Coupe.
Like its competitors, the Audi RS5 has ditched pure aspiration for turbocharging. Gone is the mannequin’s excessive-revving four.2 liter V8, changed by an aluminum 2.9-liter, twin-turbo V6 it shares with the Porsche Panamera 4S. Audi Sport has tweaked the engine for higher efficiency, decreasing its compression ratio from 10.5:1 to 10:1, including period to its camshafts, and including increase — as much as 21.6 psi. The good points are actually on the torque aspect. Within the Audi, the engine is rated at 444 horsepower at 5,seven hundred rpm and 443 lb-ft of torque at 1,900 rpm, whereas it is rated 440 hp at 5,650 rpm and 405 lb-ft of torque at 1,750 rpm within the Porsche. Extra essential, the boosted V6 produces far more torque than the previous V8’s 317 lb-ft at four,000 rpm, and it is sixty six kilos lighter.
The engine’s packaging can also be distinctive to the Audi, and consists of chrome steel consumption tubing for improved circulate and an oil cooler that is mounted parallel to the bottom forward of the radiator to generate 6.6 kilos of further downforce.
The RS5’s seven-velocity twin-clutch transmission can also be historical past, changed by a ZF-provided eight-velocity automated. This is identical transmission used within the RS7, and Audi made the change as a result of the twin-clutch can solely deal with as much as 370 lb-ft of torque. Controlling the temperature and sturdiness of the unit’s torque converter, which is 10 kilos lighter and distinctive to the RS fashions, required the engineers to dial down the engine velocity allowed by the RS5’s launch management from four,000 rpm to three,300 rpm. However the further torque of the V6 and the transmission’s shorter ratios greater than make up for it, quickening the RS5’s 60 mph dash from four.5 seconds to only three.7, which Audi says is faster than the competitors.
The RS5 sits 1 / 4 of an inch decrease than the S5, and though it makes use of the identical A-arms, it makes use of wider brake hubs and fewer wheel offset to widen its entrance monitor by zero.four inches and its rear monitor by zero .eight inches. Dynamic Journey Management is optionally available together with a Sport Exhaust System for a further $three,350. The optionally available suspension, which can also be out there on the RS7, makes use of metal springs and adjustable dampers related to one another diagonally by way of hydraulic strains and a central valve. It will increase the strain within the diagonally opposed dampers (proper entrance and left rear) to lower roll throughout cornering. The oil reservoirs, together with the battery, are mounted within the trunk to optimize the coupe’s weight stability.
Audi Drive Choose is standard, and the RS5 rides properly in Consolation mode. On Arizona’s clean roads the suspension soaks up bigger impacts cleanly, however you possibly can nonetheless really feel sufficient grit of the asphalt within the seat, steering wheel and flooring to know you are not driving a standard A5. The RS5 will get standard 19-inch wheels, which weigh 22.5 kilos a bit, and optionally available 20-inchers that weigh 27 kilos.
Change to Dynamic mode and the RS5’s suspension, in line with Matthias Noethling, the technical undertaking supervisor on the RS5, transforms into the stiffest suspension Audi provides in the USA apart from the R8 V10 Plus. In Dynamic, the experience might be bouncy, though it is by no means actually harsh. Noethling and his staff have nonetheless managed to spherical off the sides and maintain issues refined over damaged pavement.
Dynamic mode additionally sharpens throttle response, modifications the transmission’s shift factors, ups the steering effort, and fixes its ratio at a really fast thirteen.5:1. In regular mode the ratio is variable between sixteen:1 and 25:1. Dynamic mode additionally cranks up the engine’s sound. In Consolation mode Audi artificially amplifies the engine’s resonance contained in the cabin under three,000 rpm, nevertheless it’s nonetheless within the background. Above three,000 rpm, flaps within the RS Sport Exhaust system open to offer you extra pure audible suggestions, however in Dynamic mode they’re all the time open and the V6 has an satisfying burble, even at low rpm. RS5s with the RS Sport Exhaust system are distinguished by their black tailpipes.
Risking a run-in with Arizona’s best, we pushed the RS5 properly previous the authorized restrict on multiple event. The eight-velocity is fast with a number of downshifts, and the turbo V6 pulls onerous to its 6,seven hundred rpm redline, the place the transmission clicks off a clear and crisp gear change. Nail the throttle at 70 mph and the Audi’s acceleration pushes you into its agency, nicely-bolstered RS Sport Seat and holds you there. The transmission snatches fifth gear at ninety four mph, and the thrust continues primarily uninterrupted. Maintain your foot down and the coupe is properly north of the century, secure and relaxed, earlier than the subsequent gear change. With out the Dynamic Plus Package deal, Audi limits the RS5’s prime velocity to one hundred fifty five mph — greater than anybody wants, in fact.
We additionally explored the Audi’s dealing with on a number of tight and twisty aspect roads. Though it is heavier than the BMW M4, the three,990-pound RS5 hides its heft properly with fast response and spectacular ranges of grip. It likes to be tossed from nook to nook and places the facility down so properly that you do not have to be delicate with the throttle.
The standard energy distribution of its all-wheel drive system is forty % to the entrance tires, however it will possibly ship as a lot as 70 % to the entrance and as much as eighty five % to the rear. In corners, the system’s Quattro Sport Rear Differential, which is a totally mechanical unit, also can ship all obtainable rear torque to both rear wheel, and in Dynamic mode it transfers extra torque to the outer rear wheel to assist the car flip. Audi additionally permits you to shut off the coupe’s stability management, however there’s additionally a Sport setting with extra aggressive tire slip thresholds. These techniques all work as marketed, fixing your errors with out spoiling your enjoyable or scrubbing velocity unnecessarily. Use the paddle shifters and the transmission matches revs completely.
And its brakes are large. The RS5 will get 14.eight-inch entrance cross-drilled rotors with six-piston calipers in black or purple with the RS emblem. These are greater entrance rotors than you will discover on a Porsche 911 Targa four GTS. Bigger carbon ceramic entrance brakes can be found, and automobiles with the choice get a tire-temperature readout on the instrument panel.
From the curb, the brand new RS5 packs angle. Audi has bulged out its fenders over half an inch, dressed its mirrors and grille encompass in matte aluminum trim, added bigger air intakes to the entrance bumper, gloss black aspect sills to the doorways and widened the grille which will get a black honeycomb mesh. In again there is a diffuser, giant oval exhaust pipes and a black lip spoiler. However the coolest half is the sizable QUATTRO script on the entrance spoiler. An older man within the new BMW M550i almost broke his neck checking it out.
The brand new Audi RS5 goes sale this month at $sixty nine,900, and topping out round $ninety,000 with each out there choice. Nearly as good as the brand new RS5 Coupe is, and it’s extremely good, that is a grand or two greater than a BMW M4 or a Mercedes C sixty three, each of that are rear-wheel drive, and you may nonetheless get an M4 with a guide transmission. We’re unsure if a convertible is within the works, however after the drive, which we managed to finish with no run-in with the regulation, we did ask Garbis about the potential for an RS5 Sportback. “An RS5 Sportback can be a pleasant addition to the A5 household.” he replied with a smirk. “I might drive one.”
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