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 Audi RS 5 Coupe road test review

Highly accentuated lines and creases, flappy-valve exhausts, and *weep* a twin-turbo V6. The new Audi RS 5 Coupé is here and promises fiery performance. Testing times ahead…

Story: Jim Gorde
Photography: Sanjay Raikar

The 4.2-litre Audi V8 FSI motor was one of the finest engines this planet has ever seen. Revving to well over 8,000 rpm, it sent the power in a shooting linear curve with accompanying shivers, quivers, and an intoxicating wail making for quite an experience. Two years ago, it was consigned to history. And I was inconsolable for days. It was then that I knew this day would soon come.

As the clouds cleared in Ingolstadt, styling departments were busy, yes, but the powers that be decided something that would result in two sides. For and against. Yes, there would be a new RS 5 and, yes, it would be a turbo V6 rather than a V8. Now, you may ask, why not? Sure. It’s supposed to be cleaner, more efficient, and even a competitor has the same number. Although, it’s a different story there. And this one is with a twist, too. It has quattro. But, first, does it appeal to you, the driver?

Audi RS 5 Coupe road test review

Sharp lines accentuate the design. So sharp, in fact, it seems overly pronounced. Yet, some say it is the best-looking Audi on sale at present. I don’t argue, purely because beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The sleek add-ons, including the front lip spoiler and air-dam design, look hardcore sport. The ride height is 125 mm. Low, yes, but also very sporty and aerodynamic. It also looks longer; may be down to the design, and those striking 20-inch wheels with low 30-profile rubber that fill up those flared wheel-arches well. The rear end looks tight and beautifully modern. Good thing, too, because that is what most others will see.

Audi RS 5 Coupe road test review

The inside immediately has your mind tick over to RS mode. Alcantara-wrapped sports seats in an all-black interior with contrasting metal highlights, together with the flat-bottomed steering wheel with the requisite badging are essential Renn Sport and provide a pleasant familiarity. The digital dash — or “virtual cockpit”, as Audi refer to it — looks smashing and has a split display. Leftmost is a choice of fuel consumption info and map data, among others, with the right display hogged by the power and torque percentages.

The centre console holds the MMI dial and controller buttons, the large gear-lever, the start button, and, further up on the left, the Audi drive select. Four modes are on offers: comfort, auto, dynamic and individual. Face it, you don’t buy an Audi RS 5 for its air-conditioning, MMI with navigation or even the sports seats. Those are merely ancillaries that connect you to what you really want: the essence of motoring and to let you enjoy the ride.

Push the start button and a smooth, synthesized sounding vroom together with the rising digital needle in the centre of the driver display announce that the engine is turning over. The 2.9-litre V6 is all-new and weighs just 182 kg, 31 less than the previous V8. One of the key elements in its design is the central location of the fuel injectors which helps achieve significant gains in efficiency. The Audi valvelift system (AVS) allows for maximum efficiency in terms of economy or output. First, with the compression phase artificially shortened allowing for a higher base compression ratio and a relatively longer power stroke — more combustion and increased efficiency. Second, with the intake duration shortened with the early closing of the intake valve at low load conditions or lengthened for higher loads thanks to the switch in camshaft contour — normal compression and maximum output. The engine, then, though two cylinders short, puts out an identical 450 PS as the old V8, but between 5,700 and 6,700 rpm — a couple of thousand revs sooner. The torque gain is far greater, up 170 Nm on the V8 to 600 Nm. Peaking from 1,900 rpm, it arrives much sooner. However, it’s the progression that’s different.

Audi RS 5 Coupe road test review

2.9-litre TFSI V6 makes 450 PS and 600 Nm

More on page 2 >

 

About the author: Jim Gorde

 

Automotive Correspondent at Bike India and Car India.
Believes that learning never stops. Loves V8 engines as much as a good breakfast.
t: @BikeIndia / @CarIndia

 

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