• Mar 28th 2007 at 4:04PM
  • 20

The Audi A5 and S5 were neck-and-neck with the BMW M3 as the most significant unveilings at the Geneva Motor Show in March. On a real race track, though, the M3 would pull away at the start and probably win in a walk. The race would be a lot more interesting with an RS5 thrown into the mix, powered by the 420 hp V8 sourced from the RS4, and plenty of weight-saving technology.

We told you a few weeks ago that Audi was planning to expand the A5 lineup to include droptop and RS models, and this mule might be Audi's wolf in sheep's clothing. The folks over at CAR obtained photos of the test vehicle, which looks like the S5, but with plenty of test gear attached. A5 engineering boss Stefan Härdl tells CAR Online that the layout of the A5 allowed the front axle to be moved forward by 120mm, which improves weight distribution by moving more to the rear of the car. Härdl thinks the resulting 55/45 split helps give the RS5 better handling than the RS4. Also expected is the rear-biased quattro AWD system, which is a necessity with this kind of horsepower.

The Autoblog staff is split on the looks of the A5, but we can all agree that a 400+ horsepower RS5 get us leaning in the Audi's direction.

[Source: CAR]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      @ObsessedAudiFan - huh, we own an Audi right now. I've owned two BMWs. The Audi is fun but it's more concerned with having a plush interior than actual sporting notions. Most audis suffer from serious bloat. The RS4 is extremely overweight for a car of that size. 4k lbs is criminal in a car claiming to be sporty.

      Porsche has an AWD car yet the most popular race-worthy 911s happen to be the GT2 and GT3. Racers don't want the 911 turbo expressly because of the AWD system.

      Audi's had Quattro for more than 25 years. Subaru's always had it. Doesn't change the fact that I don't like the weight and shifting power of AWD. I'll take a solid RWD car over an AWD car any day. The benefits of AWD - better traction in poor weather - are squashed by all the negatives (weight, gas mileage, binding, transfer of power, etc).

      The M3 at worst will ring in at 3600 lbs. that'll make it significantly lighter than the RS4 but with the same power. The e9x chassis on just the basic e90/e92s with BMW's spongy soft sport package (ZSP) returns handling levels nearly on par with the RS4 - http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drives/FullTests/articleId=115689/pageId=98163 and http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drives/FullTests/articleId=117669/pageId=105658 . The e9x M3 will be lighter than those cars and feature a far better suspension layout.
      • 8 Years Ago
      please AWD is just for those that haven't learned how to dirve yet, adn want their car to save them.

      it's just a laousy excuse from Audi since tehy don't want to spend the $$ to make a RWD chasis that will still be inferior to BMW and now Infiniti

      Audi go back to the drawing board,
      this car is a bar of soap design
      • 8 Years Ago
      "And anyway no one here knows how fast the M3 is going to be or how fast the RS5 is going to be."

      all else being equal, the lighter weight rwd car will be faster than the awd car.

      "Anyway if you live where there is a lot of snow and rain you need AWD. And when it comes to snow and rain it's there that an AWD car shines and will usually beat the RWD car."

      no you dont NEED awd, you NEED winter tires. who races in the rain and snow? the m3 is a car that workes best at 9/10ths where as most s and rs audis work best at 7/10ths. thats rwd vs awd in a nutshell.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I still think the M3 will be faster due to lighter weight and none AWD. But I would take the RS5 over the M3 just because I love Audi and I have not owned any car that is not AWD since 1995. Once you live with a high horsepower AWD car it is hard to go back to 2WD.
      • 8 Years Ago
      my kneejerk reaction is "bah, an RS audi will be at home on the autobahn, not a competator to the m3" but audi has seriously turned it around recently. i still think the only way to go is f/r but audi is making a serious attempt at making awd work in all out performance machines. i suppose its suicide to try to take BMW and porsche head on, awd serves to avoid that.
      • 8 Years Ago
      If the last RS4 was 58/42 this one will only be 56/44 at best.
      It still has enough overhang
      120mm, no.
      So A5 vs. 328xi, S5 vs 335xi, RS5 vs m3? same old, same old.
      • 8 Years Ago
      As long as they add the flared out fender treatment, wider wheels, and shed some of the "fat" that the RS4 has, to go along with the rear-biased Quattro, and the motor moved back behind the front axle, this car will be a winner and will give the E92 M3 a run ofr its money. *crossing fingers*
      • 8 Years Ago
      Mike, track an AWD car, then a RWD car. One is fun, the other...not so.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm all for new Audi models (patiently waiting for a TDI A8 in the US), but somehow the design on this one reminds me of a balsa wood racer I made in cub scouts 20 years ago...
      • 8 Years Ago
      i like how you all miss the point changing Layouts costs money, lots of money. And anyway no one here knows how fast the M3 is going to be or how fast the RS5 is going to be.

      Anyway if you live where there is a lot of snow and rain you need AWD. And when it comes to snow and rain it's there that an AWD car shines and will usually beat the RWD car.

      I just wish they would bump the power up a little more.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think most of you have never watched the old European Tourism Championship, with the first version of the A4 after the Audi 80 in the early 90s. At that time, Audi used 4WD on the track, and their domain were so overwhelming, that the FIA banned the use of 4WD on that championship. Moreover, I don't remember now how many rounds they used to do, but after every win, the car was charged with a dead weight of 40Kg everytime, and they won always. So, with the same power/weight ratio, 4WD always rules.
      • 8 Years Ago
      OMG!!!!! I'm all excited like a litte kid right now the RS4 is my dream car but that will definitely be replaced by the RS5 if it's true! I would pick one of these up before an M3 or C-Class AMG in a heartbeat!

      And you guys must be kidding about those Quattro comments the Audi AWD is amazing...
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