2018 Audi RS 5 first drive review: green with mean


Like all animals, humans are subject to various temptations. A salad is healthier than a burger and fries, but the whiff you get within a block of an old-fashioned burger joint is irresistible. Similarly, you shouldn’t buy another project car, but when will you find another like it?

Temptation momentarily struck on a back road in Andorra as I debated passing a truck.

In a garden-variety family car, I’d have waited patiently. I’d have taken advantage of the semi’s leisurely pace to adjust the A/C, or change the radio station. In the 2018 Audi RS 5, I flicked the left shift paddle twice, signaled, and gunned it. I don’t think the truck driver even noticed I went by.

Your passport, please

New for 2018, the second-generation RS 5 was born to answer two callings. One: It must be a capable corner carver with a quick turn-in and the agility of a cat. Two: It needs to be irreproachably docile and calm on the highway as it purrs through miles.

2018 Audi RS5 first drive

2018 Audi RS5 first drive

Enlarge Photo
2018 Audi RS5 first drive

2018 Audi RS5 first drive

Enlarge Photo
2018 Audi RS5 first drive

2018 Audi RS5 first drive

Enlarge Photo

This isn’t just a hopped-up S5, a lot of engineering work went into making it worthy of wearing the RS emblem. Between the fenders lies a 2.9-liter V-6 that gulps two large turbos’ worth of pressure to make 450 horsepower between 5,700 and 6,700 rpm, and 442 pound-feet of torque over a broad range that stretches from 1,900 all the way up to 5,000 rpm. It’s bolted to an 8-speed automatic that channels the V-6’s grunt to all four wheels via Audi’s famed Quattro system.

DON'T MISS: Audi SQ5 first drive review: practicality with a dash of performance

Buyers who want a manual are out of luck, but that shouldn’t be a problem. Audi Sport’s research says you probably don’t want three pedals in the RS 5, according to development boss Stephan Reil. Besides, the tiptronic fires off lightning-quick shifts.

But, you need to get moving before thinking about shifting.


 
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