This beauty gets more beastly.
Available as a coupe or a convertible, the A5 is essentially an A4 with two fewer doors, a slight price bump, and a more svelte body. For a while now, Audi’s sleek coupe and softtop convertible have been available as the (relatively) affordable A5, with a turbocharged four-cylinder borrowed from the A4; and as the sportier S5, with a potent supercharged V-6 seen also in the S4. Now comes the RS5, which is a seriously fast coupe fitted with a rev-happy, normally aspirated V-8 good for 450 hp. Paired with Audi’s seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic, this thrilling V-8 sends the RS5 from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and doesn’t quit until electronic limiters rein in the fun at 174 mph. And the RS5 upgrades extend far beyond the powertrain. This car gets not only the expected restyled fascia, grille, bumpers, and aerodynamic aids but also flared fenders that recall the history-making Audi Quattro coupes of the early 1980s. In addition to a rear-biased Quattro system, the RS5 includes Audi’s sport rear differential for even better torque management. A sharper suspension, stronger brakes, and nineteen- or twenty-inch wheels with low-profile tires round out the chassis upgrades. Sporty tweaks inside include aggressively bolstered seats, but the environs are still every bit as classy as in the more-luxury-oriented models.
new for 2013
The new RS5, an ultra-high-performance coupe that challenges the BMW M3, is obviously the big news for 2013. One rung down, the S5 coupe has dropped its sonorous but thirsty 4.2-liter V-8 in favor of the supercharged V-6 already found in the convertible. New connectivity features mirror those of the A4/S4.
Front, side, and knee air bags; ABS; and traction and stability control are standard. The coupe has side curtain air bags; the convertible has active rollover protection. Blind-spot monitoring and adaptive headlights are optional.
Available all-wheel drive
CVT on base convertible is best avoided
Pricier than the four-door
Base Price Range: $38,745–$69,795
DRIVE: Front-wheel, 4-wheel
TRIM LEVELS: 2.0T Premium, 2.0T Premium Plus, 2.0T Prestige, 3.0 Premium, 3.0 Premium Plus, 3.0 Prestige, RS5
BODY STYLES: Coupe, convertible, 4-passenger
ENGINES: 2.0L turbo I-4, 211 hp, 258 lb-ft 3.0L supercharged V-6, 333 hp, 325 lb-ft 4.2L V-8, 450 hp, 317 lb-ft
TRANSMISSIONS: 6-speed manual, 7- or 8-speed automatic, continuously variable
PASSENGER VOLUME: 84.0 cu ft
CARGO SPACE: (coupe/convertible) 12.4/10.4 cu ft