A high-performance Audi RS5 with 444bhp is to be unveiled at the 2010 Geneva motor show, to help celebrate 30 years of quattro four-wheel drive technology.
The new Audi RS5 is based on the , and uses a 4.2-litre petrol V8. It’s the same unit that powered the Audi RS4 but power has since been increased to 444bhp at a heady 8,250rpm.
Mated to this hugely powerful engine is a seven-speed twin-clutch ‘S tronic’ semi-automatic gearbox. The high-tech quattro system also means the Audi RS5 will sprint to 62mph from rest in just 4.6 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 155mph.
Fuel economy is quoted at 26.6mpg combined, but Audi hasn’t yet released CO2 emissions information.
High-tech four-wheel drive
The Audi RS5’s quattro four-wheel drive distributes 40% of its power to the front wheels and 60% to the rear wheels under normal driving conditions – in order to give the car a sporty handling balance.
A new ‘crown-gear’ centre differential helps vary these defaults as fast as possible, with up to 70% power available at the front and 85% at the rear, as conditions and traction demand.
New ‘torque vectoring’ electronics also prevent wheel spin across the axles by slowing down inside wheels when they start to lose grip, while the rear ‘sport differential’ further helps distribute torque between the back wheels for maximum cornering effectiveness.
Basically, Audi’s pulled out all the stops to make sure the RS5 will transmit as much of that power to the road as possible.
Dynamic Ride Control
The new Audi RS5 also uses the same ‘Dynamic Ride Control’ system as the Audi RS6, linking diagonally opposed shock absorbers for the best possible combination of ride comfort and body control.
This is a highly developed system, and often leads to better ride comfort than you find in ordinary Audis, despite the associated increase in performance. The RS5 is 20mm lower than a regular A5, has 19-inch alloy wheels and bespoke suspension settings.
Carbon-ceramic brakes will be optional (and pricey) for maximum stopping power and reduced weight – similar technology is used on the fastest supercars.
‘Audi drive select’ comes as standard on the RS5, giving the driver control over ride comfort, steering weight, throttle response, gearbox shift-points – even the behaviour of the rear differential and the exhaust volume.
Tough looks inside and out
As befits a range-topping performance model, the Audi RS5 gets flared wheel arches (influenced by the original Quattro), more aggressive bumpers and unique exterior detailing. Twin oval exhaust tips are joined at the rear by a spoiler that automatically extends above 75mph to increase downforce, retracting again below 50mph.
The interior combines black ‘Silk Nappa’ leather with carbon-fibre and aluminium inserts, and features sports seats and extra gauges – including a lap timer.
We’re expecting the Audi RS5 to be in UK showrooms this summer, with prices starting from around £58,500.
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