The 2018 Audi RS5 Is A BMW M Cars Beater


Let’s get the ‘not so good’ news out of the way first (because it’s all good after that)… the 2018 Audi RS5 will list as €80,900 in Europe, which should (at today’s current exchange rates) equate to around $87,000. Add a few extras onto that price and you could easily be looking toward $100,000. Yep, one hundred thousand dollars. Admittedly, that is with some fancy extras, but if you’re going to have this type of car, you really should have some of these extras – adaptive dampers and carbon ceramic brakes for example.

What’s New in the Audi RS5 2018?


1. What’s New
2. Race Car?
3. Leather and Carbon Fiber
4. German Engineering
5. Not Long to Wait

Now on to the better news…

The 2018 RS5 isn’t going to get a V8 motor, which is a shame because we all love a V8 – nothing else sounds like them, but it is however going to get a twin-turbo V6 engine that makes the same amount of horsepower – 450 BHP to be exact but will lump in an additional 124 lb/ft of torque, pushing it all the way 442 lbs – that’s pretty decent!

It will give the RS5 the ability to knock out a zero to sixty sprint in 3.9 seconds and when the Dynamic Package is fitted, the top speed is 174 MPH (none of this electronically limited 155 MPH nonsense here).

Audi say that the new V6 motor has been developed from “the ground up”, a completely brand-new motor, and among other benefits, it’s compact thanks to the turbo chargers being nestled in the Vee of the engine. This gives the additional benefit of shorter runs to the intake and keeping the intake charge cool – an absolute must for engine performance, even more so with forced-induction.

Power is sent through an 8-speed Tiptronic auto transmission (no manual transmission here) to all four-wheels with a 40:60 front to rear bias, giving the RS5 a rear-wheel drive feel and handling dynamics. Of course, the RS5 uses the legendary Quattro all-wheel drive system.

Race Car?

Audi say that the style has been inspired by the Audi 90 IMSA (International Motor Sports Association) GTO that dominated the U.S. sports car racing scene in the early 1990’s. We can’t really see it, and to be honest, we think it’s just a rubbish marketing ploy – a fast car road car being styled on a race car that is 25+ years old? Don’t think so.

However, regardless of what Audi say the style is reminiscent of, we think the RS5 looks great – it has a purposeful, aggressive look to it – you’d certainly move over if you saw it coming up in your mirrors. But then with 450 BHP, it doesn’t need your help to overtake you.

Everything about the RS5 gives the impression of speed, of being the ultimate fast road car – Audi are targeting the BMW M4, Mercedes-AMG C63 and the Cadillac ATS-V, and it’s a close competition. We’d discount the ATS-V – however loyal to the Caddy brand you are, you can’t deny that it doesn’t have the ultimate handling needed to take on the Europeans at their own game. Or perhaps even the build quality, and by that, we mean the trim levels and engineering.

2018 Audi RS5 Will Have Leather and Carbon Fiber

The interior of the RS5 is a very special place – there is plenty of carbon fiber scattered throughout the cabin, mixed in with leather and alcantara – the black leather has a red contrast stitching and it does add a little something extra. If you opt for the extra RS Design Package, you’ll also get red seatbelts and floor-mats with the RS logo. We aren’t sure how much that additional package is, but let’s be honest – gaudy colored seatbelts aren’t worth that much to us.

The steering wheel has been redesigned and is flat-bottomed, just as you’d find in any race car. Truthfully, there is no need for it in the RS5, but it all helps to cement the impression of driving something properly sporty and fast. Yes, the RS5 is a sporty car, but Audi have given you a lot of visual clues to remind you of that, or to reinforce the impression of ‘sports car’.

German Engineering

Underneath the RS is the same thing – lots of engineering to give the RS5 the ultimate handling and ride, although as you’d expect, they save some toys for the optional extras – adaptive dampers, carbon ceramic brakes … the ‘nice to haves’ rather than the essentials.

We don’t yet know the pricing of the additional bits, we’d guess that the majority of them are wrapped up in a package – so you won’t be able to spec them individually, but we don’t know 100%.

Along with the adaptive dampers, Audi have re-engineered their five-link suspension to give better compliance while still giving great road-holding. This is helped by the 132 lbs weight-loss from the predecessor – the average weight being around 6,648 lbs (depending on specifications). Some of this has come from the engine, and the rest is from increased quality materials used throughout the car. Either way, it can only be a good thing – less-weight generally means increased MPG (which Audi say that the new RS should achieve around 27 MPG), better road-holding and handling, lower center-of-gravity … there are many benefits to reducing the weight of a car.

Not Long to Wait

We know that the Europeans will be getting the new 2018 Audi RS5 toward the middle of the year – around June or July, and we think that it will land with us around September, maybe a little sooner if we are lucky.

We don’t have a definitive American price yet, but as we’ve already mentioned, the price in Euro’s is €80,900 so all we can really do is convert that to dollars. At today’s exchange rate, that’s roughly $87,000 – no small chunk of change.

Yes, it’s expensive, but a 450 BHP auto with sharp handling and great reliability is never going to be cheap, stick a German manufacturers badge to the front of it and the price is only going one-way – upwards. Look at the Mercedes-AMG and BMW M-Series – they all command a premium.

Overall, we think the new RS5 is going to be a great car, yes, it’s a shame that we won’t get the V8 burble but a decent V6 sounds almost as good and if it brings a power increase, so much the better. Besides, in the days of ‘going green’ we need to think about our fuel usage, and the V6 is definitely better on fuel – what’s not to like?

What do you think about the new 2018 Audi RS5? Have Audi got the styling right? Or do you think they’ve missed a trick somewhere? Do you disagree with Audi over not fitting a V8? Let us know in the comments – your opinion is important to us!
Editor's rating
4.5 overall
  • Safety4.7
  • Performance4.9
  • Design4.6
  • Features4.5
  • Fuel economy4.0

The new RS5 is really look and feel like a decent sportscar, however, with a pricing closer to entry level 911 the choice is not so obvious.

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