There is something interesting about the coupe, although it is closely related to a sedan. Maybe it’s because a coupe naturally prioritizes the driver and a sole passenger above all else.
When the RS 5 debuted for the first time, it sums up a pretty good allure. Its non-turbocharged V8 engine has character and ends with stratospheric revs only underscoring the sense of opportunity made by a coupe.
The redesigned 2018 Audi RS 5 is the second generation, swapping its V8 sound and character for a twin-turbo 2.9 liter V6. This new engine, which is also used in the Porsche Panamera 4S produces more power, especially down low in the rev range. But it doesn’t rev as high and sounds much calmer than the V8. This is a dilemma of modern performance engines, the demand for greater power and lower fuel consumption has resulted in smaller-displacement turbocharged engines that deliver the goods but can not match the sound of a free-revving V8.
The 2018 Audi RS 5 standard all-wheel-drive system sends all that power to the ground in a definite way. The downside, it’s probably not quite as exciting as the rear-wheel-drive rivals when it comes to spirited or track driving. But at least you will have Audi exceptional cabin environment, filled with carbon fiber, leather and satin-finish accents. Add the available 8.3-inch infotainment screen and Virtual Cockpit extended instrument cluster and you’ve got one well-rounded, special-feeling coupe.
Trim levels and features
The 2018 Audi RS 5 is a high-performance coupe offered in one well-equipped trim level.
Standard equipment for the RS 5 includes keyless entry and ignition, 19-inch wheels, full LED headlights, automatic wipers, parking sensors, three-zone automatic climate control, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a 7-inch infotainment display and a 10-speaker sound system. Also standard is a suite of driver assistance systems such as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and intervention, forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking.
The 2018 Audi RS5 also offers a variety of option packages you can choose. But keep in mind that a few of these packages have prerequisites, which mean they require you to also opt for other option packages first.
The Dynamic Plus package is the most expensive and adds direct tire pressure measurement, carbon-ceramic front brakes and an increase in top speed from 155 mph to 174. The prerequisite Dynamic package is the second most expensive option, which adds a sport exhaust and variable suspension dampers. The Dynamic Steering (requires the Dynamic package) replaces the standard fixed-ratio steering with a variable ratio system.
The Driver Assistance package adds driver assistance features such as a lane-keeping system, automatic high beams and adaptive cruise control. However, you’ll also need to pick the Navigation package, which adds Audi’s Virtual Cockpit extended instrument cluster and an 8.3-inch MMI infotainment screen.
The Black Optic package adds 20-inch wheels, gloss black trim and body-color mirrors. Furthermore, a different set of forged 20-inch wheels are optional after you’ve selected the Black Optic package.
The Fine Nappa Leather package upgrades the door armrests, center console, leather seats and adds LED interior lighting. Audiophiles will gravitate toward the Bang & Olufsen sound system.
Under the hood, the 2018 Audi RS 5 is powered by a twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6 engine that puts out a healthy 444 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. Power sent to the ground via an eight-speed automatic gearbox that can be run in fully automatic mode or manually shifted via steering-wheel-mounted paddles. Audi Quattro all-wheel-drive system rounds out the important powertrain details.
In performance testing, the 2018 Audi RS 5 coupe accelerates from zero to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds, which is incredibly quick, but typical for the segment. A top speed of 155 mph, which can be increased to 174 mph with the optional Dynamics Plus package. EPA estimated fuel economy is excellent for a car in this category at 21 mpg combined (18 city/26 highway).
Inside, the 2018 Audi RS 5 simple interior design makes most of its controls easy to find, and the technology interface is easy to master. Visibility is excellent, and the quality of the cabin material is clearly upscale. There is not much headroom, especially at the rear, but the rear legroom is better than in some competitors.
The 12 cubic feet of trunk space is not exceptional for coupes in this class, but the space is quite handy for weekend trips. The rear seats can be folded to load longer items. There are several places to store small items in the cabin, but nothing exceptional.
Release date and price
The 2018 Audi RS 5 is on sale and arriving now at dealers nationwide with a starting price just over $70,000 (which includes the $975 destination charge). Key competitors include the BMW M4 coupe, Cadillac ATS-V coupe and Lexus RC F.