No longer naturally aspirated, the RS5 has arrived at the 'Ring with a brand new biturbo 2.9-liter V6 engine.

Developed by Porsche with some input from Audi, the new engine is hiding underneath the hood of this RS5 Coupe prototype being pushed to the max by the test driver. How much power will it deliver in this new application? Audi hasn’t released any figures so far, but we do know in the second-gen Panamera 4S it has 440 horsepower (324 kilowatts) at 5,650 rpm and 406 pound-feet (550 Newton-meters) of torque.

Downsizing from a naturally-aspirated 4.2-liter V8 engine to a six-cylinder turbo won’t be to everyone’s liking for quite a few reasons: turbo lag, non-linear power delivery, and the less exciting sound coming out of those two fat oval exhaust tips reserved for RS models. On the flip side, the switch to a new turbo V6 for the RS5 will bring a significant bump in torque and will slash fuel consumption over the old NA engine. The considerable weight loss brought by the A4/A5’s new MLB Evo platform will further boost the efficiency of Audi’s next high-performance coupe.

2018 Audi RS5 Coupe spy photo
2018 Audi RS5 Coupe spy photo

Although the prototype caught undergoing testing on the Nordschleife was mostly camouflaged, it’s really not that hard to image how the RS5 will look like after seeing the S5. Should you need a car easier to live with on a daily basis without having to sacrifice performance; the RS4 Sedan will be the one to have. If practicality is on top of the priorities list, the RS4 Avant is the ideal solution if you’re after a product from Ingolstadt. A first-ever RS5 Sportback has been mooted for the U.S. market, but we will have to wait for Audi USA to confirm or deny the rumor.

While there’s no word about performance at the moment of writing, the new RS5 Coupe should prove to be quicker than its predecessor that needed 4.5 seconds until 62 mph (100 kph). Maximum speed will likely be once again electronically capped at 155 mph (250 kph), but the less restrictive optional limiter might increase a little bit compared to the 174 mph (280 kph) of the old model.

As to when we’ll get to see these new RS products, the RS4 Avant will likely lead the way in 2017. Audi has already confirmed the reborn RS4 Sedan will be available from day one, so it will hit the streets next year as well when the two RS5 models might also be launched. Further down the line, an RS5 Cabriolet should make its debut at some point in 2018.

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