Depending on the type of person you are, having the right vehicle in your garage is key. Some folks might prefer an SUV, others a full-blown sport or luxury car. However for those of us who like to gobble up hundreds of miles at a clip, the grand touring car is generally our weapon of choice. Enter the 2018 RS 5 Coupe, Audi’s new 440-horsepower, tarmac-gobbling open road weapon that seeks to lure people away from the likes of Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Cadillac.
For the full 2018 Audi RS 5 Coupe review, specs, pricing and data read on…
2018 Audi RS 5 Coupe Exterior
For 2018, Audi has seen fit to revisit the RS 5 with a host of performance and design changes that will make even the most hardened of Audi fans stand up and take notice. With design queues taken from the Audi 90 Quattro IMSA GTO race car, the RS 5 seeks to draw people in with a hardened performance look and feel without being polarizing. By incorporating flared front fenders that are widened to the tune of 15mm, Audi has been able to emphasize their quattro all-wheel drive system. They’ve also employed a flatter Aluminum-optic Singleframe grille with black honeycomb inserts, larger air intakes in the lower front fascia and full LED headlamps.
Out back, there’s a small carbon spoiler on the rear deck lid and an RS-only blacked-out lower diffusor that houses large RS-specific oval exhaust ports, and the rear tail lamps are also full LED. The body lines of the RS 5 are soft, and only utilize contrasting angles when absolutely necessary, and overall the car comes to us with a personality that reflects understated aggression. Our tester was equipped with the Black Optic Package which meant the inclusion of 20-inch trapezoid-designed wheels with 275/30-series rubber, a high-gloss exterior kit with black accents, and body-colored mirrors.
2018 Audi RS 5 Coupe Interior
It’s difficult to find fault with the interior of the new RS 5, as the attention to detail combined with a brilliant ergonomic layout creates a cabin that outshines many in the segment. In short, this driver-centric cabin emphasizes sport and luxury by combining carbon fiber, leather and intuitive technology to truly enhance the driving experience. Items like double-stitched leather sport seats with massage functionality, for instance, keep one free of fatigue for hours on end, while a thick rimmed flat-bottomed leather trimmed steering wheel feels just about perfect.
A fully configurable virtual cockpit that employees a 12.3-inch LCD cluster allows the driver to gain information on just about every aspect of the vehicle. Drivers can monitor vehicle diagnostics, utilize the on board navigation and infotainment features, and even set drive modes (Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, Individual) without taking their hands off the wheel. For the lead-foot in all, of us Audi has even seen fit to incorporate a shift light that illuminates when it’s time to stretch the legs of the RS 5. Plus, with MMI touch, users can now use handwriting-recognition technology to “write” in an on screen entry as opposed to selecting letters and numbers via a scroll wheel or buttons. At speed, the interior is quiet, and while the front seats provided more than enough space for my 6’4” / 240 lb. frame, the rear seats are more suited to children or shorter adults.
2018 Audi RS 5 Coupe Performance
Gone is the old 4.2-liter V8, and in its place there’s a new 2.9L biturbo V6 that produces 444 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. That means the RS 5 will hit 60 mph in 3.7 seconds top out at 174 mph. And while some folks may miss the old V8, rest assured that the new biturbo V6 still delivers an intoxicating exhaust note that’s filled with burbles and pops along with flat exhaust BRAPPS every time the new ZF 8-speed transmission upshifts. Manual shift modes on both the console or via wheel-mounted paddles can be used to run through the gears. Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system ties everything together with the result being a car that’s not only lighter than its predecessor, but more performance focused.
Getting the most out of the RS 5 means first understanding what it was designed to do, and then using it for its intended purpose. For instance, while I know the RS 5 is capable, slinging a coupe with a 3,990-pound curb weight around a racetrack is probably not optimal. And while it’s more than willing to attack corners, the way it makes power, combined with the RS sport suspension system with optional Dynamic Ride Control (steel springs and adjustable dampeners) makes it better suited to mountain sweepers and long open straights as opposed to tight canyon switchbacks. Combine that with the sure-footedness of quattro all-wheel drive and massive 15.7-inch ceramic front brakes, and this is one of the few GT coupes that can be driven regardless of weather conditions. The RS 5 is also EPA rated at 18-mpg city and 26-mpg on the highway.**
2018 Audi RS 5 Coupe Safety
Equipped with the latest in safety technology, the 2018 Audi RS 5 comes to us with such features as adaptive driver and front passenger dual-stage airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, active rollover protection system and Quattro all-wheel-drive. Additional safety features can be seen at AudiUSA.com.
2018 Audi RS 5 Coupe Overall:
With a base price of $69,900.00 and an as tested price of $83,075,* the 2018 Audi RS 5 makes for an outstanding grand touring car. As an all-weather coupe it gives drivers the piece of mind that they’ll arrive safely regardless of weather conditions, and with 444 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque on tap, giggling like a four-year old is only limited by how hard you put your foot down.
Drop by your local AutoNation-affiliated Audi dealer today to check one out!
*Vehicle MSRP of $69,900.00 excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.
**Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.