• Feb 22nd 2010 at 10:58AM
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Audi RS5 - Click above for high-res image gallery

Over the weekend, we got our first look at official images of the new Audi RS5 when a brochure leaked out onto the interwebs, but it didn't contain any technical details of the latest product from Quattro GmbH. Thankfully, our friends in Ingolstadt have seen fit to drop that information on us this morning, and as we suspected, they have opted to go with an upgraded version of the engine that served so well in the late RS4.

The 4.2-liter V8 remains naturally aspirated, but its breathing has been improved to bring the maximum output up to 450 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. The power peak comes up at 8,250 rpm, just shy of the 8,300 rpm redline, and maximum torque is delivered throughout the range between 4,000 and 6,000 rpm. The RS5 comes out the factory with the ability to accelerate to 62 miles per hour in 4.6 seconds on the way to a governed top speed of 155 mph. Owners that wish to exceed that speed can have the governor unlocked, enabling a terminal velocity of 174 mph.

As usual with higher performance Audi models, Quattro all-wheel-drive is the order of the day for power distribution. However, unlike other recent applications that have used a Torsen center differential, the RS5 features the first use of a new crown gear differential with electronically controlled clutch pack. The torque split can be varied from the nominal 40:60 front-to-rear to as much as 70 percent front or 85 percent rear. An optional active torque vectoring rear differential is also available to further improve the RS5's handling. The only available gearbox in the RS5 is a new seven-speed S-Tronic dual clutch transmission (DCT). Hopefully now that Audi has a high-output DCT, we'll also see it replace the dreadful R-Tronic unit in the R8 soon.

The RS5 will get its public debut in Geneva next week and goes on sale in Europe this spring for a base price of €77,000 (about $104,000). Sadly, U.S. Audi spokesman Christian Bokich tells Autoblog that there is nothing to announce right now about plans for the RS5 in this market.

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[Source: Audi]


Ingolstadt/Geneva, 2010-02-22
Audi to present the RS 5 in Geneva

* Coupé with 331 kW (450 PS) high-revving V8 engine
* RS 5 also efficient - 10.8 liters per 100 km (21.78 US mpg)
* Newly-developed center differential for quattro drivetrain

Unbridled power lurking in a classically elegant coupé: the Audi RS 5 will debut at the Geneva Auto Show. The high-revving 4.2-liter V8 with its 331 kW (450 hp) unleashes powerful performance while achieving remarkable fuel economy. The seven-speed S tronic and an innovative center differential in the quattro drivetrain transmit power to all four wheels.

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.

Sales of the Audi RS 5 will begin in the spring. Its basic price will be approximately 77,700 euros.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      A V8 from the RS4, sounds like a great combo. Everyone loved the RS4, so this thing must be blast. For the price, well you think it was going to be cheap?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like the RS4 more, but this isn't bad ether.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Awesome Awesome Awesome. Were this on sale here, and were i a bit richer, i'd buy this over anything at the price.
      • 5 Years Ago
      i guess that R8 caught testing on the Ring last year is the R8 V8 facelift with the new 450hp engine.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well it said it goes for about $105,000 if converted into USD dollars. M3 coupe is ~$60k. R8 is ~$115k or so I believe.

      If the car was sold in USA and would cost around $50k-$60k, then by all means it is competetive from a pricing perspective.

      CTS-V coupe does have more power, and looks pretty cool, but weirdly shaped in comparison to its german competition. I like the sleeker rs5 and m3 much more.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hate to say it folks, but it looks like manual transmissions are not coming back in German sports cars for a looong time.

      We might see them again in 20 years, or not. In 20 years, we might be running sports cars on electric engines powered by hydrogen or batteries or whatever rot they decide to pull.

      We are living through the end of one era and into the next.

      I'll keep my 1960's sports cars thanks.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Super underwhelming.
      Should be $60,000 to start, considering that carbon-ceramic brakes optional, rear torque vectoring differential optional.

      How can you call it Quattro if it doesn't have a torsen center differential?

      What is this 'crown gear differential'? it sounds like there is no center differential, and a clutch pack is used to couple the front axle.
        • 5 Years Ago
        A crown gear differential likely just means that there are intermeshed "spider" gears inside the differential, which audi claims to have an automatic locking system.

        Like STI's DCCD/VTD system, it does use electro-mechanical clutches to vary the torque bias from front to rear on the center differential's outputs.

        It uses a similar system as a torque-vectoring rear differential, with variable clutches on the outputs of the rear differential.

        The system may be more complex, but lots of companies are going toward clutch-managed differentials, including Ferrari's new rear differentials, and Honda's SH-AWD's rear differential in the RL, and perhaps others.

        It may not be purely mechanical like a torque biasing differential, but it offers more variability of engagement, less drag without slip, more variability, and better torque application when one output or the other cannot apply torque without slipping.

        A torsen works well, unless one output is completely traction free, in which it cannot apply much torque to the other output. Torsen works pretty darn well when there is some traction on the weak side to leverage against, to apply torque to the side with stronger traction.

        Companies developed Electronic Brake force Distribution, to apply the brake to a spinning wheel, via ABS sensors and application, to provide an anchor for the differential to leverage against, to the other side of it's output. Eventually, they decided to take the torsen out, and just use the EBD... and now they are adding the clutch packs to the differential, to vector the torque output actively under power, in addition to the brakes.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wow, I didn't think the price of the current S5 has edged upped to $55K, so a $75K starting price here would be acceptable, and FULLY loaded at 100K.

        I still want to see a tri-charged 3.0 V6 with 500hp, in the sportback configuration.

        We will have to see cutaways of this new center 'differential' to see how it operates.

        Looks like the M3 needs to get direct injection, asap!
        • 5 Years Ago
        @MikeW - it's not going to be 100k fully loaded, that's the 'nice' thing about audis, come with a few more luxury features standard vs dinging you for every little thing. ie the S5 comes with leather, nav, etc incl at the prest plus level, the only realy options to spec are rear dif, drive select, and carbon, that's about it. Granted those three will set u back close to 10k. I doubt the RS5 will be over 85k, though they could go there if they wanted, it'd take this over the Maser GT.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm with you MikeW. This sounds like a bevel gear with one or two clutches to engage front or rears.

        I also see what Boxer is saying. A Torsen has limits when one output refuses to accept any torque usefully. And once you start adding external systems the usefulness of the Torsen mechanism drops dramatically.

        All this stuff is getting so complex now. How about just RWD with a torque-vectoring rear diff?
      • 5 Years Ago
      A stunning, delightful vehicle to be sure. But at twice the cost of an M3 with similar performance? The interior is classy Audi, but not 50k classier, that's for sure!

      i'm impressed with the engine's output versus its size, but i say, pass at that price. thats close to R8 prices anyways.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The gallery still does not work.
        Is there a way of reporting the problems with the gallery so that we do not clog the comments section with complaints about the gallery?
        There are old galleries that do not work to this day (Audi A1, Citroen DS3 etc), can we find a way of fixing those galleries?
        • 5 Years Ago
        He's just bitter at the the Bavarian Marketeering Works, when he learned that 100HP/L is just a bogus figure. Anyone can do it, you just trade some torque for spin depending on where on the curve you are. Silly BMW fan boys.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @zamafir & nagmashot

        lol, I was trying to be gentle, haha - yeah, it bugs me too that some people still don't understand price variance in international markets.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "But at twice the cost of an M3 with similar performance?"

        It's €9,000 more. Are you telling me the M3 costs €9,000?

        "thats close to R8 prices anyways."

        €32,000 cheaper is close to the R8's price? really? 30% less? ohhhkkkk.

        Do us a favor, go get a reasonable clue what the M3, RS5, and R8 cost in the markets discussed in this post then get back to us.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The 77,000 Euro price tag is for the European market. $104,000 is simply the direct exchange - that is European market price. Cars are significantly less expensive stateside.

        Yes, to compete in the United States this car will likely be priced in the same cluster with cars like the M3, C63, XF S/C and such....

        But if it ever comes to the states priced at $104,000 then I'll retract this comment reply and replace it with "@heavygear: Agreed, sir." :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        the price is the German price in Euro incl 19% tax, the BMW e92 Coupe with drivelogic BMW´s dual clutch tranny costs 72,500Euro in Germany without any other option and a worse basic trim...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Only 317 ft-lbs with peak at 4000-6000rpm - is that really right?
      My remapped FSI 2.0T is close to 300 ft-lbs....
      • 5 Years Ago
      .. so hot right now.
      • 5 Years Ago
      You mean "Maximum" Velocity NOT "Terminal" Velocity. Their is a big difference! Look it up!
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Sadly, U.S. Audi spokesman Christian Bokich tells Autoblog that there is nothing to announce right now about plans for the RS5 in this market."

      ...Yea because its not like anyone would buy it....*rolls eyes*

      I'd like one two. See Audi, you just lost two sales.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It will come to north america. There's no significant barrier to prevent it from coming here, the engine's been on sale here for ages, americans love their slush boxes, and it's distinctive enough to move a few units.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The RS4 came here as well as the cabriolet version.

        This will also come here.

        Likely the swan song of this engine.

        Looking forward to the DCT. I hope its similar to the version in the Gallardo, which is quite nice.
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