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First Drive: 2018 Audi RS five

As pleasantly aggressive as it is on the eyes, the meaner stance and flared bodywork of the 2018 Audi RS 5 doesn’t tell the entire story at the back of this reworked coupe. The maximum great transformation lurks beneath its creased and widened pores and skin, especially the swapping of its large, clearly aspirated V-8 for a smaller, torque-per twin-rapid V-6. Welcome to the inevitable destiny of Audi Sport, in all its predictably downsized and turbocharged glory.

First Drive: 2018 Audi RS five 1

A Teutonic Tale of Loss and Gain

The turbo fashion is a chunk of a brand new automobile cliché, bringing with it left-mind justifications in addition to predictable chatter from lovers about the lack of certain intangibles. The RS five enjoys the everyday blessings — for starters, the smaller engine weighs sixty-eight pounds much less, alleviating a number of the nose-heavy weight distribution and transferring the auto’s stability rearward using half of the percentage point, to 57/forty-three. The parent remains not best, but it’s definitely a step inside the right course.


The RS five’s 2.9-liter V-6 — additionally discovered inside the Porsche Panamera — produces the equal 450 horsepower as its predecessor. However, it gains a vast one hundred twenty-five lb-feet of torque for a complete of 442 lb-toes. Impressively, that parent plateaus from 1,900 rpm to 5,000 rpm and bests the R8’s base V-10 with the aid of a remarkable forty-four lb-ft. Audi’s acquainted DSG transmission has been swapped for a ZF-sourced eight-speed with a conventional torque converter because a twin-take hold of the unit couldn’t take care of the motor’s prodigious twist, in step with Audi Sports development boss Stephan Reil. Fuel performance improves using 17 percent over the outgoing V-eight, with the U.S. Equivalent of the New European Cycle equating to someplace within the community of 19/27 mpg town/motorway.

Power is sent through a Torsen differential, which employs a forty/60 front-to-rear breakup and may route as much as 85 percent to the rear or 65 percent to the front. A mechanical torque vectoring system uses clutches at the rear axle to overdrive the outdoor wheel, with additional brake vectoring at all four wheels.

Longer, agiler, Roomier

Though it grows in the period by using 2, nine inches, the RS five loses 132 kilos thanks to aluminum components like a tool panel substructure shaped from extruded move individuals, bringing scale back weight to a few,648 kilos. Front strut domes now use forged aluminum instead of welded sheet metal, aiding structural stiffness and guidance reaction. A non-compulsory carbon-fiber roof shaves an extra 6.6 pounds but is unavailable on U.S.-sure motors.

The cabin additionally feels incrementally roomier thanks to a 0.6-inch boom in wheelbase, which adds almost an inch of rear legroom, assisting make the again seats experience almost habitable for common-sized adults. Luggage space increases by way of 0.4 cubic toes, imparting a best-in-magnificence total of 16.4 cubic feet.

Cockpit Action

Climb into the RS 5, and some competitive information quietly clamors for attention, particularly the flat-bottomed guidance wheel, paddle shifters, and to be had assessment-stitched leather or Alcantara trim on key controls like the shifter and wheel. Unlike earlier Audi fashions, the eight. The three-inch navigation display screen is lamentably constant in the region. At least the MMI wheel, touchpad, and hard buttons play properly collectively. Also to be had is Audi’s slick Virtual Cockpit, which transforms the gap previously called the analog dashboard into a customizable, 12. Three-inch TFT display. Unique to the RS utility are shows that make the tachometer change to yellow or purple when coming near redline, engine output gauges, tire pressure, temperature, and g-forces.

Our check power took us from the flatlands of Toulouse, France, to the sci-fi-ish principality of Andorra, a tiny nook nestled within the switchback-weighted down peaks between France and Spain. Unlike the outgoing RS five, which howled its manner to an eight,500 rpm redline, the brand new version’s punchier personality is great tapped at low- and mid-variety rpm, wherein the core of its sonic soul additionally occurs to live. A low-frequency hum fills the cabin at mellower engine speeds (and in the brief space between shifts). It’s diffused and almost soothing but not totally actual way to a tiny shaker on a metallic flap that allows some of the engines sounds to resonate off the windshield.

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Social media fan. Unapologetic food specialist. Introvert. Music enthusiast. Freelance bacon advocate. Devoted zombie scholar. Alcohol trailblazer. Organizer. Spent 2001-2004 merchandising ice cream in Mexico. My current pet project is getting to know walnuts for fun and profit. At the moment I'm writing about squirt guns in Salisbury, MD. Spent childhood donating toy planes in Suffolk, NY. Gifted in managing jack-in-the-boxes in Miami, FL. Spent high school summers supervising the production of foreign currency in Libya.
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