It’s equipped like a luxury car
Massaging seats are standard in the RS 5, which is an odd choice for a track-bred car. The motors and mechanisms for massaging seats and the power side bolsters that come with them add weight that is an enemy in a car like this, no matter how pleasant they are to use. But that’s not all. Also on the standard equipment list are a sunroof, three-zone automatic climate control (in a coupe with a small back seat?), satellite radio, blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alerts, and a universal garage door opener.
You can bet that almost every buyer will also choose the Navigation package, which adds an 8.3-inch center screen, the Audi MMI Touch control interface, the Audi Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster, and Audi Connect Prime & Plus telematics. Also on the options list are nappa leather, Bang & Olufsen 3D sound, and a package with adaptive cruise with Traffic Jam Assist, active lane assist, and a head-up display.
This is one sport coupe that doesn’t mind adding weight in the name of creature comforts. It makes me wonder if there is room for a purist’s model that cuts out the amenities in the name of weight and track performance. The base curb weight is 3,990 pounds. How much could that come down if the niceties were left out?
It starts at $70,875
With all those performance and luxury features, the RS 5 is the most expensive of its competitive set, with a starting price of $70,875, including a $975 destination charge. It’s well equipped at that price, but Garbis says the majority of buyers will choose the $2,600 Navigation package, the $3,350 Dynamic package (Dynamic Ride Control dampers, Sport exhaust system with black tips, and red brake calipers), and the $1,500 Black Optic package (20-inch 5-spoke wheels, body color mirrors, and gloss black exterior trim). That brings the total for a typical 2018 Audi RS 5 to $78,325. Add in the cool honeycomb-stitched Fine Nappa Leather package, which should also be quite popular, and the price increases to $79,825. That’s a lot, but this is a lot of car with a lot of equipment.
Audi claims best-in-class 0-60 mph time but makes no other performance claims
The RS 5’s 3.7-second dash to 60 mph beats all of the competition by at least a tenth of a second, according to estimates gathered by Audi. Despite all those miles on the Nürburgring, however, Audi makes no claims as to a ‘Ring time or a time for any other track, for that matter. Audi also publishes no figures for quarter-mile time, lateral g’s on a skidpad, or braking distance.
Yes, I was able to get a feel for the RS 5’s ability to handle corners. It’s quick to turn in, rotates willingly, grips well, and it’s a blast to drive overall. The twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V-6 is almost a second quicker than the old 4.2-liter V-8 in the 0-60 mph run, it sounds great, and it suffers from little to no lag. Turbo lover, indeed.
But there’s something missing here, and the only remedy is a racetrack. That will show what this car can do when it’s pushed to its limits. Add in a couple of those rivals and we might be able to see if it can beat them in more than just the 0-60 mph sprint as well. Hey Audi. Can I take this thing over to Arizona Motorsports Park?
Audi provided travel and lodging to Internet Brands Automotive to bring you this firsthand report.