Audi RS 5 Review
The Real Thing

Story and Photos by Raymond Lai
9 Nov 2010

The long awaited Audi RS 5 is finally here to do battle with the BMW M3 for the crown of best four-seat uber performance coupe. Raymond Lai finds out if the latest RS model from Neckarsulm is more of a cruiser or bruiser.

Introduction, styling

The BMW M3 has always been the benchmark when it comes to junior executive/mid-sized coupe on steroids. BMW's German rivals have had many attempts to take a stab at the M3's crown in recent years with models like the Audi RS 4 and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG. Even Lexus has tried to rattle the M3's perch with its first uber compact saloon model, the IS F.

The last RS 4 was the closest Audi got to the M3 when it was offered between 2006 to 2008 but the BMW still reigned supreme as the most awe inspiring car in the class. With the recently launched RS 5, Ingolstsdt is embarking on another attempt at toppling the M3's crown.

While BMW has M GmBh and Mercedes-Benz has AMG, Audi has its quattro GmBh. Audi's performance arm might not be as well known as its German counterparts and rivals but it offers that is at least as sporty as an M car or an AMG.
quattro GmBh are the boffins that have conceived Audi's sportiest models, including the R8 variants, the RS 4, RS 6, TT RS and now the RS 5. Bar the TT RS, all of the previously mentioned models are also made at quattro GmBh's crack plant in Neckarsulm, Germany.

One glance at the RS 5 and you can sense that this is no ordinary A5 model. Up front, it features trademark RS honeycomb inserts for the radiator grille, oversized air intakes on the bumper and a front spoiler for a ground-hugging look. At the sides, the RS 5 features squared-off blistered wheel arches that are inspired by the original quattro coupe and the recent RS 6. The enormous optional 20-inch wheels on the car pictured here fill up the arches really well (standard wheels are 19-inch in diameter).

At the rear, there is a deeper rear bumper with an underfloor diffuser with the trademark RS double oval exhaust tail pipes as well as an active, electrically operated spoiler hidden on the boot lid. The spoiler can be deployed via a button next to the gear lever or when left to its own devices, will rise at speeds above 120km/h and will retract at speeds of 80km/h and below.
The S5 coupe is already a very stunning looking car but the RS 5 betters its lesser sibling by umpteen times on the looks front. The RS 5 looks nothing short of stunning from all angles. It looks purposeful and menacing when viewed straight from the front or back thanks to the swollen flanks.

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