It's been 30 years since the original four-wheel drive hatch was introduced, and what better way to celebrate than with the release of a new, 331kW, 4.2-litre V8-powered successor.
Mated to a seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission, the RS5 uses Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive system to manage a 0-100km/h time of just 4.6 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h, but this can be increased to 280km/h upon request.
A new, more compact and lightweight centre differential can send up to 85 per cent of the car's power to the rear wheels. An optional rear LSD is also available.
The suspension is adjustable thanks to Audi's Drive Select System offering three modes - Comfort, Auto and Dynamic. The latter reduces the ride height by 20mm. The RS5 rides on a choice of 19- or 20-inch alloy wheels.
The RS5 is not without cosmetic changes either featuring a new front bumper with enlarged air intakes, new honeycombe grille and pumped wheel arches.
Up back a reprofiled rear bumper features a black diffuser with Audi's trademark oval RS tailpipes. Revised LED taillamps and a rear spoiler that automatically deploys at 120km/h are also included.
The Audi RS5 will go on sale in Europe and the UK from May with first deliveries expected in October. Australia should see the model in showrooms by mid-year.
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