The new machine in town

Dhiram Shah | Updated on July 03, 2018

The Audi RS5

A new power-packed version of the Audi R5 changes a good thing for the better

The Audi RS5 has been wooing performance enthusiasts ever since it made its Indian debut in 2013. To be fair, it packed one of the best engines — a 4.2 litre naturally aspirated V8 that produced 400 hp. This along with Audi’s award-winning dual-clutch transmission delivered a ride that would bring a smile on the face of even the most dedicated purists. However, it was time for a change and Audi decided to make a better version for this year. The 2018 Audi RS5 is bigger, lighter, smarter and greener. The biggest change is under the bonnet — the newbie loses the rev-happy 4.2 litre V8 for a 2.9-litre twin turbo V6. Developed along with Porsche, it has less capacity, fewer cylinders and yet delivers the same power output with a lot of torque. The V6 delivers 450 hp with 600 nM of torque, an extra 170 nM which does wonders when it comes to performance. Speaking of which, the car goes from a standstill to 100 kmph in just 3.9 seconds.

The Audi RS5 engine



At first glance

Visually, the 2018 Audi RS5 gives stiff competition to the likes of BMW M4 and Mercedes C63 AMG. Its massive honeycomb mesh grille, sharp lines, wide wheel arches, the massive 20-inch chrome alloys and the ever-alluring daytime running lights make it an stunner. Slide into the diamond stitched sports seats, and you are greeted by Audi’s virtual cockpit. A 12.3 inch crisp screen with configurable digital instruments, along with navigation, multimedia, and the car’s functions, it also displays the engine power, torque and cornering g-forces. The front seats offer plenty of bolstering and even standard massages. There is enough Alcantara leather, carbon-fiber and metal everywhere in the cabin to remind you that this isn’t an Audi S5 but an RS5 coupe. To help you keep company on the long trips, there is an epic Bang & Olufsen audio system. The car falls short as far as seating at the back is concerned. There are rear seats but they are cramped for space, and at best, suited for kids for short trips.

Revv it up

As luxurious as the cabin maybe, it is the performance that counts. On a winding freeway, stepping on the accelerator, I was welcomed with a gush of power that delivered linear acceleration with almost zero turbo-lag. The eight-speed gearbox delivers torque to all the four wheels while switching the gears at the right time. Whenever you put your foot on the accelerator pedal, something happens, and in no time I was cruising at triple digit speeds and not even at half-throttle. This model has shed about 60 kg, add to that a new chassis, Quattro all-wheel drive, RS tuned suspension, torque vectoring and limited-slip rear differential and you have a machine that delivers exhilarating performance, always. On the curves, you have the advantage of Quattro, in a mid-corner, I would press the accelerator hard and the car would just rocket out with all the four wheels just glued on the road. The automatic gearbox did such a fine job that I did not feel the need to use the manual option. The exhaust does let out the occasional bark on hard upshifts but is underwhelming and somewhat remote when compared to its V8 predecessor. For a performance coupe, the car is extremely easy to drive in city traffic and feels like a luxury cruiser with a stiff suspension and a lot of power on the tap.

The 2018 Audi RS5 is a very impressive piece of machinery. It is powerful, agile and delivers a very engaging driving experience while enveloping you in comfort and luxury as not seen before in RS cars. It looks good and will turn heads wherever you go.

Dhiram Shah is the Mumbai-based founder of

Published on June 30, 2018

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