Audi RS4 Avant and RS5 Coupe worthy rivals for BMW and Mercedes-AMG
Ingolstadt's latest high-performance offerings might not top the time sheets anymore, but the overall packaging makes for serious good value compared to rivals.
Audi RS 4 Avant in Tango Red.
Audi South Africa did a mostly static, VIP customer, RS launch event just a few months ago, where they unveiled a host of new or refreshed models. I recently got to spend some seat time in two of these high-performance siblings from Ingolstadt, the Audi RS4 Avant and RS5. Seat time of course means that I just didn’t get to look at them. I got to drive them. I would love to say that I ran them through our road test program, but with shortened test drive slots, it was impossible to secure track time and have a look at…
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Audi South Africa did a mostly static, VIP customer, RS launch event just a few months ago, where they unveiled a host of new or refreshed models. I recently got to spend some seat time in two of these high-performance siblings from Ingolstadt, the Audi RS4 Avant and RS5.
Seat time of course means that I just didn’t get to look at them. I got to drive them. I would love to say that I ran them through our road test program, but with shortened test drive slots, it was impossible to secure track time and have a look at the numbers.
And talking about numbers, the part on the RS4 Avant and RS5 that has not changed is the powertrain. The sweet sounding 2.9 TFSI twin-turbo V6 remains, and still pushes out 331 kW of power and 600 Nm of torque. Outputs that ensure you hit 100 km/h in less than four seconds while going onto an electronically limited top speed of 280 km/h.
Audi RS 5 Coupe in Turbo Blue
Impressive, and not so long ago this was class leading, but Mercedes-Benz, with their 375 kW/700 Nm C63 S, and BMW with the likes of their all new 375kW/650Nm M3 and M4 models, have upped the ante in the race to be fastest in this hard-fought for piece of territory.
Running a quick-shifting eight-speed Tiptronic, quattro permanent all-wheel drive, sport differential and suspension, are also no longer unique in this segment.
Sure, the setup makes for an extremely easy and comfortable car to drive fast every day. And as good as the RS4 and RS5 performance figures are, they are no longer top of the time sheets. But there is more to driving an Audi RS car, and here is where I believe these siblings come back at the competition.
A typically class-leading Audi RS interior greets you and offers the likes of RS sport seats covered with fine Nappa leather and signature honeycomb stitching. Go for the optional RS design package and you get a spruced-up interior that includes further Alcantara on the steering wheel. You also get selector lever and knee pads, and a healthy dose of red contrasting stitching on item such as the armrests, side centre console and floor mats.
The new operating concept of the two RS cars here are resident on a 10.1-inch MMI touch display and includes a specific RS monitor which provides you with lots of data. This include drive temperature, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, the quattro sport differential, the tyre pressure and the tyre temperature.
The Audi virtual cockpit plus (12.3-inch display in full HD resolution) is also standard, but the thing you might appreciate the most is the RS mode steering wheel button. This enables the driver to select one of the two new individual RS modes that allows you to pre-configure the multiple performance settings.
Audi Connect is now also available. It delivers top-of-the-line connectivity. It features an embedded SIM, and the extensive Audi connect portfolio that covers the likes of online traffic information, point of interest search, Navigation with satellite map and live weather updates.
Tech-fest of note
The Audi Connect functionality also includes Car2X services which consists of standard safety and service features in the event of damage, breakdown, or minor accidents. This functionality (through a built-in emergency button in the vehicle’s roof module) allows an emergency safety or service call to an Audi call centre to support in any event.
You have the pictures in front of you but allow me to touch on the exterior changes. The front section of the RS4 and RS5 is completely redesigned. Now featuring wider and flatter design elements, and redesigned LED headlamps.
Wider wheels arches, 20-inch Audi Sport alloy wheels, along with redesigned side sills and rear diffuser insert at the rear specific to the R 5 complete the improved high-performance look.
If you are still not convinced by the performance or the upgrades offered, then the price of the Audi RS4 Avant at R1 296 000 and the RS5 at R1 394 500, which is substantially better priced than the BMWs and Mercedes-AMG, should make you at least consider these two cars.
For further information on these RS offerings, click here here.