After images of the new RS5 leaked out over the weekend Audi have been quick to follow up with full details on the new RS5.
New V8 Engine?
First thing to confirm is that the RS5 will use a 444 bhp (450 PS) version of the direct injection V8 as fitted to the discontinued RS4 and current R8. Although Audi’s statement in this regard is interesting, describing this V8 as being “A close relative of the V10 which powers the high-performance R8 sports car”, which would seem to imply that the 4.2 litre FSi V8 has received such a thorough makeover that they are keen to distance it from the 414 bhp (420 PS) engine that was fitted in the B7 RS4.
There was much heated debate within enthusiast forums about whether the RS4 actually delivered 414 bhp, with many owners finding considerably less ponies under the bonnet after placing their cars on a dynamometer. It looks like Audi would prefer us to associate this new V8 engine with their 5.2 litre V10 and thereby distance themselves from further debate concerning it’s likely power output, although I suspect the Audi communities will be keen to test this out for themselves.
7-speed S tronic as standard
Audi’s RS4 established a benchmark with its manual gearbox – slick, precise and satisfying to use so it comes as a slight surprise to find that the RS5 will be fitted with a 7-speed double-clutch system as standard. There are most likely two reasons for Audi’s decision, firstly its potential to optimise fuel efficiency and emissions and secondly the performance advantages provided in the headline grabbing 0-60 mph sprint increment. There’s no mention of a manual box option in Audi’s press materials, so we can only assume that the simplicity of a stick-shift is not available in this new RS5.
New quattro technology
The third aspect about the RS5 that should get your attention is what Audi describe as a new crown-gear differential – this is a newly-designed component within the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system which regulates torque distribution between the front and rear axles. Audi describe their new self-locking crown-gear centre differential as being more efficient than its predecessors with up to 70 percent of torque flowing to the front or as much as 85 percent toward the rear.
This new differential operates in conjunction with electronic torque vectoring but surprisingly we learn that Audi’s rear sport differential is an ‘option’ on the RS5, even though it was designed to be ‘uncompromisingly dynamic’. So why isn’t this fitted as standard to one of Audi’s most sporting models?
These are the main highlights from the information released today, but we’ve included the rest of the press release below should you wish to review it in more detail. The RS5 certainly sounds promising but as always the proof will come in the execution and importantly whether the RS5 can square up to BMW’s M3 and win.
Developed by quattro GmbH, the RS models comprise the dynamic spearhead of Audi‘s model range. The RS 5 is the latest torchbearer in a tradition dating back over 15 years to the RS 2 Avant: superior handling in the mid-size class.
A close relative of the V10 which powers the high-performance R8 sports car, the high-revving
V8 engine delivers its output from a displacement of 4,163 cm3. Like nearly every Audi gasoline engine, this one also operates via direct fuel injection known by the abbreviation FSI. This same technology has propelled the Audi R8 racing car to four triumphs at the classic endurance race in
Le Mans. The common-rail system generates up to 120 bars of pressure.
Intensive fine-tuning of the dual-branch intake and exhaust system allows the undersquare engine to breathe freely; four adjustable camshafts and tumble flaps in the intake manifold facilitate mixture formation. The 4.2 FSI provides imposing torque and is right at home even at high revs almost like
a race engine. The engine delivers 331 kW (450 hp) at 8,250 rpm and between 4,000 and 6,000 rpm – transmits a maximum of 430 Nm (317.15 lb-ft) of torque.
The vigorous strength, the spontaneous responsiveness, the joyful high-revving, and the throaty, sonorous music: this V8 produced by hand at Audi stunningly combines the essence of power and emotion. The 4.2 FSI propels the coupé’s 1,725 kilograms (3,802.97 pounds) in 4.6 seconds from
0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62.14 mph) to an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph). Audi can increase that to 280 km/h (173.98 mph) upon request.
Impressive efficiency: just 10.8 liters of fuel per 100 km
Efficiency is standard in every Audi; the RS 5 is no exception. The ultra-powerful eight-cylinder engine averages 10.8 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (21.78 miles US mpg) – far less than its main competitors. This impressive figure is due in part to the technologies from the Audi modular efficiency platform. The engine and the entire drivetrain have been optimized to minimize friction, the oil pump operates on demand, and an energy-recovery system conserves energy during coasting and braking.
The standard seven-speed S tronic in the RS 5 with its high efficiency ratio and its high-geared top speed also enhances efficiency. It consists of two clutches and two subsidiary transmissions. Both subsidiary transmissions are continuously active, but only one is powered at any given time by the engine. Gears are alternately shifted by the two clutches at lightning speed, smoothly, and almost imperceptibly.
The seven-speed S tronic, which was specially reinforced to accommodate the high-revving V8, can operate in fully automatic mode or the driver can shift via the innovative selector lever or shift paddles on the steering wheel. By means of the standard Audi drive select, the driver can switch in automatic mode among three different options: auto, comfort, and dynamic. In the launch control program, the seven-speed S tronic ensures flawless acceleration from a standstill – at full power and with minimal tire slip.
New quattro technology: the crown-gear differential
Like all RS models, the RS 5 also applies its power to the road with quattro permanent all-wheel drive. As for the center differential, which regulates power distribution between the front and rear axles,
Audi – the leading all-wheel-drive brand – unveils the next generation: a crown-gear differential.
The self-locking crown-gear center differential is compact and lightweight – and attains a high efficiency ratio.
Thanks to its package of plates, the differential can widely vary the distribution of torque between the front and rear axles. If necessary, up to 70 percent can flow to the front or as much as 85 percent toward the tail end. The 40:60 ratio of the standard rear-biased configuration ensures sporty handling.
This new differential operates in conjunction with electronic torque vectoring, which affects all four wheels. If one of the inside wheels becomes imbalanced while the vehicle is at its operational limits, then the system slightly decelerates the wheel to obviate wheel spin. This results in terrific traction on the one hand while generating a yaw moment which aids cornering.
As a perfect complement to the new quattro drivetrain, Audi can optionally position the sport differential at the rear axle. It actively distributes torque between the rear wheels in order to further boost stability and grip at the vehicle’s limits of handling. The electronic management of the RS 5 sport differential was designed to be uncompromisingly dynamic.
With regard to the springs, shock absorbers, elastokinematics, and the anti-roll bars, the RS 5 chassis exhibits a sporty configuration and renders the body 20 millimeters (0.79 inches) lower than that of the Audi A5. The 19-inch alloy wheels fitted with 265/35 tires are standard. They are executed in an exclusive 5-arm structure design. The RS 5 optionally comes with 20-inch wheels and
275/30 tires. Winter wheels featuring the same dimensions are available; the 19-inch wheel is suitable for snow chains.
The brake system employs powerful and internally ventilated discs, which measure 365 millimeters (14.37 inches) in diameter at the front axle. In order to maximize the dissipation of heat, the steel friction rings are perforated and connected by pins to the aluminum brake discs. The high-gloss black brake calipers bearing RS logos are likewise made of aluminum; the front calipers are fitted with eight pistons each. Audi can optionally fit the front axle with ceramic carbon-fiber brake discs measuring 380 millimeters (14.96 inches) in diameter. They are extremely lightweight, strong, and durable. The electronic stabilization program (ESP) integrates a sport mode and can be switched off entirely.
Even more dynamics: Audi drive select
The speed-dependent servotronic steering in the RS 5 is especially taut. The standard Audi drive select (a vehicle-dynamics control system) allows the driver to switch among three modes of operation – comfort, auto, and dynamic – to adjust steering, the seven-speed S tronic, the sport differential, the engine, and the exhaust system. And if the car is equipped with the MMI navigation system, a fourth mode allows the driver to customize their own profile.
As regards the engine, Audi drive select controls the exhaust system’s two throttle valves and the sound flaps; when they open, the rich sound becomes even more resonant. Along with the sport differential, dynamic steering is another optional component of Audi drive select. Dynamic steering adjusts the steering ratio to a vehicle’s speed – directly for maneuvering at low speeds and indirectly for traveling at highway speeds. At the vehicle’s cornering limits, it automatically ensures smooth handling via minor corrective actions.
The RS 5 exudes an athletic and powerful identity; its classically beautiful coupé styling dazzles with new and clear-cut accents. Its single-frame grille bears a shiny charcoal-gray rhombus-pattern grid. Xenon plus headlights boasting a sweeping strip of LED daytime running lights are standard. The oversized air inlets for the engine, front brakes, and the radiators are bordered by striking contours. The newly designed bumper tapers downward into a splitter.
The flared fenders with the crisp horizontal upper edges are reminiscent of a classic Audi: namely,
the all-wheel-drive pioneer Audi quattro, which itself debuted at the Geneva Auto Show 30 years ago. The side sills bear angular caps; the trim strips on the single-frame grille and near the side windows
as well as the outside mirrors’ covers feature a matt aluminum look. Eight different paint finishes are available.
The tail end is dominated by two oval exhaust pipes integrated within the bumper. A large diffuser protrudes prominently upward. The spoiler in the tailgate automatically extends at a speed of
120 km/h (74.56 mph) and retracts at 80 km/h (49.71 mph).
The extensively clad underbody of the RS 5 integrates air vents for the seven-speed
S tronic and the front brakes. At highway speeds, the aerodynamic characteristics of the RS 5 generate downforce to further enhance stability.
Dynamic elegance: the interior
The vehicle’s dynamically elegant styling extends to the interior. Sports seats with pronounced side sections and integrated head restraints are standard. They are electrically adjustable and feature
a leather/Alcantara combination. Alternatives include bucket seats with more prominent contours and folding backrests or ventilated and luxuriously upholstered climate-controlled comfort seats.
The steering wheel has a substantial rim and is covered with perforated leather. The instruments have black gauges and white lettering with distinctive scaling. When the ignition is switched on, the red needles briefly rise high and then drop back down. The driver information system integrates a lap timer for recording circuit times and an oil-temperature gauge. Just like the optional MMI navigation systems’ monitor, it displays an RS greeting upon ignition.
The interior is black and the decorative inlays are made of carbon fiber. A fascia in the instrument panel features a piano finish. The pedals, the footrests, and the optional MMI navigation systems’ control buttons gleam thanks to their aluminum look. Moreover, the door handles consist of two slim strips – typical of Audi RS models. Aluminum inserts adorn the door sill trims and RS 5 logos lend dynamic highlights to the interior.
Upon request, truly exclusive features such as decorative inlays with a dark, stainless-steel mesh look, a black piano finish or brushed aluminum are available. Or seat upholstery featuring special leathers and colors as well as silver headlining. In addition, the Audi exclusive RS program offers options such as suede-covered controls and floor mats bearing RS 5 logos.
A Carbon design package is available for the engine compartment and, for the vehicle body, there are styling packages in black or matt aluminum look. And the acoustically bold Sport exhaust system – also with a sound flap – has black tailpipe trims.