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]