2018 Audi RS5 Coupe goes BMW baiting

Could Audi have just out-maneuvered BMW with a refined but potent grand tourer? The new 2018 Audi RS 5 Coupe would certainly argue so, a 2.9-liter V6 biturbo powered two-door with enough straight-line speed to satisfy performance fans, but the long legs to keep road trip travelers happy. The second-gen car has been revealed for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show today.

Based on the A5 Coupe, the RS 5 Coupe starts out with a meatier engine. The 2.9-liter TFSI is all-new, and good for 450 HP and 443 lb-ft. of torque. 0-62 mph comes in 3.9 seconds; opt for the dynamic package and a top speed of 174 mph is unlocked.

Though you might not expect it, Audi says economy is also boosted too. That's both down to a new B-cycle combustion process and a lower curb weight than the old car – 3,649 pounds – for 27 mpg combined. Weight can be lowered even more with an optional carbon roof.

Unsurprisingly Audi's quattro all-wheel drive is standard. The automaker positions its twin turbochargers between the cylinder banks for perkier response, and peak torque arrives between 1,900 rpm and 5,000 rpm. An RS-specific diffuser surrounds the oval tailpipes of an RS exhaust system which Audi promises should sound as tuneful as you'd hope it might.

19-inch wheels are standard, with 20-inch version an option. Three appearance packages will be offered: gloss black, carbon, and matt aluminum. Whichever is picked, there's a wider, flatter version of Audi's signature Singleframe grille than on the normal A5, while new lateral air intakes and outlets flank the headlamps. Those can be optionally switched out for Matrix LED versions. The wheel arches have been made more than half an inch wider.

Under the sheet metal, there's an updated five-link front axel, while a new five-link suspension replaces the old car's trapezoidal-link system. Audi says that improves both comfort and sport response. RS sport suspension with Dynamic Ride Control, ceramic brakes, and dynamic steering are also offered, with the ability to switch between individual, dynamic, or comfort drive modes. An eight-speed tiptronic transmission is standard, with an optional rear sport differential.

On the inside, the predominant color is black. RS sport seats are clad in leather, and there's a flat-bottomed multifunction sport steering wheel. RS logos are sprinkled liberally across the seats, wheel, door sills, and the selector lever. The Virtual Cockpit display get a special RS view with tire pressure, torque, and g-force meters, and there's a shift light to prompt upshifts.

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MMI with navigation and the touch controller are options, complete with an LTE connection and WiFi hotspot functionality. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also present, and there's a touchpad in the center console for navigating menus and text entry. A head-up display is offered, along with various driver-assist technologies like adaptive cruise control.

In Europe, Audi says the 2018 RS 5 Coupe should begin to hit dealerships from June 2017. It'll be priced from 80,900 Euro ($85,563). Availability and pricing for the US is yet to be confirmed.

[Update: Release date corrected - obviously it's June 2017, not 2007. Thanks Paul!]