Audi is set to take on the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C 63 AMG Sedan with the first ever RS 5 Sportback.
Making its debut at the 2018 New York International Auto Show, the RS 5 Sportback is Audi’s latest interpretation of a five-door high-performance coupe, featuring longer wheelbase than the RS 5 coupe for more interior space.
At the front, the Audi RS 5 Sportback features a wide, flat single-frame grille, solid air intakes with a honeycomb structure typical of an RS model, and a front spoiler with matte aluminium quattro lettering. An RS-specific diffuser insert, RS exhaust system with oval tailpipes and fixed spoiler lip give the rear end its sportiness.
The RS 5 Sportback comes with 19-inch wheels as standard, while 20-inch wheels are available as an optional extra. The latest member of the RS family can be customised with the Gloss Black, Carbon, and Matte Aluminium optic packages.
The 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 engine is identical to the one found in the RS 5 coupe, delivering 331kW of power with maximum torque of 600Nm deployed from 1900 to 5000rpm. The two turbochargers of the V6 twin turbo generate up to 1.5 bar of charge pressure. As with all new Audi V6 and V8 engines, the turbochargers are mounted at a 90-degree angle to the cylinder banks, which means that the exhaust side of the cylinder heads is inside, and the intake side is outside. This layout enables a compact design and short fuel paths with minimal flow loss.
The power of the 2.9 TFSI is transferred to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive with centre differential via an eight-speed automatic transmission, enabling 0 to 100km/h sprint time of just 3.9 seconds, en route to a top speed of 280km/h.
The quattro system distributes power asymmetrically 40:60 between the front and rear axles. When slippage occurs on an axle, up to 85 percent of power can be channeled to the front, and up to 70 percent to the rear. The optional sport differential selectively shifts the torque between the rear wheels.
With the standard RS sports suspension, the RS 5 Sportback sits 7mm lower than the Audi S5 Sportback. Alternatively, Audi Sport offers RS sport suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC), ceramic brakes and RS-specific dynamic steering. Drivers can create their own personal driving experience – to make it more customised, more dynamic or more comfortable – using the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, which is fitted as standard.
The sporty interior of the new Audi RS 5 Sportback is finished in black, and provides space for five people. There are 480 litres of boot capacity. Folding down the rear seats increases the capacity to 1300 litres. The rear seat backrest is divided in a 40:20:40 ratio as standard. The RS 5 Sportback weighs 1840 kilograms.
The sporty nature of the five-door coupé is emphasised by details such as the RS sport seats with optional honeycomb pattern in fine Nappa leather, and the flat-bottomed RS multifunction sports leather steering wheel. RS emblems can be found on the seats, the steering wheel, the sill panel strips and on the selector lever.
Special RS information displays in the Audi virtual cockpit provide information on tyre pressure, torque and G forces. Particular highlights of the RS design package include the contrasting red stitching on the steering wheel and selector lever, the Alcantara knee pads, and the red-trimmed seat belts and floor mats featuring the RS logo. For the Audi RS 5, Audi Sport offers Sonoma Green Metallic as an exclusive paint option.
The Audi RS 5 Sportback is expected to arrive in Australia at the end of the year.