Saturday Road Test – Audi RS 5

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Audi RS 5 Quattro S Coupe

An Exhilarating Ride

By Ron Amadon

DAMASCUS, MD. – Audi said this is a “purist performance coupe” and after a week behind the wheel I can only, as that old song goes, “Second that emotion.”

Consider 450 hp with 316 lb-ft. of torque mated to a seven speed double clutch S tronic transmission. If all that sounds like a fast car you would be correct. A 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, an electronically governed top track speed of 175 mph, and the quarter mile in just under 13 seconds at 111.

Of course there was Quattro permanent all-wheel drive with self-locking center differential and torque vectoring. The differential distributes the power between the rear wheels and customers can select ceramic brakes for the front rotors, a standalone package handy when there is a quick and urgent WHOA command.

It is almost needless to say that the RS 5 was simply magnificent on the twisty trails of West Virginia, but it was also content queuing up in clogged, Los Angeles like beltway traffic around Washington D.C.. So this can be a very comfortable every day car as well.

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Owners have the choice of Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, or Individual operating modes. The latter allows you to custom tailor each of the system’s settings to meet your every whim.

For places like West Virginia you really want the Dynamic mode with fast downshifting, extraordinary handling, and very satisfying raspy blips from the $1,000 optional Sport exhaust system with black finishers that should satisfy any driving enthusiast’s expectations. Take it from me, you want this option!

Yet what makes the RS 5 so appealing is Audi’s superb blend of performance with luxury interior accoutrements.

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The test car came with the $2,500 Black Optic Package that include black optic grille with high gloss surround and gloss black window surround. Plus 20” 5-arm Rotor design wheels with summer tires. Remember that come winter.

Also a $4,000 Navi package and a very sweet Bang & Olufsen sound system for moments when you want Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” instead of the symphony from tailpipe. The “Sepang Blue Pearl” paint for $500 rounded out the test car’s options.

A finely tailored, well fitted interior awaits the lucky owner – such things as a flat bottom steering wheel, heated 12 way adjustable Nappa leather seats and carbon inlays.

One option not on the test car but one that would make a great deal of sense in cold climates was neck level heating vents.

Audi’s side assist, a part of the navi package, monitors the blind spot areas as well as fast approaching vehicles, at a range of about 150 feet to the rear of the car.

The bottom line with the Audi MMI Navigation Package, Black Optic Package, and the sport exhaust came to $78,495, delivery included.

In either coupe or convertible form, the RS 5 is a delightful blend of performance and luxury, and its German maker’s excellent attention to detail that more than justifies its asking price.

Do take one out for a test drive and I am sure you will be impressed too.

Specifications:

4.2 liter V8, 450 hp @ 8,250 (!)

316 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm

Curb Weight 4,009 lbs

7-speed automated manual transmission with all-wheel drive

16-23 mpg EPA gas mileage. Your results will likely vary!

4 year, 50,000 mile basic warranty and free maintenance for 1 year or 5,000 miles. Drivetrain warranty: 4 years, 50,000 miles.

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