AUDI

AUDI RS 5 SPORTBACK RS 5 TFSI Quattro Vorsprung 5dr Tiptronic

Fuel

FuelPetrol

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph3.9s

WLTP - CO2 (g/km)

WLTP - CO2222 g/km

Fast, frantic but perfectly practical, the Audi RS 5 Sportback aims to be the market's definitive mid-sized high performance five-door hatch. It gets a sophisticated quattro 4WD system and can hit 174mph on the Nurburgring but is just as happy collecting your dry cleaning. The spec of this revised version looks impressive, including an RS sport exhaust system and a sport differential. You only truly get a sense of just how fast it is by following behind in something else.

SERIOUS SPORT

Audi's improved RS 5 Sportback five-door coupe targets BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63 buyers. Jonathan Crouch checks out what's on offer.

Ten Second Review

Fast, frantic but perfectly practical, the Audi RS 5 Sportback aims to be the market's definitive mid-sized high performance five-door hatch. It gets a sophisticated quattro 4WD system and can hit 174mph on the Nurburgring but is just as happy collecting your dry cleaning. The spec of this revised version looks impressive, including an RS sport exhaust system and a sport differential. You only truly get a sense of just how fast it is by following behind in something else.

Background

If you know your fast Audis, you're probably familiar with the RS 5 model - as a Coupe. Here though, the Ingolstadt brand's 'Audi Sport' division has taken that model's potent twin turbo V6 and installed it into the company's Sportback five-door coupe body shape for a bit of added practicality. It targets similarly-performing mid-sized models like the Mercedes-AMG C 63 but brings a key advantage - Audi's quattro 4WD system which is mated to a stiff, light MLB platform. Plus buyers get a standard rear Sport differential to help get the torque to the tarmac through the turns. This car was first launched in 2018, then lightly revised to create the car we're going to look at here.

Driving Experience

Not a lot prepares you for just how quick this car really is. To be specific, rest to 62mph here occupies just 3.9s, which is a fraction quicker than you'll go in what is arguably this model's closest rival, the Mercedes-AMG C 63 Estate. As usual with fast Audis, the maximum speed is rather pointlessly capped at 155mph, though in this case, you can pay Ingolstadt an obscene amount of money to get the restrictor lifted, in which case your RS 5 Sportback will top out at 174mph. The creamy, rather digitalised engine soundtrack you get as the revs rise from the 450PS 2.9-litre V6 isn't a match for Audi's old 4.2-litre V8. After a while though, you rather warm to the way that this Porsche-developed powerplant snarls purposefully on up-shifts and lets out little pops and bangs as you snick the steering wheel paddle shifters down through the closely-stacked ratios of the 8-speed Tiptronic gearbox. This RS 5 certainly tackles the turns effectively. Part of that is down to the re-developed quattro system which usually directs 60% of torque to the back wheels but, if conditions demand, can send up to 85% of power to the back or, if necessary, as much as 70% to the front. The set-up's been designed to work with a torque vectoring system that applies minimal brake interventions to the wheels on the inside of any given curve before they start to spin, maximising traction and making handling more precise, agile and stable. Also playing its part here is the standard-fit 'sport differential' which at speed through tight corners can constantly vary the amount of torque distributed to each of the rear wheels.

Design and Build

The exterior design of this RS 5 Sportback is a blend of elegant curves and taut, athletic surfaces. The longer wheelbase, short overhangs and long, wraparound bonnet with power dome all help to signal intent, as do the characteristically powerful shoulder line and the quattro blisters in the flanks which emphasize the strong bulges over the extended wheel arches. At the front, the car features a wide, flat single-frame grille, solid air intakes with a honeycomb structure typical of an RS, gloss black design elements and a front spoiler with matte aluminium quattro lettering. At the rear an RS-specific diffuser insert, RS exhaust system with oval tailpipes and fixed spoiler lip further distance the car from its A5 series siblings. Inside, you get RS sport seats in Fine Nappa leather with honeycomb stitching, a flat-bottomed RS multifunction sports leather steering wheel and a special RS information display in the standard Audi virtual cockpit providing information on tyre pressure, torque and G forces. The cabin provides space for five people, and the square-shaped profile of the luggage bay with its useful width of exactly one metre allows passengers to make the most of the 480-litre luggage capacity. Folding down the rear seats with their 40:20:40 split ratio increases that to 1,300-litres.

Market and Model

You'll need around £68,000 for the RS 5 Sportback, the same amount that's necessary for the alternative two-door Coupe variant. This Sportback model is offered in three levels of trim, the standard variant, the mid-range 'Carbon Black' model and the top 'Vorsprung' derivative. Even the base version gets large 19-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, high gloss black exterior elements and an Audi Sport exhaust system to amplify the engine's soundtrack. Inside, you get Fine Nappa leather and Alcantara combination upholstery with contrast diamond stitching for the RS super sports seats, plus Piano Black inlays. In addition, there's all-LED lighting and the fully digital Audi Virtual Cockpit instrument display screen with RS-specific displays. You also get driver safety elements including the Audi side assist blindspot monitoring system, Audi hill hold assist and the parking system plus. Plus a comprehensive range of infotainment choices is sure to keep everyone on board entertained. The optional 'MMI navigation plus with MMI touch' infotainment system includes the hardware module 'Audi connect', which connects the car to the internet via LTE. Thanks to the Audi connect SIM, which is permanently installed in the car, the flat rate data package for the connect services including Europe-wide roaming is free of charge for three years. The Audi smartphone interface uses Apple Car Play and Android Auto to make selected apps available in a separate MMI menu. Control is easy and intuitive, thanks to natural language voice control, free text search and the multifunction steering wheel. The touchpad in the centre console is used to zoom, scroll and enter characters. Further high-end technologies, such as the head-up display and as many as 30 driver assistance systems enhance safety, comfort and efficiency.

Cost of Ownership

This RS 5 won't be quite as costly to run as you might expect a 450PS performance hatch to be. This is thanks to a 17% improvement in running costs compared to the previous V8-engined model. What about the WLTP figures? Well expect up to 29.7mpg on the combined cycle and up to 215g/km of CO2, which isn't at all bad for a performance five-door model with this level of performance. Apparently, the 'B-cycle combustion process with central direct injection' engineering approach used with this car's 2.9-litre biturbo engine represents a super-high level of efficiency among the RS models. The shortened compression stroke employed here enables an engine process with a significantly higher geometric compression ratio. Combined with a power stroke that, while normal, is longer relative to the compression stroke, so allowing for more efficient combustion and increased engine efficiency. Another factor in the surprising efficiency of this RS 5 is its relatively low weight. On to the warranty. All contenders in this class get three years of cover but whereas you won't get your mileage limited in this period if you opt for something made by BMW or Mercedes, Audi rather meanly restricts you to 60,000 miles. Optional extra-cost warranty packages can extend the cover to either four years and 75,000 miles or five years and 90,000 miles.

Summary

Would this car sound better with Audi's old 4.2-litre V8? Probably. But there's little doubt that the V6 Porsche powerplant used - though less aurally emotive - has more real world punch. Which seems appropriate in such a resolutely real world performance car. Is it perfect? No of course it isn't. But what other high-performance four-wheel drive mid-sized hatch of this sort is there to challenge this one? The closest thing the market has to offer, a rear-driven Mercedes-AMG C 63 wagon, wouldn't give you the all-round grip and really needs a dry racetrack and a licence to burn rubber if it's to appeal over an RS 5 Sportback. As for a high performance SUV, forget it: you'd be all over the place just trying to keep this Audi in sight. Drive it and you'll experience a slightly guilty thrill as if something this much fun really couldn't be legal. One day cars like this might well be legislated out of existence. In the meantime, enjoy this one while you can.

  • Electric front windows
  • Electric rear windows
  • Rain and light sensors
  • Windscreen with acoustic glazing
  • Privacy glass with rear acoustic glazing

  • Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC) including ABS, ASR and EDL
  • Multi collision brake assist
  • Electromechanical parking brake
  • Hill hold assist
  • RS Model enhanced braking system

  • Front/rear floor mats

  • RS sport suspension plus with dynamic ride control

  • Voice control system
  • Audi smartphone interface
  • Audi phone box with wireless charging
  • Bluetooth interface
  • Audi connect safety and service (e-call)

  • 360 degree camera
  • Audi parking system plus + park assist with front and rear sensors
  • Dynamic steering
  • Audi side assist
  • RS drive modes on steering wheel

  • RS Audi drive select
  • Advanced key with electric hands free boot opening system
  • Automatic start-stop system with coasting functionality and efficiency programme

  • Head up Display
  • Service interval indicator
  • Audi Virtual Cockpit with RS specific design and 12.3" display
  • MMI Navigation plus with MMI touch includes 10.1" high resolution colour MMI display, 3D map
  • Email, calendar and text messages displayed via MMI

  • Electrically folding, adjustable and heated door mirrors with integrated LED side indicators and kerb view function for passenger side
  • Exterior mirror housing in high gloss black
  • Automatic dimming rear view mirror

  • Piano black finish inlay

  • Increased top speed to 174mph

  • DAB digital radio reception
  • Bang + Olufsen 3D sound system

  • RS5 badges on grille, the front wing panels and rear
  • RS5 dual branch chrome tailpipes with left and right oval pipes
  • Panoramic glass sunroof
  • Body colour door handles
  • Audi rings and lettering glossy black
  • RS sport exhaust system
  • RS bumper with quattro lettering
  • Larger singleframe grill

  • Audi Beam uses LEDs to project the Audi logo
  • Matrix LED headlights with Audi laser light, dynamic light sequencing and dynamic indicator
  • High beam assistant
  • LED daytime running lights

  • Deluxe 3 zone electronic climate control

  • Illuminated door sill trims with RS5 logo
  • RS Specific perforated leather gear lever knob with contrast stitching
  • Leather door armrests and knee pad
  • 3 spoke flat bottomed high multi-function leather sport steering wheel with RS badging
  • 2 x USB charging port with aux input socket
  • Stainless steel pedals
  • Black cloth headlining
  • Front centre armrest
  • Tool kit
  • Fine Nappa leather upholstery
  • Aluminium shift paddles

  • Driver Assistance Pack - Tour - RS5
  • Extended LED Interior multi-coloured lighting pack - A5/RS5
  • Black styling pack - RS5

  • Pop-up bonnet for pedestrian protection
  • Seatbelt monitoring
  • Pre sense city
  • 6 airbags - Driver, front passenger, curtain and side airbags
  • Height adjustable front seatbelts
  • Tyre pressure warning
  • Warning triangle and first aid kit
  • Front passenger airbag deactivation
  • 3x3 point rear seatbelts

  • Heated front and outer rear seats
  • Front head restraints
  • Electrically adjustable front seats
  • Rear head restraints
  • ISOFIX child seat mounting and top tether
  • 40/20/40 split folding 3 seater rear bench seat
  • RS Super Sports seats with contrast honeycomb stitching
  • Pneumatic massage function

  • Remote control key with RS emblem
  • Anti theft wheel bolts
  • Keyless Go
  • Immobiliser
  • Anti theft alarm system

  • Quattro sports differential

  • 20" 5 Segment spoke Evo style design audi sport alloy wheels in matt titanium look high sheen finish

  • Tyre repair kit

  • CO2 (g/km): 209
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 222
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max: 222
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min: 222

  • Cylinders: 6
  • Cylinder Layout: V6
  • Number of Valves: 32
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO INJECTION
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: NORTH SOUTH
  • Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • Gears: 8 SPEED
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 84.5
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 86
  • CC: 2894

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 28.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min: 28.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max: 28.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 9.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 9.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 9.8

  • Generation Mark: 2
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 49E
  • Service Interval Mileage: 9000
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 12
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • Badge Power: 450
  • Badge Engine CC: 2.9
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Coin Series: RS 5 Vorsprung
  • Coin Description: TFSI Quattro
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False

  • Engine Torque - MKG: 61.2
  • Engine Power - KW: 331
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5700
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 443
  • Engine Torque - NM: 600
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1900
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 3.9
  • Top Speed: 174
  • Engine Power - BHP: 450
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False

  • Emissions Test Cycle: Second Act

  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False
  • Wheel Style: 5 SEGMENT EVO SPOKE
  • Tyre Size Front: 275/30 R20
  • Tyre Size Rear: 275/30 R20
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 20" ALLOY

  • Width (including mirrors): 2029
  • Height (including roof rails): 1387
  • Wheelbase: 2826
  • Length: 4783

  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1742
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 58
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2322
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 465
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Max. Loading Weight: 580
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1280

  • Ceramic brakes: £6,150
  • Red brake calipers: £460
  • Black painted brake calipers with RS logo at the front: Included

  • Metallic paint: £675
  • Pearlescent paint: £675
  • Solid paint: Included
  • Special solid paint: £675
  • Audi exclusive paint: £2,400

  • Storage and luggage compartment pack - RS5: £195

  • Metallic - Sonoma green: £675
  • Metallic - Tango red: £675
  • Metallic - Mythos black: £675
  • Metallic - Navarra blue: £675
  • Metallic - Glacier white: £675

  • Pearl - Daytona grey: £675

  • Solid - Nardo grey: £0

  • Special solid - Turbo blue: £675
  • Audi Exclusive - Custom: £2,400

  • Fine nappa leather - Black with rock grey honeycomb contrast stitching: £0
  • Fine nappa leather - Black with crescendo red honeycomb contrast stitching: £0

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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