Review: Audi RS 5By Simon Donohue
December 31, 2010
Given its fearsome reputation, the biggest surprise about the Audi RS 5 is just how civilised it can be.
Locked into comfort driving mode it feels pretty much like any other luxurious German coupé.
Its two plus two seating configuration and spacious boot make a decent stab at transporting the trendy young family.
Fuel consumption will leave you in no doubt there’s something significant under the bonnet, but this really is a car one could happily live with every day.
The flick of a switch on the dash transforms the RS 5 from around-town tourer to sports machine.
The car springs instantly into life and growls at the top of its voice before its occupants are catapulted forward by its huge 4.2-litre V8 powerplant.
Based loosely on the A5 coupé, the RS 5 is a combination of cutting-edge engineering and good old-fashioned raw power.
Its chassis sits 20mm lower than that of the standard Audi A5 on 19in five-spoke Aero design alloy wheels with vast 265/35 tyres.
As well as its trademark oval RS tailpipes, the RS 5 boasts swivelling xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights and LED rear lights and a speed-activated rear spoiler.
Inside, black silk Nappa Leather upholstery is complemented by carbon fibre and aluminium elements and additional oil temperature and lap timer gauges.
A slick seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission delivers 450bhp when the engine is reaching its peak.
By way of illustrating the unit’s provenance and potential, the V8 engine is based on the legendary V10 FSI engine from the R8 5.2litre FSI quattro.
The RS 5 can power from 0-to-62mph in only 4.6 seconds. That’s pretty quick for a car with no claim to being a sports car.
The magic switch – or vehicle dynamics control system to give it its full title – is standard on the RS 5.
It enables the driver to adjust the steering weighting, the shift points for the S tronic gearbox, the sport differential, the Dynamic Ride Control, the engine and exhaust system.
This is a car which really does deserve its reputation – and a thirsty one at that.
But if the idea of visiting petrol stations between stints of speedy driving doesn’t put you off, the RS 5 is about as good as it gets.
Model: Audi RS 5
0 to 62mph: 4.6 secs
Top speed: 155mph
Emissions: 252 g/km
Insurance Group: 20