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Audi Launches New RS5 Sportback in North America

Audi Sport has chosen the New York International Auto Show to launch its new RS 5 Sportback for the US and Canadian market. This is the first time the RS5 has been available as a 5-door hatchback saloon, combining outstanding performance with even greater practicality. The car is expected to be launched in the UK and Europe later this year, but Audi has yet to confirm any details for these markets.

“The Audi RS 5 Sportback is more than just an international trade fair novelty – it offers something new to our customers. Our innovative interpretation of a five-door high-performance coupé has neither predecessor models, nor a direct competitor,” explains Michael-Julius Renz, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH. “The new Audi RS 5 Sportback will carry the RS genes out onto the road.”

At the front, the Audi RS 5 Sportback features a wide, flat single-frame grille, solid air intakes with a honeycomb structure typical of an RS, and a front spoiler with matte aluminum quattro lettering. Aside from the headlamps, the vehicle features additional design elements in gloss black, making the RS 5 Sportback appear even wider. An RS-specific diffuser insert, RS exhaust system with oval tailpipes and fixed spoiler lip give the rear end its sportiness. The RS 5 Sportback comes with 19-inch wheels as standard; 20-inch wheels are available as an optional extra.

The 2.9 TFSI V6 twin turbo engine offers both power and efficiency, and can achieve 331 kW. Its maximum torque of 600 Nm is deployed throughout a wide speed range from 1,900 to 5,000 rpm. The Audi RS 5 Sportback accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds, with the possibility of reaching a top speed of 174 mph. The two turbochargers of the 2.9 TFSI V6 twin turbo generate up to 1.5 bar of charge pressure. As with all new Audi V6 and V8 engines, the turbochargers are mounted at a 90-degree angle to the cylinder banks, which means that the exhaust side of the cylinder heads is inside, and the intake side is outside. This layout enables a compact design and short fuel paths with minimal flow loss – the 2.9 TFSI engine reacts extremely spontaneously to the movements of the right pedal. The B-cycle combustion process with central direct injection contributes to the overall efficiency.

The power of the 2.9 TFSI is transferred to the quattro permanent all wheel drive with center differential via an eight-speed tiptronic transmission with optimized shift times that is specially tuned to sporty driving. It distributes power asymmetrically 40:60 between the axles – this guarantees dynamic handling with optimal traction alongside the greatest possible safety. When slippage occurs on an axle, most of the power immediately flows to the other axle – up to 85% to the front, and up to 70% to the rear. This locking effect enables a clearly-defined torque distribution and precise cooperation with the control systems. The optional sport differential selectively shifts the torque between the rear wheels.

The five-link design on the front and rear axles allows for substantially enhanced comfort, even in the sportiest of driving modes. With the standard RS sports suspension, the RS 5 Sportback is seven millimeters (0.3 in) lower than the Audi S5 Sportback. Alternatively, Audi Sport offers RS sport suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC), ceramic brakes and RS-specific dynamic steering. Drivers can create their own personal driving experience – to make it more customized, more dynamic or more comfortable – using the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, which is fitted as standard.

The high-quality, sporty interior of the new Audi RS 5 Sportback is finished in black, and provides space for five people. Its square-shaped profile and loading width measuring exactly one meter enables optimum use of the 480 litre trunk capacity. Folding down the rear seats increases the capacity to 1,300 litres. The rear seat backrest is divided in a 40:20:40 ratio as standard. The RS 5 Sportback weighs 1,840 kilograms.

The  five-door high-performance coupé is features RS sport seats with optional honeycomb pattern in fine Nappa leather, and the flat-bottomed RS multifunction sports leather steering wheel. RS emblems can be found on the seats, the steering wheel, the sill panel strips and on the selector lever. Special RS information displays in the Audi virtual cockpit provide information on tyre pressure, torque and G forces. In manual mode, the shift light display prompts the driver to shift up once the engine speed threshold is reached. Particular highlights of the RS design package include the contrasting red stitching on the steering wheel and selector lever, the Alcantara knee pads, and the red-trimmed seat belts and floor mats featuring the RS logo.

The Audi says RS 5 Sportback will initially be available in the USA and Canada from the second half of 2018. The model is currently not yet available for purchase in Europe and UK specification will differ slightly.

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