Audis have always been about pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and they’ve always flaunted the latest in cutting edge technology.
Audi has raised the bar with features like Quattro all-wheel drive, turbocharged and direct injected gasoline and diesel engines and ultra-lightweight technology used in the tough arenas of the World Rally Championship, GT3 sports car racing and the gruelling and legendary Le Mans 24 Hour classic.
Today, you can add style to Audi’s strong suite of characteristics. The single frame grill, the LED DRL light strip, the 3D effect LED tail lamps, stylish alloy wheels and an interior dash architecture that is both timeless and futuristic with the Audi Virtual Cockpit and their piano-black panels which double as a soft-touch keypad for the infotainment and climate control systems.
The latest stylish high-performance Audi to join the Philippine market is the all-new RS5 Sportback. We’re all familiar with the RS4 Avant, Audi’s Q car but available exclusively in Avant or station wagon body style. Then there’s the RS5 Coupe, a stylish 2-door GT that oozes style. To complete the luxury compact performance car segment, the RS5 Sportback is offered in traditional 4-door format, albeit with a twist. The RS5 Sportback’s fast-back style sloping rear sets it apart from the regular boring performance sports sedan.
All the RS (short for Rent Sport, or Motorsport in German), are powered by the sam twin turbocharged direct-injected wV6 gasoline engine displacing 2.9 litres. Output is an impressive 450hp with 600 Newton-Meters of wall-climbing torque. Drive is sent to all four wheels, thanks to the di rigueur Quattro All-Wheel Drive together with a ZF8HP 8-speed automatic transmission, another industry stalwart known to deliver seamlessly fast and smooth shifts while capably handling immense torque. The Quattro system normally sends 40% of torque to the front and 60% to the rear for a rear-wheel drive biased feel, but depending on conditions, can send as much as 70% drive up to the front axles, or 85% to the rear axles to help quell understeer/oversteer depending on the situation, all while ensuring maximum traction and stability.
All these help the RS5 Sportback sprint to 100km/h from rest in a supercar-like 3.9 seconds. Three designs are offered for the gorgeous 20-inch wheels to give the RS5 Sportback loads of visual aggression and street credibility as a ‘Bahnstormer.
Inside, you are greeted by rich perforated Valcona leather wrapping the RS Sport bucket seats, an extended leather special package, carbon-fibre till trim and the now standard 12.3 inch Audi Virtual Cockpit LCD display in lieu of mechanical analog gauges for the driver. A 3-zone climate control system and Audi’s latest generation MMI Infotainment System equipped with AppleCarPlay projects onto a 10.1 inch LCD touchscreen display while the powerful Bang & Olufsen Surround Sound High-Fidelity system delivers an astounding performance to match the RS5’s handling characteristics when you simply want to relax while you drive with some good music in the background.
A D-shaped, flat-bottom steering wheel with paddle shifters is a nod to Audi’s storied involvement in DTM and other touring car races from yore. The Audi Virtual Cockpit can also function as a lap timer and G-meter on track, aside from displaying navigation and multi-media settings on your daily commute.
And as with any modern Audi, steering effort, center differential pre-load bias, the Audi Dynamic Ride Control suspension damping, transmission shift algorithm and engine response and mapping can all be adjusted via the Audi Drive Select system in three basic modes: Comfort, Auto and Dynamic. There are also RS1 and RS2 modes wherein you can pre-program the various vehicle systems to mix and match their settings to suit your particular driving style. Prefer a response engine and transmission but with soft and plaint suspension when attacking your favorite mountain pass but need that center differential to reign in the tail as the road gets slippery? Program it all in either of the two drive modes and enjoy.
Few cars can do it all, but the Audi RS5 comes close to being a true master of all: an accomplished performance car, a comfortable daily driver, a versatile car for long drives out of town with family and friends, and the perfect arm candy on a night out on town.