Audi
RS 5 Coupe/Sportback

Get out of my way – I’m coming through! The RS 5 is no car for the faint-hearted. This beautifully, hand-crafted piece of technology delivers the ride of a lifetime. Packed with quality features and a performance that cannot fail to impress, the RS 5 is certainly a car to watch out for… normally as it passes you in the fast lane!

Audi RS5 Sportback side
Audi RS5 Sportback rear
Audi RS5 Sportback interior

The good

Blistering performance and handling

The bad

Pricey running costs

Tech Specs

Price from
£71,420
Combined Fuel up to
29.7mpg
0-62 from
3.9 seconds
max speed up to
155mph limited (174mph Vorsprung edition)
co2 from
222g/km

Test Drive

Audi RS5 Sportback 450PS Carbon Black tiptronic (2021)

Is the Audi RS5 Sportback one of the finest looking cars on our roads today? Well, according to my neighbours and just about anyone else I managed to ask, it is a resounding ‘yes’.

Of course, should you wander into supercar territory then it wouldn’t stand up quite so well, but for a normal road car (that is anything but normal) the RS5 Sportback is guaranteed to turn heads wherever it goes thanks to its gorgeous styling plus the vocal accompaniment that goes with it.

It features a dramatically sloping roofline so has all the attractions of a two-door coupe, but this model has four doors for added practicality along with a decently-sized boot.

Costing £74,685 (increased to £79,011 with options) the RS5 Sportback is powered by a 2.9-litre V6 petrol engine delivering 450PS and a whopping 600Nm of torque. That means it is fast, very fast. It can power to 62mph from a standing start in just 3.9 seconds and our Carbon Black version topped out at a limited 155mph. If you opt for the Vorsprung model and you get a top speed of 174mph.

Admittedly the economy figures don’t make such good reading with a combined 28.8mpg and carbon emissions of 222g/km, but if you can afford to buy this car, you can almost certainly afford to run it too.

The RS5 Sportback is instantly recognisable as an Audi with its large trademark grille which is blacked out, along with huge air intakes, twin tailpipes, narrow tail lights, tinted rear windows and 20-inch black alloy wheels.

Moving inside, the cabin is compact and very driver focused with powered, quilted, leather sports seats that can be heated and offer a massaging function.

There is a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, sat nav plus lots of RS badging. There is also a separate panel for all the climate control settings which is always a bonus and less distracting than having to navigate through a touchscreen menu to simply lower the temperature a notch.

Fire up the engine and the RS5 Sportback starts up with a roar that is a hint of what’s in store and from there it simply gets better and better.

The twin-turbocharged engine delivers blistering pace with rapid-fire acceleration through the eight-speed automatic gearbox. There are paddles to change gears manually, along with drive modes called Comfort, Auto and Dynamic. No prizes for guessing which one is the most fun there!

The road holding is ultra-grippy, the steering precise and the car boasts a low centre of gravity which results in perfect balance through tight bends. And the quattro all-wheel drive system will keep the vehicle in check when driving in more adverse weather conditions.

On motorways, the RS5 Sportback reaches the 70mph cruising speed in a matter of seconds and the ride is both composed and effortless with a firm, but forgiving suspension set-up.

And despite its coupe-like styling, this is a four-door model with room in the back for a couple of adults who benefit from a surprisingly good amount of legroom. The rear seats do slope backwards but are comfortable just the same.

The boot, which is accessed via a power-operated tailgate, can swallow 465 litres of kit with extra space opening up thanks to 60:40 split folding rear seats.

Elsewhere, there are plenty of storage options throughout the car, including a lockable glovebox, a wireless charging pad, narrow door pockets, seat back nets, a couple of compact trays, front and rear cup holders and a secret compartment tucked away beside the driver’s right knee.

Factor in the comprehensive list of safety systems packed into the car and the RS5 Sportback is the complete package for anyone looking for an aggressively-styled, feature-rich model that delivers outstanding driving dynamics along the way.

Test Drive

Audi RS 5 Coupe Carbon Edition 2.9 TFSI 450PS Quattro

My normal weekly test drive was going really smoothly until I somehow got into one of those totally unexpected ‘my-one’s-faster-than-yours’ discussions at my local supermarket.

I’d finished my shopping and was loading the boot when a chap approached with his young son who had taken quite a shine to my Audi RS 5 Coupe in Sonoma Green colour. We chatted all very pleasantly for a couple of minutes and I explained to the youngster that he would have to save all his pennies as the car cost more than £81,000.

Then I heard him! From a neighbouring parking bay came this challenging and somewhat bullish voice claiming: “I bet mine’s faster!” The voice came from a man in his 50s who had just parked up his BMW 4 Series M Sport. And so, like a moth to flames, I was hooked.

“Oh, I don’t think it is,” I claimed “What’s the 0 to 62mph sprint time?” I asked. The reply was 5.9 seconds and then the smug look on my face must have really dealt the bitterest of blows as I proudly claimed: “Mm – this is 3.9 seconds.”

In fairness, that’s not the usual type of discussion that I go searching for but the Audi RS 5 is no ordinary car and during my seven days behind the wheel, I was greeted with all manner of complements about its colour, styling, sound and all-round appeal.

And it’s a car that’s worthy of such praise because the all-new RS 5 Coupe is faster, lighter, larger, more efficient and generally better all-round than the model it replaced.

Firstly, the gas-guzzling 4.2-litre 8-cylinder engine has been ditched and replaced by a more frugal and perfectly tuned 2.9-litre twin turbocharged petrol unit that develops 450hp of power and 600Nm of torque. And it’s now mated to a faster eight-speed automatic gearbox.

The RS 5 Coupe looks stunning from any approach thanks to its sleek, yet muscular two-door coupe styling, sweeping light clusters, RS sport exhaust system, 20-inch alloys and red brake calipers. Our top-of-the-range Carbon Edition model added a carbon roof and engine cover along with several carbon inlays inside the car.

It carries a price-tag of £76,115 (£81,885 with options), and can blast its way from 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds, tops out at a limited 155mph (it can be increased to 174mph as an option) and, according to official figures, delivers combined fuel economy of 32.5mpg with carbon emissions of 197g/km.

The interior oozes class and has been beautifully crafted incorporating fine Nappa leather seats with a honeycomb quilted design and contrast stitching. They can be electrically-adjusted, heated, offer massaging function and they are bolstered to keep you snuggly supported.

And there’s plenty of on-board technology to explore with the likes of a centrally-mounted 8.3-inch display screen with menus accessed via a dial positioned between the front seats. There’s full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, high-speed 4G internet access, a head-up display, plus a premium sat nav system. For an additional £1,295 our car featured a Comfort and Sound Pack that introduces a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system, rear-view camera and electric hands-free boot opening.

The Audi Virtual Cockpit can be customised according to preference and displays information such as speed, revs, fuel levels, maps, navigation directions, music, phone contacts plus a trio of unusual dials that offered torque, power and G meter readouts.

And when it comes to performance and handling, the Audi RS 5 Coupe is an absolute thrill-seekers delight. It offers blisteringly fast acceleration through the auto gearbox with paddle shifts if you fancy taking over. There are driving modes called Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual – Dynamic is not for the faint-hearted and could lead to some neighbourhood disputes if your working hours are slightly unsociable. That’s because the car has a soundtrack to match its performance as it pops, crackles and fizzes away.

In Comfort mode, the car is relatively composed and even refined in its behaviour, but unleash the hooligan nature in Dynamic and everything sharpens up from the throttle and brakes to the steering and suspension. The road holding is ultra grippy and there is no sign of any body sway even when powered enthusiastically into bends. This is a car that keeps is composure when you may be losing yours!

If you need to carry passengers then there is enough room in the back for a couple of adults, but leg and head room is a little tight similarly to most sports coupes. But the RS 5 is the perfect car for a weekend break with a boot capacity of 465 litres that can be increased further with the split-folding rear seats dropped down.

As one would expect from Audi the car is packed to bursting with a comprehensive array of safety kit, including the impressive Matrix LED headlights. These lamps produce a light that is similar in colour to daylight. By using sensors along with an in-built camera, other vehicles are detected and the lights are dipped accordingly to avoid dazzling drivers.

All in all, the Audi RS Coupe is a beautifully crafted piece of kit. It drives as wonderfully as it looks and it has matching acoustics. But, just a quick word of warning, keep your performance stats to hand just in case you’re challenged by someone in a Beamer!

Test Drive

Audi RS 5 Coupe 4.2 FSI Quattro S tronic

Sleek, stylish, beautifully crafted and blisteringly quick – that just about sums up the dynamic Audi RS 5 Coupe.

And if you somehow miss it as it passes you by, fear not because you will certainly hear it, especially when it’s being driven in dynamic mode.

That’s because in that sporty, edgier driving mode the car has extra bite and the exhaust’s audio track is reminiscent of a pack of hungry lion’s at feeding time as it fizzes, crackles and pops.

The two-door coupe looks fantastic from any angle thanks to its sleek streamlining, smart sweeping light clusters, 20-inch alloys and that sporting, ready-to-show-you-what-I-can-do stance.

The interior is instantly recognisable as an Audi with its top quality materials and skilled craftsmanship throughout. The fine leather sports seats can be heated and there are memory settings to save your favourite driving position.

Then there are the subtle reminders throughout the cabin that this is no ordinary car.

Stand-out features that offer a hint to its identity include the RS emblem embossed into the seats, on the flat-bottomed sports steering wheel, on the gearstick and even the pedals are metal to help emphasise that sporty DNA running throughout the car.

It’s impossible to start the car quietly – as soon as the ignition is fired, there is a massive rumble guaranteed to wake the neighbours.

And then you can pull away as loudly or quietly as you please with a choice of driving modes that alter the car’s handling and volume. You can select from comfort, auto, dynamic and individual.

And as one would expect in a car costing £57,865, plus £7,925 extras, there are techno treats galore to be discovered.

The dashboard and instrumentation is beautifully uncluttered despite being feature-rich and creature comforts include a Bang & Olufsen sound system that is compatible with all modern media devices, an easy-to-use sat nav system, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, parking aids and plenty more besides.

But all the bells and whistles apart, the RS 5 is a car that loves to be driven and it doesn’t disappoint in the slightest.

With a 0-62mph sprint time of 4.5 seconds and a top speed limited to 155mph, it’s easy to see why this car screams excitement, and acceleration through the seven-speed S tronic automatic transmission is blisteringly fast and beautifully smooth with a constant supply of power on tap thanks to the mighty 4.2-litre V8 petrol driven engine.

Even at pace, tight bends can be attacked with confidence as the RS 5 seems to stick to the road like glue. And if you want to take a little more control over the gear shifts, there are steering wheel-mounted paddles.

The boot is fairly generous in size with a load capacity of 455 litres which can be increased to 829 litres with the rear seats folded forward. Elsewhere there’s plenty of useful storage compartments scattered throughout the cabin.

Audi has crammed a whole host of top notch safety features into the car to protect occupants and pedestrians, including the Audi quattro all-wheel-drive system.

Admittedly, the RS 5 Coupe will make its mark on the environment with carbon emissions of 246g/km but we can’t be clean-living all of the time can we? And it certainly puts the wow factor back into motoring.

Test Drive

Audi RS 5 Cabrio

With engine and enhanced exhaust sounds that could easily be mistaken for a sonic boom more readily associated with Concorde, the new Audi RS 5 Cabrio is guaranteed to wake up the neighbours!

Boasting drop-dead gorgeous lines, incredible driving dynamics with sound effects to match along with a whole host of techno treats, the RS 5 Cabrio is the perfect car for thrill-seeking drivers with a flair for premium quality.

The RS 5 has a solid reputation for its blistering performance capabilities and now Audi has introduced a soft-top model to really bring out the green-eyed monster in any onlooker.

Audi describes the car as its best-ever high performance cabriolet model and with prices starting from £68,985 it’s certainly not for buyers with money worries.

Under the bonnet is a hand-built 4.2-litre V8 petrol-powered engine delivering 450PS. And with acceleration stats of 0-62mph in a blistering 4.9 seconds and a top speed limited to 155mph, it’s easy to see why the German brand is so excited about its latest premium powerhouse.

The test car featured dazzling Misano Red paintwork along with wraparound LED daytime running lights, 20-inch alloys, a single frame grille and a more pronounced bonnet.

The three-layered fabric hood which can be opened in 15 seconds or closed in 17 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph.

The beautifully crafted interior has a truly elegant and sophisticated feel with a blend of the finest quality leathers and materials incorporated into the stylish cabin.

And there’s plenty of technical treats to add that extra wow factor, including a Bang & Olufsen audio system, satellite navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, heated leather seats and a distinctive flat-bottomed RS three-spoke multi-function steering wheel.

The car featured a number of optional extras which bumped up the asking price to £77,775 but in fairness, there is nothing whatsoever that is cheap about this car.

From the second you fire up the engine via the key or push button stop/start, the car purrs into life. The slightest pressure on the throttle and that purr becomes a growl and when pushed just a little the growl is transformed into an unmistakable roar!

The 7-speed automatic transmission can be operated via steering-wheel-mounted paddles or left to its own devices where it seems to propel the car at an unbelievable pace.

But even at higher speeds and while attacking tight bends, there is an incredible sense of safety and stability within the permanent all-wheel-drive RS 5 Cabrio.

Of course, Audi has packed a comprehensive range of first class safety innovations into the car along with a few extras such as active lane assist, active cruise control with braking guard and Audi side assist.

The driver can select from four driving modes which alter the car’s handling and dynamics. These are comfort, auto, individual and everyone’s favourite – dynamic which makes everything a little edgier.

An effective wind deflector and highly efficient heated seats make open-top driving fun even on the cloudiest of days, but when Mother Nature intervenes and the roof has to be closed it is effortlessly achieved and a quiet cabin environment can be enjoyed.

The boot offers 380 litres of storage although this is reduced by 60 litres when the roof is lowered. And although there is some room in the back for a couple of passengers, leg room is a little restricted.

According to Audi, the test car delivers a combined fuel efficiency of 26.4mpg and has carbon emissions of 249g/km.

Although those figures won’t win any tax breaks or friends in the green brigade, you really have to face facts. Anyone who has the cash to splash on the RS 5 Cabrio is hardly going to lose sleep over hefty road tax and insurance bills or regular trips to the petrol pumps to top up.

Test Drive

Audi RS 5 Coupe

Some cars simply have everything – a dazzling design, power, performance and even a spec level we can only dream about. That car, ladies and gentlemen, is the Audi RS 5.

Boasting an awesome 4.2 V8 engine that can rack up 0-62mph in just 4.6 seconds, this £65k-plus machine purrs like a caged lion as it ticks over and then accelerates with more force and venom than an unleashed cannonball.

But, for once it’s not all about making your mark in the world of carbon footprints because the RS 5 is really making a statement for Audi. It’s the most economical in its class, delivers the lowest emissions in its class, is the only car in its class with four-wheel-drive and is even predicted to have the best residual value in its class.

So when I say the RS 5 is a class-leader, there is not a word of exaggeration on my part.

From the second you lay eyes on the car, you just know you are in for a treat.

With its I-mean-business front end, dynamic streamlining and spoiler that is automatically raised and lowered for better control, the RS 5 has looks guaranteed to bring out the green-eyed monster in the most placid of bystanders.

And once inside, the level of quality and craftsmanship is apparent at every turn. The seats are designed in black silk nappa leather with rock grey piping, instrument panels feature black dials with white markings and there is also a digital display so you can keep a watchful eye on the speed. This is essential as the ride and acceleration of the RS 5 is deceptively comfortable and higher speeds are reached very quickly indeed.

The test model boasted several optional extras including an outstanding Bang & Olufsen sound system, sat nav, electric panoramic sunroof, heated front seats, leather armrests, an advanced parking system and wait for it… a garage door opener!

Comfort levels are exceptionally high throughout and there is some room for back seat passengers although it is a tad limited.

Elsewhere, there is a generously-sized boot along with plenty of smaller storage compartments throughout the cabin.

But to brutally honest, the RS 5 is all about performance and the S tronic twin-clutch transmission offers a responsive, power-packed drive that would have you on the edge of your seat if you weren’t pinned to the back of it!

The road-holding is absolutely superb and cornering at speed is accomplished with confidence thanks to the vehicles capabilities and the comprehensive safety features Audi has crammed into the vehicle.

However, there is one feature that just cannot be ignored and that’s the ability to switch driving modes. There are comfort and auto positions which both deliver excellent driving conditions, but then there is the dynamic mode which gives the RS 5 its “wow” factor. The drive becomes even more responsive with a louder and livelier feel as it chews up the ground in its path.

All in all, the RS 5 is the perfect vehicle for someone who yearns for quality, loves driving, but still enjoys the thrill of the chase.

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