Story & photos by VJ Bacungan
AUDI Philippines unveiled recently the latest version of the RS 5, the most powerful variant of the Audi A5 coupe, at the Butumaru Ramen x Izakaya Restaurant in Ortigas.
“The Audi RS 5 Coupé is a car that exudes character—from its progressive design to its sporty interior,” said Audi Philippines head honcho Benedicto Coyiuto in a press statement. “Not only does the new RS 5 define perfection in design, comfort and safety, it also delivers sophisticated performance one can only expect from Audi.”
The biggest news for the RS 5 is under the hood. The old model’s naturally aspirated 4.2-liter, twin-cam, 32-valve, direct-injection V8 has been replaced with a twin-turbocharged 2.9-L, twin-cam, 24-valve, direct-injection V6.
The new engine may be considerably smaller, but it matches the old motor’s 444 horsepower while getting a 170 N-m bump in torque, now at 600 N-m maximum. These figures put the Audi right in between its German rivals—the 425-horsepower BMW M4 and the 469-horsepower Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG Coupe.
The RS 5 also gets a new transmission, with an eight-speed torque-converter automatic replacing the old seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Mated to this is the German carmaker’s trademark Quattro all-wheel-drive system, which has a 40-60 front-rear axle split for better handling.
All these mean the RS 5 can go from 0 to 100 kilometer per hour in a claimed 3.9 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 250 kph. However, the RS 5 can hit 280 kph if equipped with the optional RS Dynamic Package.
Lighter, more aggressive body
Visually, little seems to have been changed from the old RS 5, especially since the new model’s handsome body still has that long hood, high beltline, steeply raked rear window and squared-off trunk.
But look closer and it seems Audi has ditched some of the old car’s blockiness. Strakes on the hood lead down to wider headlights and a hexagonal grill. Further down are large openings in the lower bumper, which carry over the satin-silver accents from the old model.
Down the side, a character line emphasizes the car’s widened wheel arches, which house 20-inch alloys. At the bottom of the doors, gunmetal-gray accents add to the RS 5’s sporty character.
Out back, slimmer taillights and a gunmetal-gray rear diffuser housing huge dual exhaust pipes complete the car’s more aggressive look.
Under the skin, Audi said this new, 1,655-kilogram RS 5 is not only 60 kg lighter than the old model, but is also 74 millimeters longer at 4,723 mm.
Luxurious, sporty interior
Inside, the RS 5 gets body-hugging sports seats as standard, with the option wrapping these in sumptuous Nappa leather with a honeycomb pattern. Other notable interior styling cues are the flat-bottomed, multifunction steering wheel and the RS badges on the front-seat backrests and the shift gate.
Meanwhile, special RS displays in the Audi Virtual Cockpit provide information on tire pressure, torque and g-forces. A shift light, likewise, prompts the driver to upshift upon reaching the rev limit.
In addition, the RS Design Package puts more life into the cabin, with red contrast stitching on the seats, center console, armrests, the seat belts and floor mats.
Audi Philippines General Sales Manager Paolo Brambilla told the BusinessMirror that the company decided to bring in the RS 5 because of the growing recognition of the RS lineup.
“Audi Sport is becoming more known worldwide, so Audi Philippines is introducing this extensive lineup of Audi Sport vehicles,” he said. “We are becoming more aggressive. We’ll be bringing in the RS 3, TT RS, RS 6, more R8s, because the market has a big potential in the Philippines.”
Brambilla added that half of the units allocated for the Philippines have already been sold, although he could not say how many the company would be bringing in.
The Audi RS 5 starts at P8.3 million as is now available in Audi showrooms nationwide.