2019 Audi RS 5 Review

RS 5

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2019 Audi RS 5 Overview

The Audi RS 5 is based on the A5, a performance-oriented luxury car that was fully redesigned for 2018. While the RS 5 Coupe rolled out last year, the RS 5 Sportback is an all-new addition to the Audi lineup for 2019. It competes with performance sedans like the BMW M5.

While the A5 lineup consists of a Coupe, Sportback, and Convertible, the RS 5 lineup skips the drop-top option in favor of the two sportier body styles. The new Sportback adds two doors to the Coupe body but maintains svelte fastback-like styling. Both RS 5 body styles feature design details drawn from the brand’s long history in motorsports; Audi cites the Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO as a specific source of styling inspiration. The RS 5 features a slightly wider body than A5 and S5 models, which is emphasized by the flared fenders fitted over standard 19-inch alloy wheels, a wide honeycomb-patterned grille and matching air intakes, oval tailpipes, and a rear decklid spoiler.

Audi offers the RS 5 Coupe and Sportback with one engine, a twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6, which makes 444 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. An 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission handles shifting duties. Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive (AWD) system is optimized with a self-locking center differential and sport rear differential. The RS 5 hits a top speed of 155 mph, but the Dynamic plus package raises the max speed to 174 mph. EPA ratings come in at 18 mpg city, 27 highway, and 21 combined. The Sportback sees a drop of 1 mpg across the board.

The motorsport-inspired, track-ready design continues inside the RS 5, with a driver-oriented cockpit and exclusive 12-way adjustable, embossed sport seats with high bolsters and honeycomb-patterned stitching. Styling details include a perforated leather steering wheel and gearshift knob, stainless steel pedals, and RS badging. The Coupe and Sportback both provide seating for five passengers. Just one trim level is available for each body style, but the Fine Leather Nappa package provides better quality leather throughout and adds LED interior lighting.

The RS 5’s infotainment and audio setup includes 10 speakers, an MP3-compatible CD player, HD Radio, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, two front USB ports, the Audi Virtual Cockpit customizable driver information display, and Audi’s MMI Navigation Plus system. A Bang & Olufsen sound system upgrade is available.

Neither body style of the 2019 RS 5 has been tested for crashworthiness. Standard advanced safety features include a reversing camera, rear cross-traffic alert, and two pre-collision systems, which detect oncoming vehicles and pedestrians and prepare occupants for an impending collision. The RS driver-assistance package adds a 360-degree camera, adaptive cruise control, a head-up display (HUD), and traffic-sign recognition. Park-steering assist is newly available for 2019.

The Audi Sport brand, which brings track-worthy performance to select models of the Audi lineup, takes a leap forward with the Audi RS 5.

Updated

Cherise is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor with nearly 15 years of experience covering the automotive industry. Cherise loves writing about car culture and sharing common-sense car-buying advice. She is eagerly awaiting delivery of a 2019 Subaru WRX Series.Gray, which will join her household's 2008 Toyota RAV4, 2007 Genuine Buddy Italia 150, and 2015 Honda Grom.

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