• Sep 12, 2011
A light nip and tuck is often all that a stylish sports car needs as it gets older. The Audi RS5 isn't even old yet, but's gone in to have some work done anyway. With a refreshed face, the RS5 has emerged on the internet ahead of its global debut at this week's 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. The handsome coupe is propelled by way of a 450-horsepower, 4.2-liter V8 engine that revs to over 8,000 rpm. As before, forward momentum is metered out through the Quattro all-wheel-drive system, and helps the RS5 run from 0-62 miles per hour in 4.6 seconds.

Updated for the coming model year, the Audi RS5 wears a new face that features restyled headlamps, new daytime running lamps and a revised lower fascia. (Apparently the RS5 shown above will buck conventional fog light trends and go with a singular lamp – that, or perhaps Audi is rocking some sort of special offset radar-based cruise control sensor). Either way, we're finally looking at the RS5 that will be sold in North American Audi dealerships, and we couldn't be more excited. Check it over in our gallery and then look past the jump for all of the official details.
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The Audi RS 5

The RS 5 Coupé is the star athlete of the A5 family. It offers the power and handling of a powerful sports car packaged in the body of an alluringly elegant coupe. The design has now gained several new, sharp accents, with numerous features that characterize the other A5 models also making their way to the RS 5.

The Audi RS 5 Coupé uses a high-revving, normally aspirated V8 displacing 4,163 cc. This engine is closely related to the V10 that powers the R8 high-performance sports car. The 4.2 FSI delivers 331 kW (450 hp) at 8,250 rpm, with the peak torque of 430 Nm (317.15 lb-ft) available between 4,000 and 6,000 rpm. The engine has a specific output of 108.1 hp per liter of displacement. The potent response, the eager revving and the rich, melodious sound mark the V8 as a thoroughbred racing engine.

Hand-built at the plant in Györ, Hungary, the 4.2 FSI launches the Coupé from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 4.6 seconds. Audi will increase the electronically governed top speed from 250 to 280 km/h (155.34 to 173.98 mph) upon request. Thanks to the combination of technologies from the Audi modular efficiency platform, which also includes a recuperation system, the high-tech V8 consumes significantly less fuel on average than its direct competitors.

With its high efficiency and its long top gear, the standard seven-speed S tronic also contributes to the good fuel economy. Drivers can let the lightning-fast dual-clutch transmission shift automatically or change gears themselves using the selector lever or with paddles on the steering wheel. The integrated launch control program provides for rocket-like starts by managing the engagement of the clutch at mid-level revs.

High end: quattro with crown-gear differential
Like all RS models, the RS 5 Coupé also applies its power to the road with quattro permanent all-wheel drive. The crown-gear center differential at its heart is compact and lightweight. It can vary the distribution of torque between the front and rear axles lightning-fast and over a wide range, with up to 70 percent flowing to the front or as much as 85 percent to the rear, as necessary. The default 40:60 ratio of the rear-biased configuration ensures sporty handling.

The crown-gear center differential works together with the torque vectoring system, which acts on all four wheels. If the load on the inside wheel is reduced too much while the car is being driven dynamically, that wheel is braked slightly before it can begin to slip. Audi offers the sport differential as a complementary option that actively distributes the power between the rear wheels via two superposition stages.

Precise and stable: the chassis
The chassis of the RS 5 Coupé unites fast and precise turn-in, high cornering speeds and supreme stability. Most of the components of the five-link front suspension and the self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension are made of aluminum. The new speed-dependent power steering is an electromechanical system with a direct steering ratio for highly precise road feel. It supports the driver with slight steering corrections when braking on surfaces with different amounts of grip. Because the power steering draws no energy when driving straight ahead, it helps to enhance efficiency.

The taut setup lowers the body by 20 millimeters (0.79 in) compared with the Audi A5. Newly designed, 19-inch forged aluminum wheels with 265/35-series tires are standard; 20-inch wheels with 275/30-series tires are available as an option for the high-performance coupe.
The brake system of the RS Coupé features large, internally ventilated wave brake discs, with the front discs measuring 365 millimeters (14.37 in) in diameter. The steel friction rings with their wave-like outer contour are perforated and connected to the aluminum brake caps via pins. This direct structure reduces tensions, quickly dissipates the heat and prevents the transmission of temperature peaks. Moreover, the redesigned shape of the friction rings results in three kilograms (6.61 lb) of weight being saved in total, thus improving the balance of unsprung masses.
The calipers are painted high-gloss black; the front calipers have eight pistons each. The RS 5 can be optionally equipped with carbon fiber-ceramic discs up front. The electronic stabilization program (ESP) integrates a sport mode and can be switched off entirely.
Upon request, Audi equips the RS 5 with a particularly dynamic damping technology – the sport suspension plus with DRC dynamic ride control. The diagonally opposed pairs of shock absorbers are linked by hydraulic lines and a central valve. During fast cornering, the system intensifies the stabilization of the front outside wheel. The sport suspension plus features a three-stage, variable damping characteristic.

The Audi drive select driving dynamics system comes standard with the RS 5 Coupé. This system allows the driver to select between three modes – comfort, auto and dynamic – for the characteristics of the steering, the seven-speed S tronic and the accelerator. And if the car is equipped with an Audi MMI navigation system, there is also a fourth mode – individual – which can be configured by the driver. Audi drive select can also modulate the sound of the exhaust system, double-clutching when downshifting in dynamic mode.

Dynamic steering is another module available for Audi drive select beside the sport differential and the damping characteristic in the sport suspension plus. It uses a superposition gear to vary the steering ratio by nearly 100 percent as a function of speed and countersteers slightly at the cornering limit.
Unmistakable: The design
The RS 5 Coupé has an athletic road stance, and its classically elegant two-door lines dazzle with clear-cut accents. The new single-frame grille with beveled upper corners features a high-gloss, anthracite gray honeycomb structure and a matt aluminum-look frame. The standard xenon plus headlights are framed by narrow strips of LED daytime running lights. The air flows through large openings embedded in a distinctive bumper featuring a splitter edge like on a racing car. Sharper edges make the engine hood appear more three-dimensional so that the RS 5 looks even lower and wider when viewed from the front.

The flared aluminum front fenders and the rear side elements with the sharp horizontal upper edges are reminiscent of two classic Audi models from the 1980s – the all-wheel drive pioneer Audi quattro and the Sport quattro. The side sills sport chiseled caps; the trim strips and the side mirror housings have a matt aluminum-look finish.

The tail end is dominated by the two oval exhaust pipes of the dual exhaust system, which are integrated into the redesigned bumper. Audi also offers a sport exhaust system with a more voluminous sound and black exhaust tip bezels. The LED rear lights are also new and feature continuous light strips. The large diffuser extends far upward, and the spoiler in the rear hatch extends automatically at 120 km/h (74.56 mph).

The extensively clad underbody integrates air vents for the seven-speed S tronic and the front brakes. Thanks to its advanced aerodynamics, the RS 5 Coupé generates downforce at high speed to further enhance stability.

The dynamic looks alter the dimensions slightly. The RS 5 Coupé is 23 millimeters (0.91 in) longer and six millimeters (0.24 in) wider than the A5 Coupé, but six millimeters (0.24 in) lower. Eight exterior colors are available, from solid, metallic and pearl effect finishes to a specially pigmented crystal effect paint.

Dynamic elegance: The interior
The vehicle's dynamically elegant styling also extends to the interior. The standard sport seats with integrated headrests are power adjustable and covered in a combination of black leather and Alcantara. Audi also offers seat upholstery in Fine Nappa leather in a choice of black or lunar silver, both subtly accented with rock gray piping. Other options include bucket seats with folding backrests or comfortable, climate-controlled comfort seats with a ventilation function. The interior is bathed in black, with narrow chrome clasps at the switches and control elements providing delicate accents. Inlays are available in a choice of carbon, brushed or etched aluminum, a high-gloss piano finish or a light-colored stainless steel mesh.

The new leather multifunction sport steering wheel with its thick rim is flattened at the bottom and features a new, even easier control concept. The ignition key and the shift lever knob have also been redesigned. Even the steering column stalks have been updated. The instruments have black gauges and white lettering with special scaling. When the ignition is turned, the red needles of the speedometer and tachometer run quickly up to the limit before returning to zero for a touch of sporty flair. Typical of all RS vehicles, the door openers are two delicate bars.

The driver information system with color display includes an RS menu with a lap timer and an oil thermometer. It displays a special RS welcome screen when the car is started. A piano-finish fascia in the instrument panel frames the instrument cluster. The pedals, the footrest and the buttons of the optional MMI navigation systems shine in an aluminum-look finish. Aluminum inserts adorn the door sill trims, which are accentuated with RS 5 badges.

Audi also offers numerous exclusive features for the interior. A carbon design package is available for the engine compartment, as are a variety of styling packages for the body in black or matt aluminum look. A broad range of high-performance assistance and communication systems round out the optional extras program. Among these are adaptive cruise control, Audi side assist, adaptive light, MMI navigation plus, the Bluetooth online car phone and the Bang & Olufsen sound system.

The equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.


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  • 33 Comments
      John G
      • 3 Years Ago
      I never thought Audi could do anything else besides improve the look of the A5 range. But those new headlights look terrible on this car. Who's bright idea was it to put A6 style lamps on it?! The original lamps with the LED daytime lights is the most distinctive thing I have ever seen in my rear-view mirror. These new ones just dont look aggressive enough.
        Alex Rodriguez MacFa
        • 3 Years Ago
        @John G
        My point exactly.........Walter De Silva once said that the A5 was the most beautiful car he has ever designed and he was right. The whole point of facelifting a car is to keep the car competitive so it doesn't lose interest from customers. Was this the case with the A5? I don't think so; at least here in southern Cali all of the Audi dealers have very limited supply of the A5, so Audi should't have facelifted this car until its complete redesigned in 2014.
      Tushar Agarwal
      • 3 Years Ago
      What happened to those awesome lights Audi had on the A8?
      Ak74
      • 3 Years Ago
      5K more this design haha
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think the current A5 and S/RS5 is one of the most gorgeous designs on the road today. Absolutely stunning car - especially in person. While this one still looks nice, I think its a small step backward.
        RudyH
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        can't agree more The A4 / S4 is a runaway too if you are looking only at sedans - dieing to see what the next gen A3 looks like
      me
      • 3 Years Ago
      Looks good but it's a shame they had 3 years to beat the M3 (debut in 07) and failed to do so with a car that costs quite a bit more.
        Georg
        • 3 Years Ago
        @me
        world wide tested the RS5 whipped the floor with the e92 M3... both cars were tested on 14 international tracks from Germany, USA, France, UK, Sweden to Japan and the RS5 was faster on 9tracks, the M3 is loved by the german car press and it wins here even against the CTS-V. At 11 neutral tests outside of Germany the M3 lost 9:2 track compares vs the RS5. non German tracks won by RS5 Vairano Handling Cours Italy (over 1s) Bedford Autodrom UK Inta Spain Haute Saintoge France Ring Kuntstrop (2s.) Magny Cours France (1s.) Millbrooke Alpine Hillroute UK Fuji Speedway (over 1s.) Anglesey National UK non German track comapres won by the e92 M3 TopGear UK Balocco Italy
      Andrew
      • 3 Years Ago
      Eww the old s5/a5 looked wayyyyy better :/ this is bland and uninspiring... But then again Audi's entire lineup sorta is. Besides the A5 ofcourse :D
      Alex Rodriguez MacFa
      • 3 Years Ago
      The current RS5 looks much much more aggressive!!!
      mobilian
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why there's only one fog light from the picture?
      miketim1
      • 3 Years Ago
      The small headlights look weird. Makes the car look huge.
      xmailboxcancerx
      • 3 Years Ago
      One thing I've noticed about these new Audis ... either the way they photograph their own cars, or the way their cars photograph in general ... although they look questionable in pictures, they look unbelievable in real life. A7, A8, new A6 – they look hot when you're walking around them. I'm sure this will be the same situation with the A/S/RS5
      João Paulo Ferreira
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nobody noticed the right fog light is missing?
      beanrew
      • 3 Years Ago
      Best looking car currently in production and under 100k, this and the CC.
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