The concept of luxury performance coupes is quite interesting if you think carefully. A car which you can use to go blistering speeds with all the luxuries and with additional practicality like boot space and a comfortable(ish) ride. If you are in the market for something like that, look no further than the B8 generation Audi RS5. It can go fast whilst sounding good and quite comfortable. But in today’s conditions can the RS5 make sense? Let’s find out
The styling is quite understated until you notice all the little details that make it an RS product. The most evident RS touch is the brushed steel finish on the front grille and the ORVM to give an aggressive look to contrast the otherwise sleeper look. Moving to the rear 3/4, it is a sleeper which you may overlook when finished in a dull colour. Even the spoiler is retractable. But if you are at the stop light and when the light turns green, you will most definitely hear it.
On the inside, the RS5 doesn’t feel old even if it is. The interior still feels like it came from a relatively new car. However, if you looked into the screens and the way they functioned you may start to notice the age, especially in the times of capacitive touch displays and digital gauge clusters. However, if you are a person who likes analogue gauges and appreciates the simplicity of a button, you are bound to like the interior. Did we mention what it has under the hood?
The Audi RS5 is powered by a 4.2 litre Naturally Aspirated V8 which produces 444hp mated to a 7 Speed Dual Clutch Transmission. However, this particular RS5 has a Tune from ABT which now enables it to produce 470hp. An interesting aspect of this V8 is also that it is a high-revving motor enabling the driver to listen to the roars of this beast! And you would want to listen to this particular beast as it is fitted with the optional Capristo Exhaust which certainly sounds raspy!
The RS5 is an absolute screamer on the road. There is something very special about this generation. It is predominantly a rear-biased AWD car. The power split is generally 40% to the front and 60% to the rear. However, the Quattro system can alter this percentage to a maximum of 70% of the power to the front and 85% of the power to the rear. It also offers torque vectoring to eliminate understeer in the corners by monitoring which of the rear wheels are losing power and assist them by using the brakes.
Power delivery isn’t instantaneous but linear which is thanks to the natural aspiration of the engine. The engine is a tale of two hearts as below 5000 rpm it feels sedate and above that, close to 8500 rpm redline, it just wants to drop all of its power and torque in that range! The transmission is generally nice to use but in stock form, the RS5’s DCT can feel a little slow to respond on the upshifts compared to the downshifts.
In terms of competition, the RS5 had it all to go against. The main competitors were the E92 BMW M3 and Mercedes Benz C63 AMG. The BMW was better handling and the AMG had arguably the better sound. The RS5’s key strength was that it was a well-rounded package compared to both of its rivals which were comparatively more desirable. However, that desirability comes at a cost as those cars, when you find them, go for ₹50-60 lakhs. The Audi RS5, whenever it is available, goes for ₹35-40 lakhs which is a good compromise especially if you are in the market for a car which is more livable than a C63 or an M3. This one is listed on TDH Classifieds for ₹38 Lakhs with only 28,500 Km!
Now, the use of the word livable should be taken with a pinch of salt as you will have to come to terms with the RS5’s flaws as well. A common maintenance part which you would need to do would be to either replace the discs or get the discs skimmed at certain intervals as the RS5 suffers from Pad Transfer. Not a hideously expensive procedure but it would be frustrating after a while. The car is also close to 2 tonnes which is why it will be harsher on other components as well. Then there is the fact that it has a drinking habit and wide 275-section tires which cost a lot to replace. If you can stomach all those costs, you should remember that the car can appreciate as it would be safe to assume since the next-gen RS5 will never come back up in displacement or with more cylinders, making this a special modern classic!