What is it?
Audi might just have worked out that the smartest thing to do right now with some of its RS performance models is simply to sit tight. The Mercedes-AMG C-Class range is shortly to lose its character-defining V8 engines, after all; and have you seen the grille on the next-generation BMW 4 Series? Like it or not, I suspect you won’t be able to miss it on the M4 replacement.
One way or another, German performance car aficionados who haven’t owned or driven an RS5 before might feel quite inclined to do so these next couple of years. For those who do, taking on a known quantity might even make the Audi appeal all the more.
There are some styling and interior revisions to this car, bringing something that was looking and feeling a bit tired and old up to date fairly effectively; but there really is very little to report about the powertrain and running gear. The same Porsche-co-developed, 2.9-litre, 444bhp twin-turbo V6 does the grunt work as it did before, hooked up to the same eight-speed automatic gearbox and torque-vectoring quattro four-wheel drive transmission. And the same five-link steel coil suspension (adaptively damped as standard, with a diagonally interlinked ‘DRC’ set-up optional) serves for suspension. Variable-ratio dynamic steering (previously a little-taken option) has now apparently been removed from the UK order book completely.
The RS5 comes in a choice of three trim levels, and in coupé or sportback five-door hatchback bodystyles. Two-doors are 35kg lighter than sportbacks, and can be made slightly lighter still if you go for a roof panel made from carbonfibre-reinforced plastic. Meanwhile, both RS5 bodystyles continue to be priced identically.