The Audi RS5 has been Ingolstadt’s worst kept secret for two years. So it’s somehow fitting that final proof of its existence has leaked out rather than being officially released. These shots, taken from the brochure, began appearing over the weekend, ten days ahead of the Geneva motor show where the RS5 is expected to be one of the stars of the show.
Official Audi RS5 details and images now out - click here No details have come out yet, so we’re relying on the pictures to supply tell-tale hints. Externally the RS5 features subtle box arches like the RS6, hinting at a wider track. There’s also a honeycomb grille and an Audi R8-style retractable spoiler at the back to minimise high speed lift. Overall it looks exactly as we’d expect an RS5 to look: mean without being too aggressive. The interior shots provide a few more tantalising hints. The rev counter is red-lined at 8250rpm – exactly the same as the old Audi RS4 sports saloon. If it was turbocharged or supercharged there would be no need for it to rev that high – the current supercharged V6 in the latest S4 is only redlined 7000rpm. So we reckon it will be the familiar 414bhp 4.2-litre V8 also shared with the R8. This is no disappointment – in the R8 we think the V8 is better than the V10. It’s possible that Audi may have liberated a few extra bhp, but with the inevitable 4wd, we’d expect a claimed 0-60mph of around 4.5sec and a restricted maximum of 155mph. In a nod to environmentalists, expect the V8 to be a bit cleaner, and we hope it might also weigh a bit less than the 1630kg S5 coupe.
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The interior shots also suggest this will be Audi's first RS car to sport a twin clutch gearbox. As for cost, we reckon on about £55,000 and an on sale date in the UK of sometime this summer – meaning there’s only a few months to wait until an inevitable clash with the BMW M3. Further down the line, we wouldn’t be at all surprised to see an RS5 convertible, either.
One more thing to think about. The RS4 was a brilliant car, but there was no escaping the fact it had the weight distribution of a mallet. The Audi A5 and S5 (and now the current A4 too) went a long way towards rectifying this by repositioning the diff between the engine and clutch, allowing the front axle to be moved forward to improve weight distribution. That alone should ensure the RS5 is a naturally talented handler. If Audi has managed to strike the same sweet spot as the RS4, this should be something special.
Read about evo's time with an Audi S5 long-termer here Head to our 2010 Geneva motor show page for more news