The Audi RS 5 Coupe has only been on sale in the US for a few weeks, and tonight Audi unveiled the Sportback version of the RS 5 in New York City. The 2019 RS 5 Sportback marks the seventh new Audi Sport entry. With seating for five, the 444 hp TFSI biturbo V6 coupled with quattro sport rear differential promises exceptional performance and handling.
It’s a performance-oriented 5-door coupe, though Audi would rather you think of it as occupying a segment of its own. “The Audi RS 5 Sportback is a completely new offer for our customers. Our progressive interpretation of a five-door high-performance coupe has neither a predecessor model nor a direct competitor,” Michael-Julius Renz, managing director of Audi Sport GmbH, said of the latest member of the RS family. “The Sportback offers the ultimate in functionality with maximum performance.”
The 2.9 liter TFSI V6 biturbo engine promises no shortage of power, efficiency, or that distinct RS sound. The new engine produces 444 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque, available in a wide rev range from 1,900 to 5,000 rpm. The sprint from 0-60 takes under four seconds, and the car tops out at 155 mph. With the optional Dynamic plus package, the top speed is increased to 174 mph.
The Audi Sport engineers placed the two turbochargers on the 2.9-liter V6 engine directly inside the V,” improving engine responsiveness and performance. The B-cycle combustion process uses a centrally mounted fuel injector and a combustion process with shorter compression and a more extended expansion phase. The result is a highly efficient and powerful engine with excellent torque delivery.
The power from the 2.9-liter V6 reaches the quattro permanent four-wheel drive system with self-locking center differential via a sports-tuned eight-speed Tiptronic transmission. The Audi Sport engineers have optimized shifting times, while the quattro system distributes the power asymmetrically 40:60 between the front and rear. An updated traction control system manages power and torque distribution for maximum acceleration with minimal slip, and the standard quattro sport rear differential allows the driver to extract the most potential from their car.
Then there’s the redesigned lightweight front five-link suspension, which promises greater steering precision and improved handling through an optimized steering-rack placement directly at the center of the wheels. With the standard RS sport suspension, the RS 5 Sportback sits 7 mm lower than the 2018 S5 Sportback. The optional RS sport suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control, which uses steel springs and adjustable dampers that are connected to one another via diagonal oil lines and a central valve, offers fixed damping rates in four drive modes: comfort, auto, dynamic and individual.
The exterior design of the new RS 5 Sportback borrows distinctive details from the Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO. As with any vehicle that bears the RS badge, the RS 5 Sportback features development rooted in motorsport and technologies that embody the Audi Sport authenticity of “Born on the Track. Built for the Road.” This development process involves hundreds of hours of testing on the famed Nürburgring.
The wave-design shoulder line underscores the athleticism through the body, and the flared box fenders provide cues to the standard quattro system. In addition to widening the body by 15 mm on each side over its S5 Sportback sibling, the RS 5 Sportback features a wide and flat Singleframe grille, large RS-specific honeycomb air intakes, matte alu-optic front spoiler with quattro script, matte alu-optic exterior mirror housings, and high gloss black side sills. At the rear, the Sportback features an RS-specific diffuser, oval RS exhaust pipes, and a high gloss black rear-lip spoiler.
Inside there’s seating for five, with plenty of RS accents along with driver-focused tech. The RS 5 Sportback features the Audi brand’s hallmark wing-design wrap-around dashboard, along with S sport seats with RS embossing. There’s a flat-bottomed, perforated leather RS sport steering wheel, with matching gear shifter, and stainless steel pedals. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, while the Audi Virtual Cockpit and a full-color head-up display are optional. Unique RS displays in the digital instrumentation inform the driver of torque, a shift light indicator, and g-forces, among other metrics.
While performance remains the priority, the RS 5 Sportback offers a host of driver assistance systems. As standard you get Audi pre sense basic, Audi pre sense city, Audi side assist, rear cross traffic assist, and Audi pre sense rear. On the options list is adaptive cruise control with stop & go, traffic jam assist, traffic sign recognition, Audi active lane assist, and the high beam assistant.
The 2019 Audi RS 5 Sportback will be on sale in the second half of 2018. Pricing will be confirmed closer to launch.