Monday, 25 September 2017 20:00

Audi RS5 Coupe 2018

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As of recent years, the 'performance' coupe segment has grown, matured and become rather crowded. New comers are snapping at the ankles of the top dogs of years past; making this an interesting segment to watch. The 2018 RS5 Coupe is Audi's second generation offering from its Audi Sports stable of the RS5 Coupe.

CEO of Audi Sport, Stephan Winkelmann had this to say about the 2018 RS5 Coupe, "The new Audi RS5 Coupe is the gran turismo among the RS models from Audi Sport. The high-performance Coupe combines elegant aesthetics with high everyday usability. The car's V6 bi-turbo has been developed from the ground up and provides significantly more performance coupled with higher efficiency,"

'Elegant', 'usability', 'performance' and 'efficiency' really are the four best words you could use to describe this coupe, which Car and Driver magazine calls a 'stoic beast'.

Elegant to a point

Now most beasts are not elegant, but the RS5 Coupe manages to elegantly confine the vehicle's design to Audi's RS design idiom; their redefined design aesthetics. Audi's 'Down the Road Graphics' on the RS5 Coupe is is thanks to the signature 'Singleframe' grill and the scowling LED headlights.

Like ridges on a shell, the four hood relief lines and the side character lines rise out gracefully from the honeycomb grill. The swage line flows non-aggressively into the taillights, which feature vertical air outlets on the outer edges of the LED rear lights. Hinged Quattro honeycomb blisters emphasize the pronounced bulges over the widened wheel arches. The widened door sills are matched in the vehicle color and feature stylized strake inserts in black or optionally carbon. The exterior mirror housings are in matt aluminum look and optionally also in carbon, in the vehicle color or in black.

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The rear of the RS Coupe is comparatively simple to that of the front and is in line with Audi's sedan designs; with maybe the exception of the two large oval exhaust tail pipes. A surface-mounted spoiler lip in black, or optionally in carbon, finishes off the A-line, leaving an elegant silhouette.

That is where the elegance stops. Get inside the RS5 Coupe and the 'stoic beast' begins to emerge. A very sporty interior is a sticking contrast of black and red ,The flat-bottomed RS sport leather steering wheel is standard, as are the stainless steel pedals and RS sport seats. As an option, they can be covered in fine Nappa leather with honeycomb pattern. Red contrasting stitching adds emphasis to the steering wheel, center console, armrests, seats and floor mats. Carbon decorative trim nudges forward the dynamic appearance.

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As standard, the Audi RS5 Coupe features large RS-specific analog instruments for speed (scale up to 320 km/h (198.8 mph)) and revs. Positioned between is the 7-inch color driver information system. In the basic version, the Audi MMI display in the center console also measures 7 inches, whereas the optional MMI navigation plus has a screen diagonal of 8.3 inches. An optional extra is the head-up display. It projects all relevant information onto the windshield in the driver's direct field of vision as easily comprehensible symbols and digits.

Performance of a beast

The Audi RS5 Coupe is a performance coupe. The 2.9 TFSI V6 bi-turbo engine, which Audi developed from the ground up, offers sharp increases in power and efficiency as well as an incomparably full-bodied RS sound. It delivers 331 kW (450 hp). And it's peak torque of 600 Nm (442.5 lb-ft) - 170 Nm (125.4 lb-ft) more than the previous model - is available across a broad engine speed range from 1,900 to 5,000 rpm. The top model in the A5 family sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.9 seconds, and reaches a top speed of 250 km/h (155.3 mph) - with the optional RS dynamic package it can even reach 280 km/h (174.0 mph).

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The bi-turbo's power flows through a sportily-tuned, eight-speed tiptronic transmission with optimized shift times and on to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive which features a self-locking central differential. The drive forces are asymmetrically distributed between the axles in the ratio of 40:60. Dynamic handling with optimum traction and the best-possible levels of safety are thus guaranteed. Audi Sport also offers an optional rear sport differential.

Usability amidst it all

Often times vehicle manufacturers tend to focus to heavily on the 'performance' side of a 'performance' vehicle and seem to forget that their cars, although designed with a track in mind, are driven by people in a suit and tie or will be stuck in rush hour traffic. This is where Audi has risen above the crowd. The Audi R8 is a great example of this.

The RS5 Coupe has a fantastic driving position. Handles well with great response and accuracy, and with a comfortable ride thanks to both Comfort and Auto modes. Drivers can make their personal driving experience more individual, dynamic or comfortable using the standard dynamic handling system Audi drive select.

A comprehensive range of infotainment choices is sure to keep everyone on board entertained. Optionally available, the MMI navigation plus with MMI touch includes the Audi connect hardware module. This connects the new RS5 Coupe to the internet using LTE technology. Thanks to the Audi connect SIM, which is permanently installed in the car, the flat-rate data package for the connect services including Europe-wide roaming is free of charge for three years. Passengers can browse the internet with their mobile devices via the Wi-Fi hotspot option.

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The Audi smartphone interface uses Apple Car Play and Android Auto to make selected apps available in a separate MMI menu. Operation is easy and intuitive, thanks to natural language voice control, free text search function and the multifunction steering wheel. The touchpad in the center console can be used to zoom, scroll and enter characters. Further high-end technologies, such as the head-up display and as many as 30 driver assistance systems enhance safety, comfort and efficiency. The intelligent interplay between these systems represents another step towards piloted driving.

The developers have applied RS-specific tuning to the Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC) and the anti-slip control. In addition to the normal mode, there is also a sport mode in which the ESC intervenes later. This mode provides additional driving pleasure, and also enables controlled drifting on low-friction road surfaces. If the driver pushes the button for longer than three seconds, the ESC switches off completely to allow particularly sporty handling.

Efficient by design

The high-output V6 doesn't just impress with its strong performance, but also with its high level of efficiency. In the NEDC, it consumes just 8.7 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (27.0 US mpg), which corresponds to 197 grams CO2 per kilometer (317.0 g/mi). This means a 17 percent consumption saving compared with the previous model. A decisive factor in this is the new TFSI combustion process from Audi, which is known as the B-cycle. It has been specifically designed for the partial-load range, which is the predominant operating mode during normal use.

A further efficiency component of the 2.9 TFSI is the thermal management system. The crankcase and the cylinder head have separate coolant circuits. After a cold start, the switchable water pump controls the flow of coolant through the engine so that the oil is warmed up as quickly as possible. The exhaust manifolds are integrated in the cylinder head, and coolant circulates around them which helps ensure rapid warming up. When the engine is warm, this technology lowers the exhaust temperatures - consumption drops drastically, especially when driving in a sporty way. The great efficiency of the V6 bi-turbo is also partly to do with low friction.

The Audi RS5 Coupe is an exciting addition to the available vehicles from Audi's well established stables. As far a design and aesthetics go, the RS5 Coupe is elegant yet bold with sporty balance. Under the hood and along with all the mechanical and technical developments, the RS5 Coupe is a performance vehicle just as you would expect coming from Audi Sports. In the current crowded performance coupe space, the Audi RS5 is one of the most drivable and well worthy of consideration for anyone in the market for a performance coupe.

Images sourced from NetCarShow: https://www.netcarshow.com/audi/2018-rs5_coupe/
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Brendan Ihmig

Founder and editor in chief of Best Guide Inc. Loves watches, pens, coffee and wine. When not writing, he can be found with his family or playing video games.

brendanihmig.com
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