“Quattro” has been synonymous with Audi since the four-wheel-drive system made its debut in 1980.
At that time, the House of Ingolstadt decided to attack the Rally World Championship and take on the likes of Fiat, Peugeot, Ford and Toyota. Nearly 40 years – and two world rally titles – later, every Audi model has a “Quattro” in its range.
The RS5 is the newest release and the sportiest version of the “A5” series and must be the most exhilarating mid-class machine Audi has produced till now. The old 4.2 Lt, V8 engine has been replaced by the new 2.9-litre, six-cylinder, twin turbo unit, capable of 450bhp at 6,700rpm and a whopping 600 Nm of torque, available from 1,900 and 5,000 rpm and it’s developed by Porsche.
The result is a wonderful mix of driveability on normal traffic roads and a serious sports car when needed.
Audi claims a 0-100km/h acceleration in 3.9 seconds, a value that puts the RS5 in line with the best of its peers on the market.
The Germans, though, don’t limit themselves to deliver only performance. They strive to perfection in design, comfort, interiors and safety. I have always liked the lines of the “5” series and the added sportiness of the RS5 only adds more character to the model.
The interior is logical, sober, techy and extremely welcoming. I like the fact that all the technology is displayed in the simplest way, making the driver feel he is the most important element in the car. The seats are as beautiful as they are comfortable; firm enough to sustain your body even during the hardest of drives on the race track.
On the road the expectations are not betrayed. The voice of this new engine accompanies the experience. The gear changing is intoxicating: you can hear the cut off of the ignition while the double clutch is instantly changing gear, both in up and down-shifting. The new ZF 8 gears gearbox is truly a gem.
When pushing this RS5, the real fun starts. Front end bites very well entering corners with limited rolls. It’s precise and hold the trajectory with very limited understeer.
The back end is stable and never gives you the impression of being disconnected from the front. Mid-corner, the body is extremely composed and the exit is glorious thank to the unlimited amount of traction that the system delivers.
The brakes are very good too, they don’t suffer from fading under fatigue and the pedal remains firm and precise. I did find the steering a bit dull and not direct enough for my liking. But we have to remember this is a road car.
“Quattro” has come a long way and has become the only logical technical solution to the high-performance models of Audi.
Its perfection has made this RS5 a wonderful machine that makes me wonder if we really need a super car to enjoy our everyday driving. And for AED376,530, it’s a competitive price compared to its rivals.
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