2013 Audi RS5 Begins U.S. Launch
￼When it comes to high-performance coupes from Audi, buyers had two choices: the compact TT RS, or the exclusive, extreme R8. These low-slung, two-seat sports cars have been favorites of young kids aspiring to own one with posters of them on the wall just as much as seasoned enthusiasts attending weekly track days. Now, Audi offers even more high-output variety with the 2013 RS 5, launching now in North America.
The new Audi RS 5 features a high-revving 4.2-liter V8 with 444 horsepower at a sky-high 8,250 rpm with 317 lb- ft of torque and a seven-speed S tronic transmission with launch control program. That’s more power than the base Audi R8, and with two more seats. This power is transferred through an innovative crown-gear center differential in the quattro drivetrain, transmitting power to all four wheels, providing exceptional traction and grip for increased performance. This amount of force is powerful enough to rocket the RS 5 to an electronically-governed top speed of 174 mph.
The herculean RS 5 also features an on-demand oil pump, and energy-recovery system that conserves energy during coasting and braking. The standard seven-speed S tronic in the RS 5, with its high gearing ratios and its high-geared top speed, also enhances efficiency.
For the appeal of liberty, the 2013 RS 5 can operate in fully automatic mode, or the driver can select the gears by utilizing the paddles on the steering wheel. In doing so, the Audi drive select system adjusts the vehicle’s transmission shift characteristics, throttle response, dynamic steering and sports differential. The driver can select from auto, comfort, dynamic and individual Audi drive select settings, for whatever the occasion calls for. More impressively, the new crown-gear differential in conjunction with electronic torque vectoring allows for incredible torque distribution. If necessary, up to 70 percent can flow to the front wheels or as much as 85 percent can be sent to the back. But even the default 40:60 ratio of the standard rear-biased configuration ensures sporty handling.
The brake system employs powerful and internally ventilated discs, which measure 14.4 inches in diameter at the front axle. The high-gloss black brake calipers bearing RS logos are made of aluminum; the front calipers are fitted with eight pistons each. Optional are eramic carbon-fiber brake discs measuring 15 inches in diameter for the front. The electronic stability control (ESC) integrates a sport mode and can be switched off entirely.
From a design standpoint, the 2013 Audi RS 5 emits a classy, powerful, yet sporty presence. Adaptive xenon plus headlights boasting a sweeping strip of LED daytime running lights are standard. The RS 5 also sports massive air inlets for the engine, while front brakes and the radiators are bordered by attractive lines. The newly designed bumper tapers downward into a splitter and is available in Aluminum-optic paint. But for Audi, it’s just as much about form as it is function. This is because the paneled underbody of the RS 5 integrates air vents for the seven- speed S tronic and front brakes. And at highway speeds, the aerodynamic characteristics of the RS 5 generate downforce to give the vehicle greater maneuvering stability.
￼The dynamic styling of the RS 5 fully extends to the interior, with power-adjustable sport seats with pronounced side bolserting and integrated head restraints, finished in exquisite Nappa Leather or optional leather/suede inserts. The steering wheel is optimized for performance driving with a flat-bottom design, and has a substantial rim and is covered with soft, perforated leather. The aggressive instrument panel features black gauges and white lettering with distinctive scaling, while the driver information system integrates a lap timer for recording circuit times and an oil-temperature gauge. Just like the optional MMI navigation systems’ monitor, it displays an RS greeting upon ignition.
Overall, the interior is black and the decorative inlays are made of carbon fiber. The pedals, the footrests, and the optional MMI navigation systems’ control buttons gleam thanks to their aluminum look. Moreover, the door handles consist of two slim strips – typical of Audi RS models. Aluminum inserts adorn the door sill trims and RS 5 logos lend dynamic highlights to the interior.
The 2013 Audi RS 5 carries an MSRP of $72,000 in the United States market, aggressively placing the model against the BMW M3.