[UPDATE, March 28] Live shots from the New York Auto Show have been added.
We’ve been waiting a long time to see the new RS5 Sportback in the flesh. With the nearly-as-stunning RS5 Coupe acting as a fine placeholder, now available in dealerships around the U.S., Audi has finally pulled the curtain back and unveiled its larger, more sophisticated model. And it’s stunning.
Under the hood you’ll find the same 2.9-liter turbocharged V6 as in the coupe, as well as the same power output – not that you’ll be complaining. The RS5 Sportback produces a whopping 444 horsepower (331 kilowatts) and 443 pound-feet (600 Newton-meters) of torque. All that power comes paired to an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission.
With permanent Quattro all-wheel drive – the same system you’ll find on every other Audi product – the RS5 is undoubtedly quick off the line. It will rocket to 60 in less than four seconds, and continue on to a limited top speed of 155 miles per hour (249 kilometers per hour), or 174 miles per hour (280 kilometers per hour) if you opt for the Dynamic Plus package. The all-wheel-drive system is biased to the rear with a split of 40/60 percent in normal conditions, but can send as much as 75 percent to the front end, and 85 percent to the rear when needed.
Size wise, the Sportback model stretches out just slightly compared to the standard coupe. The hips are over half an inch wider (15 millimeters) on each side, but the entire package does sit a whole .28 inches (7 millimeters) lower to the ground. Pair that with bigger wheels, larger air intakes, and the overall look is a bit more aggressive than the average coupe.
In the cabin, Audi’s Virtual Cockpit display is located front and center. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard, of course, as do a number of unique RS-exclusive features that help distinguish the high-po model over the standard A5. We’ll know more about the RS5 Sportback when it hits the New York Auto Show floor tomorrow. Pricing details will be released in the coming months.
Live Photos: Reimy Gonzalez / Motor1.com
Gallery: 2019 Audi RS5 Sportback
Excellent design and optimum performance:
the new Audi RS 5 Sportback
Audi Sport launches an innovative high-performance model onto the market: The Audi RS 5 Sportback is currently making its world debut at the New York International Auto Show, (March 28 – April 9, 2018), as a version for the US and Canadian market. It combines stirring design and a high level of everyday usability with superior performance.
“The Audi RS 5 Sportback is more than just an international trade fair novelty – it offers something new to our customers. Our innovative interpretation of a five-door high-performance coupé has neither predecessor models, nor a direct competitor,” explains Michael-Julius Renz, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH. “The new Audi RS 5 Sportback will carry the RS genes out onto the road.”
The exterior design of the new Audi RS 5 Sportback combines stirring curves and taut, athletic surfaces. The longer wheelbase, short overhangs and long, wraparound engine hood with power dome all emphasize the dynamism of the model. The characteristic wavy shape of the powerful shoulder line is a visual highlight of the high-performance coupé. When viewed at an angle from behind, the modeled sides look particularly impressive. Here, quattro blisters emphasize the strong bulges over the wheel housings, which have been extended by 15 millimeters (0.6 in).
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, and a front spoiler with matte aluminum quattro lettering. Aside from the headlamps, the vehicle features additional design elements in gloss black, making the RS 5 Sportback appear even wider. 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; 20-inch wheels are available as an optional extra. The new Audi RS 5 Sportback can be customized with the Gloss Black, Carbon, and Matte Aluminum optic packages.
The 2.9 TFSI V6 twin turbo engine offers both power and efficiency, and can achieve 331 kW. Its maximum torque of 600 Nm is deployed throughout a wide speed range from 1,900 to 5,000 rpm. The Audi RS 5 Sportback accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, with the possibility of reaching a top speed of 174 mph. The two turbochargers of the 2.9 TFSI 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 2.9 TFSI engine reacts extremely spontaneously to the movements of the right pedal. The B-cycle combustion process with central direct injection contributes to the overall efficiency.
The power of the 2.9 TFSI is transferred to the quattro permanent all wheel drive with center differential via an eight-speed tiptronic transmission with optimized shift times that is specially tuned to sporty driving. It distributes power asymmetrically 40:60 between the axles – this guarantees dynamic handling with optimal traction alongside the greatest possible safety. When slippage occurs on an axle, most of the power immediately flows to the other axle – up to 85% to the front, and up to 70% to the rear. This locking effect enables a clearly-defined torque distribution and precise cooperation with the control systems. The optional sport differential selectively shifts the torque between the rear wheels.
The five-link design on the front and rear axles allows for substantially enhanced comfort, even in the sportiest of driving modes. With the standard RS sports suspension, the RS 5 Sportback is seven millimeters (0.3 in) 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 customized, more dynamic or more comfortable – using the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, which is fitted as standard.
The high-quality, sporty interior of the new Audi RS 5 Sportback is finished in black, and provides space for five people. Its square-shaped profile and loading width measuring exactly one meter (3.3 ft) enables optimum use of the 480 liter (17 cu ft) trunk capacity. Folding down the rear seats increases the capacity to 1,300 liters (46 cu ft). The rear seat backrest is divided in a 40:20:40 ratio as standard. The RS 5 Sportback weighs 1,840 kilograms (4,056.5 lbs).
The sporty nature of the five-door high-performance coupé is emphasized 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 tire pressure, torque and G forces. In manual mode, the shift light display prompts the driver to shift up once the engine speed threshold is reached. 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 will initially be available in dealerships in the USA and Canada from the second half of 2018.