Hardcore five-door ready to burst out of Ingolstadt with 331kW of fury

The Audi Sport range in Australia is expanding from February next year, with the addition of a new RS5 Sportback derivative.

This longer-wheelbase model joins its coupe sibling atop the A5 range, adding an extra pair of doors and a wagon-esque boot. In some ways it’s a slicker but almost-as-practical take on the RS4 Avant, right?

Apparently designers drew inspiration from the racing details of the bonkers '70s era Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO.

Massive air inlets with a honeycomb shape, typical of RS models, characterise the front, alongside that wide, flat single-frame grille, solid air intakes, and a front spoiler with quattro lettering.

At the rear, an RS-specific diffuser insert, RS exhaust system with oval tailpipes and fixed spoiler lip give the rear end some character. Naturally, the staple quattro blisters (bulging haunches) remain a fixture, adding muscle and stance. All about the stance…

That unusual Sonoma green metallic paint is available. It’s only on the RS5.

The familiar 2.9-litre TFSI twin-turbo (each blower mounted between the 'vee') V6 engine produces the same 331kW peak power as the other RS applications, with peak torque of 600Nm available between 1900 and 5000rpm. The 0-100km/h time matches the two-door coupe’s 3.9 seconds.

Yet on the ADR test cycle, the V6 consumes just 8.9 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres, corresponding to 202 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

Power flows through an eight-speed tiptronic (torque converter auto) and a quattro permanent all-wheel drive system, which distributes torque asymmetrically, 40:60, to the front and rear axles respectively. A sport differential transfers torque to the rear wheel with most traction.

Five-link suspension is used on the front and rear axle. There’s also Dynamic Ride Control, meaning active dampers, giving it a lower stance. Audi also offers carbon-ceramic brakes and dynamic variable-ratio steering with RS-specific tuning.

Cabin details include RS sport seats with diamond stitching trimmed in Nappa leather; a flat-bottomed RS multifunction sport steering wheel; RS logos on the seats, steering wheel, door-sill trims and the selector lever; and displays in the digital gauges showing tyre pressure, torque and g-forces.

Standard kit includes 20-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, a gloss black exterior styling package, panoramic glass sunroof, privacy glass and red-painted brake calipers. There’s also high-end Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system, head-up display, Qi wireless charging and rear-seat USB points.

The RS5 Sportback wears the same $157,700 before on-roads sticker price as the coupe, about five grand more than the RS4 Avant.