The Audi RS 5 Coupé
The Audi RS 5 Coupé
Image: Supplied/Audi SA

Audi Sport’s first model to feature the current RS design idiom, the second-generation Audi RS 5 Coupé, has been introduced into the South African market.

The new RS 5 unites athletic power with harmonious aesthetics and practical, everyday usability. Its newly developed 2.9 TFSI bi-turbo engine produces 331 kW and delivers 600 Nm of torque. The standard quattro drive distributes the power to all four wheels and guarantees traction, dynamism and stability.

Exterior design

The designers drew inspiration for the RS 5 Coupé from the distinctive racing details of the Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO, so the vehicle’s sporty character is obvious at first glance. The front, sides and rear exhibit RS-typical differentiation. At 4,723mm in length, the second generation of the RS 5 Coupé is 74mm longer than its predecessor model. The height is 1,360mm and thus 6mm lower than before. At 1,861mm, the width remains the same. 

Compared with the A5 Coupé, the Singleframe radiator grille appears broader and flatter thanks to its new honeycomb structure. It bears both the quattro lettering and the RS 5 emblem. Beneath it, a blade in contrasting colour runs between the air inlets, connecting these with each another. These also adopt the three-dimensional honeycomb structure and underline the vehicle’s dynamism.

The standard headlights use LED technology, while the optional Matrix LED headlights are distinguished by their darker-tinted bezels. Alongside them are additional lateral air inlets, which make this top-performing athlete appear even wider and more aggressive. A sporty conclusion to the vehicle is provided by the RS-specific diffuser insert, the oval tailpipes of the RS exhaust system, and a surface-mounted spoiler lip.

The styling packages – gloss black, carbon and matt aluminium – provide even more customisation. Overall, the RS 5 Coupé is available in seven colours, with Audi Sport also offering the exclusive paint colour Sonoma Green Metallic. A carbon roof with visible fibre structure is also available as an option.

Additionally, customers can specify the RS Dynamic Package, which comes with Matrix LED headlights, dynamic steering, quattro with sports differential, speed limiter increase to 280km/h and sports suspension, plus dynamic ride control.

Image: Supplied/Audi SA

The engine

The 2.9 TFSI V6 bi-turbo engine, which Audi developed from the ground up, offers sharp increases in power and efficiency as well as an incomparably full-bodied RS sound. It delivers 331 kW and its peak torque of 600 Nm – 170 Nm more than the previous model – is available across a broad engine speed range from 1,900rpm to 5,000rpm.

The top model in the A5 family sprints from 0km/h to 100km/h in 3.9 seconds and reaches a top speed of 250km/h. Customers can choose to increase this to reach 280km/h as an option. 

Both turbochargers of the 2.9 TFSI unit are centrally positioned inside the V of the engine and each supplies a single cylinder bank. The B-cycle combustion process with central direct injection represents a new level of efficiency within the RS family. In the NEDC, the V6 bi-turbo consumes just 8.7 litres of fuel per 100km, which corresponds to 197g of carbon dioxide per kilometre. This is an efficiency gain of 17% over the previous model.

Also beneficial for the new RS 5 Coupé is a drastic reduction in weight. The vehicle weighs in at 1,655kg – 60kg less than before.

The chassis

The bi-turbo’s power flows through a sportily tuned, eight-speed tiptronic transmission with optimised shift times and onto the quattro permanent all-wheel drive, which features a self-locking central differential. The drive forces are asymmetrically distributed between the axles in the ratio of 40:60, guaranteeing dynamic handling with optimum traction and the best possible levels of safety. Audi Sport also offers an optional rear sport differential.

A revised five-link construction is used on the front axle. At the rear, a five-link suspension replaces the trapezoidal-link suspension used on the previous model. This benefits the sporty driving characteristics and agility. It also improves comfort significantly. 

With the standard RS sport suspension, the new RS 5 Coupé sits 7mm lower than the base model. As an alternative, Audi Sport also offers the RS sport suspension with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC), ceramic brakes and dynamic steering with RS-specific tuning. Drivers can make their personal driving experience more individual, dynamic or comfortable using the standard dynamic handling system.

Image: Supplied/Audi SA

The interior

As standard, the RS 5 Coupé welcomes the driver and passengers with illuminated door sills bearing the RS 5 logo. LED light guides trace the contours of the doors and the centre console – doing so in 30 different colours in combination with the optional ambient lighting.

Bathed in black, the interior is of an extremely high standard and sportily equipped. RS sport seats in fine Nappa leather with honeycomb pattern are standard – and the flat-bottomed RS multifunction sport leather steering wheel underscores the character of the high-performance coupé in the interior as well. The steering-wheel rim bears the RS badge, as do the front seat backrests and the shift gate. 

The RS design package brings the sporty contrast colour red into play on the centre console and on the armrests, the seat belts and the floor mats with the RS logo. The steering wheel, selector lever and knee pads are all covered with Alcantara.

The luggage compartment offers 10 litres more volume than before. It now holds a best-in-segment value of 465 litres.

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Display and controls

As standard, the RS 5 Coupé features large RS-specific analog instruments for speed and revs. Between this is the seven-inch colour driver infotainment system. The MMI navigation plus has a screen diagonal of 8.3 inches and is a standard feature on the new vehicle.

The all-digital Audi virtual cockpit is also standard on the new RS 5 Coupé. With a resolution of 1,440 x 540 pixels, the 12.3-inch TFT display provides detailed and selectable graphics.

As with all RS models, the RS screen supplements the infotainment and classic displays. It places the rev counter with integrated digital display for speed in central focus. The driver can configure other displays around this, such as torque, power, tyre pressure and temperature, and G-forces.

The rev counter also serves as a shift indicator: if the eight-speed tiptronic is in manual mode, green, orange and red segments are activated sequentially as the revs increase. Just before the engine reaches the limit, the entire scale flashes red. The lap timer, a further function of the RS menu, records up to 99 laps and compares the times with each other. Also displayed is the status of important technical components, such as the temperature of the tyres, engine oil and transmission fluid, as well as tyre pressure.

Another option available is the head-up display. It projects all relevant information onto the windshield in the driver’s direct field of vision as easily comprehensible symbols and digits. Drivers can then keep their eyes on the road. Here, too, the RS 5 Coupé features specific content such as the shift light and displays for lap times and oil temperature.

Image: Supplied/Audi SA


The Audi smartphone interface integrates iOS and Android (not yet available in South Africa) devices via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, respectively, into an environment within the MMI developed specially for them. The Audi phone box connects the smartphone to the vehicle antenna for improved reception quality and charges the smartphone inductively via wireless charging according to the Qi-standard.

The RS 5 Coupé sets new standards in sound entertainment. The standard Bang & Olufsen sound system with 3D sound introduces the spatial dimension of height. It uses four additional loudspeakers – two each in the instrument panel and the A-pillars. The music sounds like it is being played in a concert hall. The heart of the system is a 755-watt, 16-channel amplifier that drives 20 speakers. Two subwoofers behind the side panel trims in the rear generate the bass.

Driver assistance systems

The RS 5 Coupé has a combination of different technologies to enhance safety, comfort and efficiency. Playing a central role here is the adaptive cruise control (ACC) with stop & go function, including traffic-jam assist. The ACC keeps the RS 5 Coupé at a safe distance from the vehicle in front by automatically accelerating and braking. The driver can choose between five distance stages and adjust acceleration and system response via Audi drive select. 

The system works together with tiptronic over the entire speed range from 0km/h to 250km/h. The stop & go function brings the vehicle to a standstill and enables automated restarting at the driver’s request.

In slow-moving traffic up to 65km/h, traffic-jam assist decelerates and accelerates the vehicle autonomously. On well-built roads, it can temporarily also take over steering. Within the system limits, the car automatically follows the vehicles ahead, thus relieving the strain on the driver.

The predictive efficiency assistant evaluates GPS information from the car’s immediate surroundings and helps save fuel by giving specific driving advice – a unique feature in this segment. The collision avoidance assist helps the driver to drive around an obstacle and thereby avoid an accident. Based on data from the front camera, ACC and radar sensors, it computes a recommended avoidance track within a fraction of a second. Rounding out the line-up are such assistance systems as turn assist, park assist, rear cross traffic assist, exit warning and Audi active lane assist.

Standard equipment

The following equipment is offered on the Audi RS 5 Coupé as standard:

  • 20-inch Audi Sport alloy wheels
  • Fourway lumbar support with massage function
  • Aluminium look in interior and race inlays
  • Aluminium matt styling package
  • Ambient lighting
  • Audi connect
  • Audi drive select
  • Audi Smartphone Interface
  • Audi virtual cockpit
  • Audi side assist and pre-sense rear
  • Auto release function
  • Bang & Olufsen sound system
  • Bluetooth interface
  • Cruise control
  • Cornering and poor weather light
  • Comfort key
  • Deluxe automatic air conditioning
  • Driver and front passenger airbag with front passenger airbag deactivation
  • Exterior mirror housings in matt aluminium look
  • Electric seat adjustment for front seats
  • Front RS sports seats in fine Nappa leather trim with diamond stitching and RS embossing
  • Interior mirror with automatic anti-glare action
  • Isofix child seat mounting for passenger and rear seat
  • Leather-covered multifunction sports steering wheel, three-spoke, flat-bottomed, with shift paddles
  • LED headlights with range control and rear lights including dynamic turn signals at rear
  • Light/rain sensor
  • Lighting package
  • MMI Navigation plus
  • Parking system plus
  • Audi quattro with self-locking centre differential
  • Rain sensor
  • Rear spoiler
  • Rear-view camera
  • RS sports exhaust system
  • RS sports suspension
  • Seat-belt monitoring
  • Side airbags at front and head airbag system
  • Start/stop system
  • Storage compartment and luggage compartment package
  • Tyre repair kit and indirect tyre pressure monitoring system

Pricing and timing

The Audi RS 5 Coupé is priced at R1,285,500, standard with the five-year/100,000km Audi Freeway Plan and inclusive of all taxes. Launched in November, it is now exclusively available at Audi Sport dealerships around South Africa.

This article was paid for by Audi.

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