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by Tim Beissmann

The upgraded 2012 Audi RS5 Coupe has been unleashed in Australia, boasting sharper styling, improved dynamics and efficiency and a lower starting price.

Now available from $161,400, the RS5 Coupe is $13,900 cheaper than before, meaning it now undercuts the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic version of the BMW M3 Coupe by $900, but is still $6600 more than the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe.

The naturally aspirated 4.2-litre engine in the Audi RS5 carries over unchanged into the updated model, producing 331kW of power (at 8250rpm) and 430Nm of torque (4000-6000rpm).

Tweaks to the cylinder barrels, the chain drive and the oil pump have helped reduce fuel consumption by three per cent to 10.5 litres per 100km, making the Audi greener than both the BMW (11.2L/100km) and the Mercedes (12.1L/100km).

The RS5 Coupe is now also one tenth of a second quicker from 0-100km/h, hitting triple figures in 4.5 seconds, splitting the C63 AMG (4.4secs) and the M3 (4.6secs) down the middle.

The updated RS5 is a substantial 1.3 seconds faster to triple figures than the slightly less mental 245kW/400Nm 3.0-litre supercharged S5 Coupe, which starts at $135,900.

The RS5 sprints from 0-200km/h in 15.4 seconds and, upon request, can have its electronically limited top speed raised from 250km/h to 280km/h.

The seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch gearbox sends drive to all four wheels via Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system, which can send as much as 70 per cent of torque to the front wheels or 85 per cent to the rear if circumstances dictate.

The RS5’s new speed-dependent electromechanical power steering system has been tuned to offer more immediate response and enhanced precision, improving cornering performance and feel for the road.

The optional $4990 Dynamic Sports Package adds sports suspension with Dynamic Ride Control, a sports exhaust system with black tailpipe trims and 20-inch five-spoke alloy wheels.

Visually, the new RS5 appears crisper and more athletic than ever before, adopting the refreshed design of the base Audi A5 range that was comprehensively updated in May.

The new wedge-shaped headlights incorporate xenon lamps and thin strips of LED daytime running lights, while the reshaped grille, sharper bonnet edges and sculpted front bumper create a more muscular stance. The tail-lights and rear bumpers have also been mildly redesigned.

The cabin now scores a flat-bottomed steering wheel and added functionality for the MMI Navigation system. A diamond-quilted Valcona leather bucket seat package can be optioned in for $14,990, while a contrasting red bucket seat pack adds $15,600.




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