GRR

Audi RS5 Sportback – exec' cruiser gets arches, attitude and power

28th March 2018
Bob Murray

From the people who know a thing or two about combining lots of performance with lots of practicality – the first Audi RS in 1994 was an estate remember – comes the new RS5 Sportback, unveiled at the New York Auto Show this week.

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While the RS5 is already familiar from the coupe launched last year, this is the first time the evocative initials have been attached to the five-door Sportback body. Think of it as poor man’s Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo. 

The addition is not entirely unexpected; there is already an RS3 Sportback and an RS7 Sportback (as well as RS4 and RS6 estates). It’s a nifty bit of range in-filling then, though in a market niche where Audi is adamant there are no direct rivals for it. 

And it does make for an obvious mash-up. Potent 444bhp drivetrain, practical five-door, five-seat body (480-litre boot seats up, 1300 litres seats down), distinctly un-boxy profile and of course quattro all-wheel drive will ensure this is a car likely to tick plenty of boxes for many people.

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The RS5 Sportback gets the latest wider single-frame Audi grille up front, as well as the expected body-building RS trademarks, but otherwise is familiar. It’s got the same footprint as the RS5 two-door and shares its running gear and 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6. The 444bhp and 443lb ft of torque on offer are said to be enough for 0-62mph in a brisk 3.9 seconds, matching the coupe’s time. 174mph is the top speed if you ask for the car to be de-restricted.

RS sport suspension with Dynamic Ride Control electronically-controlled damping, ceramic brakes and RS-tuned steering are among options.

It’s up against BMW M models and the new Mercedes-AMG C63, but neither of them is available in five-door fastback style. Yes it’s a niche, but a nice one. No word yet on UK deliveries but it should be here by year’s end at not much more than the mid £60k of the two-door. 

  • Audi

  • RS5

  • RS5 Sportback

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