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by Brett Davis

Audi has just announced the release of the Audi RS 5 to the Australian market. The grand touring coupe, previously only available in S5 form as an athletic option, is now available in a higher-performance, higher-revving 4.2-litre V8 package which outputs 331kW.

The Audi S5, also known as the business suit, was never really all that exciting. Sure, it has a nice 4.2-litre V8 along with handsome looks, and with the security of all-wheel drive, it’s hard to fault. But that was the problem, not even the styling could be ridiculed, because there isn’t really anything that stands out. Now though, Audi is offering that same sort of sure-footed philosophy but garnished with a lot of very chilli seasoning.

With aggressive front and rear bumper bars, chunky 19 inch wheels, optional RS bucket seats and an Audi R8-like supercar engine, the RS 5 is more than a business suit, it’s a rip-snorting grand tourer ready to take on the likes of BMW’s M3, Porsche’s 911 Carrera 4 and the Jaguar XKR.

The heart of the RS 5 is it’s engine. Specifications and important numbers include; 4.2-litre FSI V8 engine, 331kW of power at 8250rpm, 430Nm of torque which is available from 4000rpm to 6000rpm. This equals to 0-100km/h acceleration that comes up, with the help of Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system, in just 4.6 seconds. – bettering the BMW M3’s 4.9 seconds, Porsche 911 Carrera 4’s 5.0 seconds and the Jaguar XKR’s 4.8 seconds.

The Audi RS 5 also comes with an automatic rear spoiler which rises once 120km/h is reached and retracts again when the vehicle drops below 80km/h… so we’ll never get to see the spoiler raised on any vehicles in Australia then, unless on a private track? Luckily, the spoiler can also be manually operated via a switch inside the cabin.

Inside comfort and features include a comprehensive media interface incorporating satellite navigation as standard, seating for four all comforted by leather upholstery. There’s also a smattering of carbon fibre making up parts of the trim, three different driving modes selectable via buttons within arm’s reach of the driver – comfort, automatic and dynamic – which alters characteristics of the seven-speed DSG automatic transmission, exhaust and suspension settings, and the usual climate control air-conditioning offerings typical of a high-end sports car.

For $175,300, you’d be hard pressed to find a more complete package really, especially in this price range. The only cars that come close in terms of platform and specifications are the BMW M3 coupe; 4.0-litre 309kW/400Nm V8, rear-wheel drive – $162,900. The Porsche 911 Carrera 4; 3.6-litre 254kW/390Nm flat six, all-wheel drive – $238,800. And the Jaguar XKR; 5.0-litre supercharged 375kW/625Nm V8, rear-wheel drive – from $255,000.

Orders can be made right now with deliveries taking place in October.




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