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First Drive: 2018 Audi RS 5

Audi Sport is cranking out some modern classics. We’ve got the five-cylinder-powered RS3 and TT-RS making great noise, and now a new RS 5 is ready to join the party. This is the 2018 Audi RS 5 and it’s got enough juice to make it a quicker (and maybe more affordable) combatant in the Germany luxury sports coupe market.

Under the hood is a twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6 engine that’s good for 444 horsepower. It’s also good for moving the RS 5 from 0-60 mph in just 3.7 seconds, per Audi. For the record, that’s quicker than a BMW M4 with the Competition Packaged and the Mercedes-AMG C63 and C63S. The car is a blast to drive and blurs the lines between potent sports coupe and proper grand touring machine.

But the line becomes less blurred once you go over a few bumps. The suspension, when in full dynamic mode, is extremely stiff. Like, save it for the race track stiff. But when you want to best the BMW and Benz offerings, you better bring your best… and Audi has done just that.

There’s no softness found in this latest RS variant. It’s an ass-kicking machine that looks resplendent in its available Sonoma Green paintwork. If you were thinking about buying an M4 or C63… maybe you should think again, and take a look at the RS 5.

[Disclaimer: Audi flew me Scottsdale and put me up in a nice hotel. There was food and booze as well.]

  • je zalanka

    well, now i need to hit the audi dealer for a test drive….you make it sound so good!

  • Zentropy

    Wow, that’s an impressive car. The RS5 looks great (that green paint is fantastic!), has a near-perfect interior, makes awesome sounds, and goes like hell. My only beef with Audis (and I doubt this one is any different) is that the steering communicates nothing. Zero feedback. Their performance numbers on paper are impressive, but every Audi I’ve driven leaves me feeling like I’m holding an Xbox controller. Maybe the M4 and C63 can’t match the numbers (and don’t look as good), but at least they make a connection with the driver. For me, subjective impressions always trump the objective performance– I’ll sacrifice SECONDS in 0-60 to get the more communicative car.

  • Elliott

    I see that Audi is following Honda’s lead with the “asteroid impact crater” front bumper covers!