2018 Audi RS5

2018 audi rs5 – DOC676249

With the new Audi A5 set to debut on June 2nd, we were kind of surprised when we got our hands on some more spy shots of the A5. After closer inspection, though, we realized that these spy shots may very well be of the next generation RS5. Of course, it doesn’t give us too many hints of what to expect, as this mule is an early prototype that is used to test the drivetrain and chassis components of the upcoming RS5.

The next shots may reveal more about the upcoming performance coupe, but that won’t happen until sometime after the A5 makes its official debut. Shortly after the A5 debuts, Audi will pull the sheet from the S5, which should lead to even less camo on the RS5 test mules. By that point, we should be looking at a real body with fewer deceptions. Considering there wasn’t an RS5 for the 2016 model year, we’re really looking forward to seeing the new RS5 in the metal.

For now, official dates are sketchy at best, but we’re expecting to see the production-ready model by spring of next year. Until then, let’s do a little speculating and talk about what we might see when the RS5 does make its debut.

Spy Shots

May 17, 2016 – First testing session

Audi RS5

Audi RS5

Audi RS5

Exterior

As far as the exterior goes, we really can’t say much at this point. Normally we try to point out little things that we can make out through the camo, but in this case, we’re looking at a mule that is focused on chassis and drivetrain testing. This is evident by the caps between the fascia and the corner vent inserts, the roughly shaped grille, and the fake fender flares.

We should see a new front bumper that is sportier than before and big oval exhaust pipes in the rear.

On the plus side, we can see that the rear tires are a bit wider than the front tires, and we know the production-ready model will sport the wider fenders. Furthermore, we should see a new front bumper that is sportier than before and big oval exhaust pipes in the rear. Although we can’t see them on this test mule, the production-ready model should have cross drilled rotors as well as performance calipers. Expect the wheels and tires to fill the wheel arches quite well, with the body sitting just a pinch lower than the A5 – just like you can see on this early test mule.

Interior

At this point, it is way too early to talk about the interior, but expect to see some upgrades. As is the standard RS treatment, the RS5 should get new sports seats and a new flat-bottom sports steering wheel. The infotainment screen will probably be a bit bigger, and expect to see Audi’s virtual cockpit ahead of the steering wheel. Inlays will probably be done up in carbon fiber instead of wood or aluminum, and there should be a two tone interior. In all reality, the interior will probably be pretty similar to the S5 with a few modifications.

Drivetrain

Audi RS5

As we obviously know very little about the upcoming RS5, information about the drivetrain is also sketchy at best. We’re expecting the RS5 to use the same engine that will be in the RS4. That should be a 3.0-liter, turbocharged V-6 that pushes somewhere between 450 and 470 horsepower. Of course, the new RS5 will also be lighter, so expect improvements in 0-to-60 times, quarter-mile times, and top speed to improve. More information will become available as time goes on, so stay tuned for future updates.

Prices

It’s way too early for pricing information, considering the test mule isn’t even wearing a true RS body, but we do know that the RS models are typically priced about $20,000 more than their respective “S” siblings. That said, we expect the next S5 to retail somewhere around $56,000, so the RS 5 will probably have an invoice of around $75,000 before options, taxes, and delivery.

Competition

BMW M4

BMW M4 Coupe

Looking to BMW for a competitor, it is only natural that we look to the M4 Coupe. It’s roughly the same size as the RS5 and features similar power. It is powered by a 3.0-liter, turbocharged V-6 that delivers 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. Of course, that’s a little less power than we expect to see from the upcoming RS5, but the M4 should still keep up with the RS5 in a straight line. With that power on tap, the M4 can hit 60 mph in 4.1 seconds on the way to an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. It should be noted that all that power is also channeled through a six-speed manual transmission. As of the time of this writing, the M4 goes for $65,700, which is about $10,000 less than the invoice price we expect to see taped to the RS5’s window when it hits dealerships.

Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe

Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe

The best competitor for the RS5 out there comes in the form of the Mercedes-AMG C63. It is powered by a hand-built, 4.0-liter V-8 that delivers a decent 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, which is about the same dose of power that the RS5 will put out. The C63 has decent looks on the outside and a pretty luxurious interior to go with it. On top of that, it can hit the 62-mph sprint in 3.9 seconds on the way to an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. At the time of this writing, the C63 goes for €77,826 in Germany, which translates to around $88,114 at current exchange rates.

Conclusion

Audi RS5

I can’t really draw too much of a conclusion about the upcoming RS5 at this point, and considering we’ve yet to see the A5 or S5 that it is based on, it’s hard to even make educated guesses. I can say that I’ve never been a fan of the way Audi treats its RS lineup. I love the fact that it offers performance-focused models of it standard cars, but I don’t like the pricing hike that comes with them. Obviously, you have to pay for power and extra features, but I think Audi likes to milk the fact that some people are willing to pay sums in the $20,000 range just to get a little extra.

Of course, that is probably why the RS lines aren’t exactly high-volume cars. For those of you who are up to forking out all that extra money – or a year’s salary for some people – the RS5 is a decent ride to have. I would probably go for something like the Mercedes -AMG C63 S with its 503 horsepower for the same price, though. Either way, it’s German engineering at its finest, so to each their own, I guess.

LOVE IT

    – New engine with higher output- Wider track- Should have aggressive front end

LEAVE IT

    – Priced to high for my taste- Little information to go by.