Audi RS 5 is back on top with new generation specification

V8-powered coupé flagship benefiting from latest A5 range enhancements and a more extensive equipment list is readied for UK debut

  • New generation RS 5 enhanced by styling revisions, lighting updates, more efficient electromechanical power steering and more equipment opens for UK order this week priced at £58,725 OTR
  • UK deliveries to begin in April
  • RS 5 Coupe 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds (previously 4.6), top speed electronically-limited at 155mph, MPG 26.9 (previously 26.2), CO2 246g/km (previously 252g/km)
  • DVD navigation, Bluetooth phone preparation, cruise control and Audi Music Interface iPod connection added to standard specification
  • New optional Sport Package at £2,250 including Dynamic Ride Control, sports exhaust, dynamic steering and 20-inch rotor-design titanium-look alloy wheels

The Audi RS badge returns, reinvigorated, to its rightful place at the head of the A5 Coupé range this week in the new generation RS 5, combining new styling, mechanical and specification revisions with characteristically extreme performance from a high-revving 450PS V8. The more imposing, more efficient and more extensively equipped new incarnation of the acclaimed sports car can be ordered now at an OTR price of £58,725, and will reach its first British customers in April.

Styling updates are not surprisingly the first to make an impact in the new RS 5. They include a slight revision to the single frame grille design, sharper and more pronounced bonnet contours, new ‘solid band’ wraparound LED daytime running lights and LED rear lights, new look front and rear bumpers and a new ’10-spoke’ design for the 19-inch alloy wheels.

Inside, the most noticeable enhancements are likely to be the addition of Bluetooth mobile phone preparation, cruise control, DVD-based satellite navigation and Audi Music Interface iPod connection to the standard equipment list for this updated model. The cruise control system can also now be upgraded at extra cost to the adaptive system with braking guard, which uses radar sensors to control distance from traffic in front of the car between 19mph and 155mph, and can also initiate partial braking or full deceleration if its sensors detect an impending collision.

Interior design changes extend to a new flat-bottomed RS three-spoke steering wheel and detail improvements to the air conditioning, Multi Media Interface, mirror adjustment and electric window switchgear, the gear lever and the instrument stalks. New look optional inlays are also now available.

High-revving V8 power
As before, the high-revving, naturally-aspirated 4.2-litre V8 that is hand built for the RS 5 and is closely related to the V10 that powers the R8 sports car delivers 450PS at 8,250 rpm and peak torque of 430 Nm at between 4,000 and 6,000 rpm. It launches the coupé from rest to 62mph in 4.5 seconds, and where possible on to an electronically-limited 155mph top speed, which can be elevated to 174mph if the extra cost speed limit de-restriction option is specified.

A combination of technologies from the Audi modular efficiency platform, including a recuperation system, enables the high-tech V8 to consume significantly less fuel on average than its direct competitors. Combined economy of 26.9mpg and CO2 output of 246g/km are respectively slightly higher, and slightly lower, than before.

New electromechanical power steering which demands no input from the alternator while in the ‘straight-ahead’ position works in favour of efficiency, as does the familiar seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission with its long top gear, lightning-fast shifts and steering wheel paddle control.

Like all RS models, the RS 5 Coupé applies its power to the road with quattro permanent all-wheel-drive, which in this instance is further enhanced by the crown-gear centre differential that can vary the distribution of torque between the front and rear axles at lightning speed and over a wide range. Up to 70 per cent can flow 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 electronic stability program (ESP) also integrates a sport mode which ensures that it intervenes at a later stage. It can also be switched off entirely.

Optional sport differential
The crown-gear centre 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 at speed, that wheel is braked slightly before it can begin to break traction. A sport differential is also available as an option, and actively distributes the power between the rear wheels via two superposition stages.

Five-link front and self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension with very high lightweight aluminium content offers exceptional supporting foundations for the advanced quattro system, and to further enhance control the new speed-dependent electromechanical steering supports the driver with slight steering corrections when braking on surfaces with different amounts of grip.

Large, internally-ventilated wave brake discs with eight-piston callipers and a 365-millimetre diameter at the front ensure unshakeable stopping power, and in the latest RS 5 they feature revised friction rings which help to reduce weight by three kilograms, improving the balance of unsprung masses in the process.

For especially committed drivers carbon fibre-ceramic brake discs are also available at extra cost, as is the Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) system, which uses diagonally opposed pairs of shock absorbers linked by hydraulic lines and a central valve. During fast cornering, the system intensifies the stabilisation of the front outside wheel for optimum stability and composure. Its response can be varied across three settings at the touch of a button.

A dynamic steering option is also available for integration into the standard Audi drive select adaptive dynamics system, enabling the actual ratio of the steering to be varied according to the four Audi drive select settings comfort, auto, dynamic and individual. When the dynamic steering option isn’t specified, the system can apply these same four settings to the steering weighting, along with the S tronic transmission’s shift points and the throttle’s response. It can also modulate the sound of the exhaust system, double-clutching when downshifting in dynamic mode.

New optional Sport Package
The dynamic ride control and dynamic steering options are available individually or combined as part of a new Sport Package, which also includes larger 20-inch rotor design titanium-look alloy wheels to replace the standard 19-inch examples and a sports exhaust system that further amplifies the bass-heavy growl of the V8. Priced at £2,250, it offers a saving of £2,915 compared with specifying the options individually.

Audi A4 to the power of eight – the all-new RS 4 Avant

Acclaimed Audi high performance Avant brings V8 power back to the head of the new generation A4 range

  • All-new version of acclaimed Audi super-Avant retains eight-cylinder power for exceptional performance and sporting character
  • UK open-for-ordering date and pricing to be confirmed, first UK deliveries expected in September
  • Latest 4.2-litre V8 delivers 450PS at 8,250rpm and 430Nm from 4,000 to 6,000rpm, 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds, governed 155mph top speed, combined MPG 25.7
  • Optional Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) and dynamic steering for integration into standard Audi drive select adaptive dynamics system, optional sports exhaust

The merits of a sharp-suited, business-like Audi Avant and the muscle of a high-revving Audi V8 combine again in classic Jekyll and Hyde fashion in the third generation RS 4. Available exclusively in the attractive and accommodating Avant body style, and expected in the UK in September, the RS 4 contradicts its distinctly business-like first impressions with extreme sub-five-second zero to 62mph pace, 174mph capability and exceptionally tenacious quattro all-wheel-drive handling.

The Audi RS 4 Avant uses the same high-revving, naturally aspirated V8 engine that powers the RS 5 Coupe. The hand-built 4,163 cc unit with its distinctive red-painted cylinder covers produces 450 PS at 8,250 rpm and maximum torque of 430 Nm from 4,000 to 6,000 rpm, and powers the RS 4 Avant from 0 to 62 mph in 4.7 seconds on its way to a governed top speed of 155 mph, which can be increased to 174 mph if required. No less impressively, it achieves all this while at the same time potentially returning up to 25.7mpg according to the combined cycle test.

With its impressive efficiency and long top gear, the standard seven-speed S tronic transmission makes a significant contribution to this uncharacteristic fuel economy. Drivers can let the lightning-fast dual-clutch transmission shift automatically or change gears manually using the selector lever or the paddles on the steering wheel. For explosive starts, drivers can also activate Launch Control, which manages the engagement of the clutch to achieve an optimum starting speed with minimal wheel spin.quattro drive with crown-gear centre differential

In common with every Audi RS model, the RS 4 Avant features quattro permanent all-wheel drive, which is bolstered here by the advanced crown-gear centre differential. This compact and lightweight component can vary the distribution of power between the front and rear axles rapidly, smoothly and over a wide range, with up to 70 per cent flowing to the front or as much as 85 per cent to the rear. The default 40:60 ratio of the rear-biased configuration favours agile and precisely adjustable handling. The sport differential familiar from the S4 quattro and the RS 5, which actively distribute the power between the rear wheels, is available as an option.

The self-locking crown-gear centre differential works together with a torque vectoring system, which acts on all four wheels. If the load on the inside wheel is reduced too much in a corner, the torque vectoring system brakes it slightly before it begins to skid. The electronic stability programme (ESP) also offers a Sport mode and can be fully deactivated.

The chassis of the Audi RS 4 Avant is a very complex design, with a five-link set-up at the front and a self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear assembly, a high proportion of which is crafted from aluminium to reduce unsprung weight. The new speed-dependent power steering is a highly efficient electromechanical system with a direct steering ratio for highly precise road feel. It helps the driver stay on course by making slight steering corrections when braking on surfaces with different levels of grip.

Polished 19-inch, ten-spoke forged aluminium wheels shod with 265/35-series tyres amply fill the arches, particularly as the taut RS set-up positions the body 20 millimetres lower than a standard A4 Avant. For an even more extreme stance 20-inch five-V-spoke design wheels with 265/30-series tyres, or 5-arm rotor design wheels with two different finishes, can be specified as an option.

High performance wave disc brakes

Mounted behind the large wheels are internally vented wave disc brakes with high gloss black-painted callipers. The front callipers with their eight pistons and prominent RS logos measure 365 millimetres in diameter. The steel friction rings with their wave-like outer contour are perforated and connected to the aluminium brake caps via pins. This concept reduces tensions, quickly dissipates heat and prevents transmission of temperature peaks. The new shape of the friction rings shaves a total of roughly three kilograms off the unsprung weight.

For the front axle, Audi offers the option of 380-millimetre carbon fibre ceramic discs and six-piston callipers in anthracite grey. The ceramic brakes are especially lightweight, robust and durable.

The Audi drive select driving dynamics system is a standard feature of the RS 4 Avant. With it, the driver can switch between three modes comfort, auto and dynamic to determine the characteristics of the steering, the S tronic transmission and the throttle response. Audi drive select can even vary the sound of the exhaust system, double-declutching when downshifting in dynamic mode. If the car is equipped with an Audi navigation system, a largely driver-configurable ‘individual’ mode is also available.

In addition to the sport differential, another component available for Audi drive select is dynamic steering. It varies its steering ratio by nearly 100 per cent depending on speed and automatically countersteers slightly at the cornering limit for even more precise and stable handling.

Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) will also be available as an extra cost option in this latest generation RS 4. The system connects diagonally opposed pairs of shock absorbers by way of oil lines and a central valve, and promotes even greater stability and composure at speed. The three damping modes it offers will also be controllable via the Audi drive select system.

Flared arches

The exterior design of the RS 4 Avant leaves onlookers in no doubt about its very special capabilities, without overstating the case. Its hexagonal single-frame grille is set in a frame with a matte aluminium-look finish and its honeycomb insert is finished in high-gloss anthracite. LED daytime running lights encircle the xenon plus units like a clasp in the wedge-shaped headlights. The air flows through large openings divided by crossbars and embedded in a distinctive bumper featuring a motor racing-style splitter edge.

When viewed from the side, the chiselled sill extensions and flared wheel arches enable the RS 4 Avant to strike a powerful pose even in profile, and give a nod to the pioneering Audi quattro from back in 1980. The side mirror housings and trim strips have a matte aluminium-look finish, and a discreet roof spoiler ensures the necessary downforce.

The distinctive bumpers and the two oval tailpipe caps of the dual exhaust system dominate the rear end and are integrated into an upturned diffuser. A sports exhaust system is available as an extra cost option to deepen the tone of the already deep-seated exhaust note, and where this is fitted the exhaust pipes feature matte black caps.

The Audi RS 4 Avant is 20 millimetres longer, 24 millimetres wider and 20 millimetres lower than the standard A4 Avant. It will be available in a choice of eight colours: one solid and one metallic finish, four pearl-effect colours and two special ‘crystal-effect’ colours: Panther Black, which is available from launch, and Prism Silver, which will be available to order later this year. The extensively clad underbody integrates air vents for the seven-speed S tronic transmission and the front brakes.

The interior of the RS 4 Avant is finished completely in black, with the exception of the roof lining, which is optionally available in Moon Silver. Chrome clasps subtly accentuate switches and control elements. Carbon inlays are standard, with brushed matte aluminium, Aluminium Race, piano black finish or a light stainless steel mesh available as options.

The standard heated front sport seats with integrated headrests are power- adjustable and covered in a combination of black leather and Alcantara. Fine Nappa leather in either Black or Moon Silver accentuated with Stone Grey piping is available as an option. Other options include bucket-style ‘super sports seats’ or luxurious, climate-controlled comfort seats with a ventilation function. The thick ring of the leather multifunction sports steering wheel is flattened at the bottom, and it features shift paddles in an aluminium-look finish.

The Driver’s Information System (DIS) with colour display includes an RS menu with a lap timer and an oil temperature gauge. Both it and the MMI monitor display a special RS welcome screen when the car is started.

The instrument cluster bezel is finished in gleaming piano black, and the design of the selector knob of the seven-speed S tronic is unique to the RS. Typical of all RS vehicles, the door openers are two delicate bars. The pedals, the footrest, the air vents, the shift paddles on the steering wheel, the MMI buttons and other controls have an aluminium-look finish. Aluminium inserts also adorn the door sill trims, which are accentuated with RS 4 badges.

In-car online services

Audi offers exclusive high-grade leather packages for all seating options, including a design package with honeycomb quilting for the RS 4 bucket seats. Rounding out the list of optional equipment is a broad range of state-of-the-art driver assistance and communication systems, including the Mobile Phone Preparation High option that connects the RS 4 Avant with the Internet and brings Google Earth satellite navigation mapping when specified in conjunction with MMI navigation plus

Options for the luggage compartment, which offers up to 1,430 litres of cargo space, include a rail system with load securing set and a power-operated tailgate.

Exact pricing and specification details for the new RS 4 Avant have yet to be finalised for the UK, and will be confirmed nearer to the point when orders can be taken.