Audi's new RS5
25th February, 2010
- Coupé with 331 kW high-revving V8 engine
- RS 5 also efficient - 10.8 litres per 100 km
- Newly-developed centre differential for quattro drivetrain
Unbridled power lurking in a classically elegant coupé: the Audi RS 5 will debut at the Geneva
Motor Show next week. The high-revving 4.2 litre V8 with its 331 kW unleashes powerful performance
while achieving remarkable fuel economy. The seven-speed S tronic and an innovative centre
differential in the quattro drivetrain transmit power to all four wheels.
Developed by quattro GmbH, the RS models comprise the dynamic spearhead of Audi‘s model range. The
RS 5 is the latest torchbearer in a tradition dating back over 15 years to the RS 2 Avant: superior
handling in the mid-size class.
A close relative of the V10 which powers the high-performance R8 sports car, the high-revving V8
engine delivers its output from a displacement of 4,163 cm3. Like nearly every Audi petrol engine,
this one also operates via direct fuel injection known by the abbreviation FSI. This same technology
has propelled the Audi R8 racing car to four triumphs at the classic endurance race in Le Mans. The
common-rail system generates up to 120 bars of pressure.
Intensive fine-tuning of the dual-branch intake and exhaust system allows the
under square engine
to breathe freely; four adjustable camshafts and tumble flaps in the intake manifold facilitate
mixture formation. The 4.2 FSI provides imposing torque and is right at home even at high revs –
almost like a race engine. The engine delivers 331 kW (450 hp) at 8,250 rpm and between 4,000 and
6,000 rpm - transmits a maximum of 430 Nm (317.15 lb-ft) of torque.
The vigorous strength, the spontaneous responsiveness, the joyful high-revving, and the throaty,
sonorous music: this V8 produced by hand at Audi stunningly combines the essence of power and
emotion. The 4.2 FSI propels the coupe's 1,725 kilogrammes (3,802.97 pounds) in 4.6 seconds from 0
to 100 km/h (0 to 62.14 mph) to an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph). Audi
can increase that to 280 km/h (173.98 mph) upon request.
Impressive efficiency: just 10.8 litres of fuel per 100 km
Efficiency is standard in every Audi; the RS 5 is no exception. The ultra-powerful eight cylinder
engine averages 10.8 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres - far less than its main competitors. This
impressive figure is due in part to the technologies from the Audi modular efficiency platform. The
engine and the entire drivetrain have been optimised to minimise friction, the oil pump operates on
demand, and an energy-recovery system conserves energy during coasting and braking.
The standard seven speed S tronic in the RS 5 with its high efficiency ratio and its high-geared
top speed also enhances efficiency. It consists of two clutches and two subsidiary transmissions.
Both subsidiary transmissions are continuously active, but only one is powered at any given time by
the engine. Gears are alternately shifted by the two clutches at lightning speed, smoothly, and almost
The seven-speed S tronic, which was specially reinforced to accommodate the high-revving V8, can
operate in fully automatic mode or the driver can shift via the innovative selector lever or shift
paddles on the steering wheel. By means of the standard Audi drive select, the driver can switch in
automatic mode among three different options: auto, comfort, and dynamic. In the launch control
programme, the seven-speed S tronic ensures flawless acceleration from a standstill – at full power
and with minimal tyre slip.
New quattro technology: the crown-gear differential
Like all RS models, the RS 5 also applies its power to the road with quattro permanent all-wheel
drive. As for the centre differential, which regulates power distribution between the front and rear
axles, Audi – the leading all-wheel-drive brand – unveils the next generation: a crown-gear
The self-locking crown-gear centre differential is compact and lightweight – and attains a high
Thanks to its package of plates, the differential can widely vary the distribution of torque
between the front and rear axles. If necessary, up to 70 per cent can flow to the front or as much as
85 per cent toward the tail end. The 40:60 ratio of the standard rear-biased configuration ensures
This new differential operates in conjunction with electronic torque vectoring, which affects all
four wheels. If one of the inside wheels becomes imbalanced while the vehicle is at its operational
limits, then the system slightly decelerates the wheel to obviate wheel spin. This results in terrific
traction while generating a yaw moment which aids cornering.
As a perfect complement to the new quattro drivetrain, Audi can optionally position the sport
differential at the rear axle. It actively distributes torque between the rear wheels in order to
further boost stability and grip at the vehicle’s limits of handling. The electronic management of
the RS 5 sport differential was designed to be uncompromisingly dynamic.
With regard to the springs, shock absorbers, elastokinematics, and the anti-roll bars, the RS 5
chassis exhibits a sporty configuration and renders the body 20 millimetres (0.79 inches) lower than
that of the Audi A5. The 19 inch alloy wheels fitted with 265/35 tyres are standard. They are
executed in an exclusive 5-arm structure design. The RS 5 optionally comes with 20 inch wheels and
275/30 tyres. Winter wheels featuring the same dimensions are available; the 19 inch wheel is
suitable for snow chains.
The brake system employs powerful and internally ventilated discs, which measure 365 millimetres
(14.37 inches) in diameter at the front axle. In order to maximise the dissipation of heat, the
steel friction rings are perforated and connected by pins to the aluminium brake discs. The
high-gloss black brake callipers bearing RS logos are likewise made of aluminium; the front
callipers are fitted with eight pistons each. Audi can optionally fit the front axle with ceramic
carbon-fibre brake discs measuring 380 millimetres (14.96 inches) in diameter. They are extremely
light weight, strong, and durable. The electronic stabilisation programme (ESP) integrates a sport
mode and can be switched off entirely.
Even more dynamics: Audi drive select
The speed-dependent servotronic steering in the RS 5 is especially taut. The standard Audi drive
select (a vehicle-dynamics control system) allows the driver to switch among three modes of operation
– comfort, auto, and dynamic – to adjust steering, the seven-speed S tronic, the sport differential,
the engine, and the exhaust system. And if the car is equipped with the MMI navigation system, a
fourth mode allows the driver to customise their own profile.
As regards the engine, Audi drive select controls the exhaust system’s two throttle valves and
the sound flaps; when they open, the rich sound becomes even more resonant. Along with the sport
differential, dynamic steering is another optional component of Audi drive select. Dynamic steering
adjusts the steering ratio to a vehicle’s speed – directly for manoeuvring at low speeds and
indirectly for travelling at highway speeds. At the vehicle’s cornering limits, it automatically
ensures smooth handling via minor corrective actions.
The RS 5 exudes an athletic and powerful identity; its classically beautiful coupé styling
dazzles with new and clear-cut accents. Its single-frame grille bears a shiny charcoal-grey
rhombus-pattern grid. Xenon plus headlights boasting a sweeping strip of LED daytime running lights
are standard. The oversized air inlets for the engine, front brakes, and the radiators are bordered
by striking contours. The newly designed bumper tapers downward into a splitter.
The flared guards with the crisp horizontal upper edges are reminiscent of a classic Audi: namely,
the all-wheel-drive pioneer Audi quattro, which itself debuted at the Geneva Motor Show 30 years ago.
The side sills bear angular caps; the trim strips on the single-frame grille and near the side
windows as well as the outside mirrors’ covers feature a matt aluminium look. Eight different paint
finishes are available.
The tail end is dominated by two oval exhaust pipes integrated within the bumper. A large diffuser
protrudes prominently upward. The spoiler in the tailgate automatically extends at a speed of 120
km/h (74.56 mph) and retracts at 80 km/h (49.71 mph>).
The extensively clad under body of the RS 5 integrates air vents for the seven-speed S tronic and
the front brakes. At highway speeds, the aerodynamic characteristics of the RS 5 generate
to further enhance stability.
Dynamic elegance: the interior
The vehicle’s dynamically elegant styling extends to the interior. Sports seats with pronounced
side sections and integrated head restraints are standard. They are electrically adjustable and
feature a leather/Alcantara combination. Alternatives include bucket seats with more prominent
contours and folding backrests or ventilated and luxuriously upholstered climate-controlled comfort
The steering wheel has a substantial rim and is covered with perforated leather. The instruments have
black gauges and white lettering with distinctive scaling. When the ignition is switched on, the red
needles briefly rise high and then drop back down. The driver information system integrates a lap timer
for recording circuit times and an oil-temperature gauge. Just like the optional MMI navigation systems’
monitor, it displays an RS greeting upon ignition.
The interior is black and the decorative inlays are made of carbon fibre. A fascia in the instrument
panel features a piano finish. The pedals, the footrests, and the optional MMI navigation systems’
control buttons gleam thanks to their aluminium look. Moreover, the door handles consist of two slim
strips – typical of Audi RS models. Aluminium inserts adorn the door sill trims and RS 5 logos lend
dynamic highlights to the interior.
Upon request, truly exclusive features such as decorative inlays with a dark, stainless-steel mesh
look, a black piano finish or brushed aluminium are available. Or seat upholstery featuring special
leathers and colours as well as silver headlining. In addition, the Audi exclusive RS programme offers
options such as suede-covered controls and floor mats bearing RS 5 logos.
A Carbon design package is available for the engine compartment and, for the vehicle body, there are
styling packages in black or matt aluminium look. And the acoustically bold Sport exhaust system – also
with a sound flap – has black tailpipe trims.
European sales of the Audi RS 5 will begin in the northern spring. An Australian release is anticipated
in late 2010.