2019 Audi RS5 Sportback - Toybox

By: Mark Higgins, Photography by: Guy Allen

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Audi's RS5 Sportback is for those wanting pace and space

 

2019 Audi RS5 Sportback

Audi’s first-ever RS 5 Sportback that arrived in February 2019 seamlessly combines coupe styling with four-seat, five-door Gran Turismo practicality in a lightweight chassis, featuring Quattro all-wheel drive and a ballistic V6 biturbo engine.

Being an Audi RS model means it’s chock full of pace and in this case, space, and boasts the latest safety and driver-assist, connectivity and infotainment technology. The inspiration behind the RS5 Sportsback’s svelte form, flared guards, long wheelbase, short overhangs and broad stance came from Audi’s successful foray into the American IMSA sports prototype series with the 90 Quattro in the 1990s.

| Read next: 2018 Audi RS4 Avant review

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There’s no mistaking the RS5 for the standard A5 Sportback. A single-frame grille in a honeycomb pattern with huge air intakes, a deep front spoiler emblazoned with Quattro lettering, an RS specific rear diffuser, huge oval exhausts and a subtle rear lip spoiler make it stand out.

The all-new 2.9 V6 biturbo engine produces a substantial 331 kW and 600 Nm, sling-shotting it from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds and a limited top speed of 250km/h. Maximising power delivery and minimizing lag is achieved by plonking the two turbos between the cylinder banks to minimise inlet tract length.

| Read next: Audi RS3 sedan review

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Drive to all four wheels is through an eight-speed tiptronic gearbox with power distributed 40/60 front to rear for maximum handling, while the differential cleverly transfers torque to the rear wheel with most grip for peak cornering acceleration.

A five-link suspension setup is employed at both ends and the Dynamic Ride Control has the RS5 Sportback sitting much lower than the A5 Sportback. At the driver’s fingertips is the switch to control the adaptive dampers with a choice of individual, dynamic or comfort settings to extract the best from the car.

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Behind the wheel the car is an enthusiastic driver’s delight with loads of cornering grip, a decent level of steering and braking feel and feedback and a ride that for most part is cossetting. It only needs the slightest tap on the right pedal to shove you back in the seat and lob the horizon onto the windscreen.

Audi leads the way as far as interiors go and the RS5 Sportback doesn’t disappoint. Open the door and you are greeted by a sea of black, the cabin is luxuriously appointed with a sporty edge, and the convenience of a huge boot.

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Nappa leather RS sport seats with diamond stitching and the flat-bottomed RS multifunction steering wheel underscore the RS5 Sportback’s nature. There are RS logos on the seats, steering wheel, door sills and gear lever.

Unique RS displays in the virtual cockpit provide information on tyre pressure, torque and g-forces. In manual mode, shift lights prompt the driver to upshift when reaching the rev limit.

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The RS 5 Sportback has a generous level of standard kit including 20-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, head-up display, phone box wireless smartphone charging and USB outlets for front and rear passengers, gloss black exterior styling package, panoramic glass sunroof, as well as privacy glass and red-painted brake calipers.

Also standard are the Audi virtual cockpit, Audi connect, smartphone interface and DAB+ digital radio and a high-end Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system.

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Option packs are available and the $3,300 RS design package adds Alcantara used throughout the cabin and controls, with red stitching and other RS elements.

There are carbon, matte aluminium enhancement packs and a carbon and black styling pack that all add $10,900 to the $157,700 price tag before on-road costs. 

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2019 Audi RS5 Sportback

Engine: 2900cc Biturbo V6
Power: 331kW @ 5700rpm
Torque: 600Nm @ 1900rpm
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic
Brakes: Power-assisted discs (front & rear)
Suspension: Five link independent (f/r)

 

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