2014 Audi RS5 Review
Car Tested: 2014 Audi RS5
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 1,23,66,240/-
The Audi RS5’s party piece is the harmonious naturally aspirated V8 engine.
It’s nearly the end of an era, the era of naturally aspirated engines. Times have changed to forced induction engines, thanks to the new automotive rules and regulations. Petrol-heads who appreciate the phrase “there is no replacement for displacement” would agree with the fact that naturally aspirated engines furnish unbeatable driving pleasure. So here we are with the Audi RS5, bidding farewell to one of the last naturally aspirated V8 engines in the world. The RS5 is a sports coupe based on the Audi A5, which is not offered in India. We spend a good while with the Audi RS5 around Delhi to explore its extreme performance.
Motor Quest: The Audi RS5 is based on the Audi A5 Coupe, which is also available in Cabriolet (convertible) and Sportback versions. Powering the Audi RS5 is a 4.2-litre direct injection V8 petrol engine, which is based upon the 5.2-litre FSI V10 (powering the R8) with two cylinders removed. The RS5 is often known as the muscle car of Audis.
Exteriors – Despite being based on the Audi A5, the RS5 doesn’t have those secretive sleeper looks having tremendous power under the hood. In fact, the Audi RS5 looks like it has been designed as a performance oriented coupe from ground up. The front end has the Audi family appearance yet it boasts a powerful presence. The sharp edged bonnet leads towards the huge grille that has honeycomb detailing and the four rings sitting proudly on the nose accompanying the RS5 badge. The front bumper has brushed aluminium lips supporting the massive airdams. The slim signature Audi LED DRLs on the headlights adds to the vitality of the front profile.
The side profile of the Audi RS5 is the most attractive, especially when the car is painted in the astonishing Sepang Blue colour. This energetic blue shade just sets the positive mood and attracts many eyes on the road. The 19-inch 5-spoke dual-tone alloys are the party piece of the side profile. There is an interesting shoulder crease that runs from the front to the tail in a wave pattern and a strong crease running on the lower body. The window frames are outlined in chrome and the coupe roofline adds to the sporty character tipped with a fishtail antenna.
The Audi RS5 gets typical Audi family LED tail lamps at the rear with a simple boot design but things get wild at the lower end. The bumper gets a sporty rear diffuser with dual branch exhaust system on either side, which provides tremendous acoustic satisfaction. All in all, the dimensions of the RS5 are practical for our roads. It may look sizeable in pictures but it’s relatively compact and predictable in tight parking situations or congested traffic.
Interiors – Stepping inside the Audi RS5 isn’t as painful as other low slung sports cars. It is a bit low but ingress is rather comfortable. Once you are inside, you feel cocooned in the ergonomically sound cabin of the RS5. The dashboard is driver oriented and necessary controls fall within reach. The design of the dashboard is simple and the all-black theme is used throughout the cabin with premium hints of brushed aluminium. The steering wheel with paddle shifts is sporty and feels extremely good to hold. It boasts the RS5 badge at the bottom with black gloss and has all the necessary infotainment controls. Sadly, steering reach and rake adjustment is manual.
The instrument console of the Audi RS5 is quite sporty, having brushed aluminium housing for the tachometer and speedometer. It’s easy to read and displays all the necessary car related info on the MID. The driver’s footwell is narrow and could be uncomfortable for big boots. The central console hosts a big screen connected with MMI system that features navigation, radio, 6 CD changer, Bluetooth connectivity with Bang and Olufsen sound system that provides superb quality audio. Additionally, you can set the MMI system according to your preference for car settings and toggling between regular functions of the car.
The Audi RS5 comes with a 3-zone automatic climate control system, which is very effective. Other controls on the centre console include electronic parking brake, Audi Drive Select button, audio knob for volume and track changing, retractable rear spoiler button and some shortcut buttons for different functions. The quality inside the cabin is naturally excellent as expected from an Audi and the controls give a reassuring feedback. The sunroof just has ventilation function and it doesn’t slide open.
The front bucket seats are extremely supportive and hug you tight with several electronic adjustment options including memory seats. However, the rear set of seats are impractical and best suited for small children as there is limited legroom and headroom. Also, accessing the rear seats is uncomfortable, as you need a crouching stance to get in. Providing an armrest and air conditioning for the rear seats seems to be senseless for a sports coupe of this size. The boot space of 445 litres is more than enough for a good load of luggage.
Performance – The RS (Racing Sport) series of Audi focuses on outright performance, while the S models provide enhanced performance for the regular models. Consequently, the Audi RS5 is powered by a 4.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol V8 that produces 450 BHP of power at 8250 RPM with a peak torque of 430 Nm at 4000-6000 RPM. Let’s clarify at the very beginning that the best facet of the Audi RS5 is its high revving V8 motor. The impressive performance output is channeled to all the four wheels via Audi’s renowned Quattro system that has a central differential with varied distribution of torque between front and rear axles. It has a default ratio of 40:60 as a rear-biased configuration.
Push the key into the slot while pressing the brake pedal and the V8 wakes up with a throaty initial snarl, settling into a peaceful idle. The instinctive normally aspirated motor redlines at an insane 8250 RPM and has a broad spread of power throughout the rev range, imagine the beauty of the power delivery. The throttle response is crisp and immediate right from the initial rev range till 8250 RPM. The mid-range of the engine is very strong and the most scrumptious territory is the top-range, where you can feel the raw power getting unleashed. Hence, downshifting is bliss, especially when the exhaust makes sensational blips and burbles.
The Audi RS5 is very fast and the wondrous acceleration spoils you to a great extent. 0-100 km/hr in the RS5 comes up in just 4.5 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/hr, which can be extended on request by the user. Forget 100 km/hr, the Audi RS5 reaches 200 km/hr like it’s child’s play, taking around 14.2 seconds. The exhaust of the Audi RS5 isn’t too wild, shrill and crazy, instead the exhaust churns out a gentle yet noticeable growl in a linear manner. At initial rev range the exhaust throws a heavy bass note which gets muffled with gentle throttle and afterwards climbs up the rev range with a raging sound.
Mated to the monstrous 4.2-litre V8 engine is a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission, which is lightning fast and seamless. The gear ratios are well spread out and you can enjoy the entire rev range. There are three transmission modes to choose from – Drive, Sports and Manual. The Drive mode upshifts early and tries to keep the revs low, depending on the throttle input. The Sports mode can be toggled by flicking the gear lever down once. It tries to extract maximum power available on tap by changing gears at higher revs and after redlining when full throttle is provided. The transmission is quite intelligent and precise, and usually doesn’t hesitate in downshifting. The Manual mode can be engaged by flicking the lever to left or clicking either of the two paddle shifts. You can redline the engine manually to a certain extent but if you play too hard, it will upshift automatically.
Driving Dynamics – The RS5 comes with Audi Drive Select, which offers varying driving characteristics to choose from, depending on your mood and driving environment. There are four modes – Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual. Comfort mode, as the name suggests, keeps things calm and serene, where the steering is light, suspension is relatively soft and the engine and transmission is quite relaxed. The Comfort mode is suitable for city driving, where you don’t need instantaneous engine response. Handling is predictable but feedback is light and the suspension thuds only filter through on sharp and rough roads. The Dynamic mode transforms everything to a sporty character by stiffening the suspension, weighing up the steering and engaging transmission to sports mode. Now the ride is really stiff and back breaking, low profile rubber to be blamed here as well. You can feel every bit of the tarmac but the handling is direct and precise.
The Auto mode predicts your driving style and tweaks all the aspects respectively depending on your throttle input, steering input and road conditions. The Individual mode is a nifty feature that allows you to choose the dynamics. The steering, suspension, engine, transmission and differential have three different options – dynamic, auto and comfort. So you can set everything separately. For instance, the road isn’t that smooth but its empty and there are some interesting corners ahead, you can put the suspension on comfort mode and set the rest in dynamic mode. This way you can enjoy power and handling while having a comfortable ride quality. Overall the dynamics of the Audi RS5 is impressive. The permanent all-wheel drive Quattro system provides unimaginable grip along with the massive 265/35 section tyres and even if the ESP is switched off, the car is very much in control yet fun.
The RS5 doesn’t throw its tail around absurdly when pushed hard. The torque vectoring differential manages to deliver precise power to each wheel. There is a hint of understeer initially but when you push it hard further, the tail comes to action neatly. High speed stability of the Audi RS5 is confidence inspiring, even at 200+ km/hr speeds, the coupe is glued to its line. Handling is fantastic but the power assisted steering could have provided better feedback. Also, the car sits very low and you have to be careful over big speed bumps. Shedding speed is not a problem on the RS5, as the brakes offer splendid stopping performance with that ideal brake pedal bite you need.
Safety – The Audi RS5 comes equipped with full-size front side and head airbags. Electronic Stabilisation Program (ESP) is offered that detects loss of traction and ensures stability (it can also be turned off). Of course ABS and EBD comes standard with brake assist to assure effective braking along with ventilated discs at the front and rear. The active spoiler extends at 120 km/hr and retracts at 80 km/hr for downforce and high speed stability.
Verdict – The Audi RS5 unabashedly boasts of pure sports car characteristics. The car looks handsome with its athletic styling, interiors are driver friendly, dynamics are sporty and the awe-inspiring naturally aspirated V8 engine just pulls the heartstrings. Sure, you might not use it on a daily basis for its fuel drinking nature and low ride height but occasional sprints on empty roads and fast expressways is quite a lot of fun. The RS5 also feels comfortable when ambling around town but the impractical rear seats make it a car best suited for two people. We know that the RS5 is a CBU import and we are aware that it’s a tad bit pricey than the immediate rivals but if you have that moolah, the Audi RS5 is the best bet to bid farewell to the nearly extinct breed of naturally aspirated petrol engines.
The Audi RS5 gathers tremendous speed like it’s child’s play and the beauty of the power delivery from the V8 engine is worth appreciating. The high revving engine is the talking point of the car.
* High revving NA V8 engine
* Exhaust Note
* Quattro System
What’s Not So Cool
* Rear Seats
2014 Audi RS5 Specifications
* Engine: 4163cc, FSI V8, DOHC
* Power: 450 HP @ 8250 RPM
* Torque: 430 Nm @ 4000-6000 RPM
* Transmission: 7-Speed S-Tronic Dual Clutch Automatic
* 0-100 km/hr: 4.5 seconds
* Fuel Consumption: 5 km/l (City), 6 km/l (Highway)
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Suspension: Five-link (Front), Independent Wheel Trapezoidal-link (Rear)
* Tyres: 265/35/19
* Brakes: Ventilated Disc (Front), Ventilated Disc (Rear)
* Safety: Airbags, ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, Electronic Stabilisation Program
2014 Audi RS5 Dimensions
* Overall length x width x height: 4649 mm X 1860 mm X 1366 mm
* Wheelbase: 2751 mm
* Front Track: 1586 mm
* Rear Track: 1582 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 61 litres
* Kerb Weight: 1790 kgs