2019 Audi RS 5 spy shots

2019 Audi RS 5 test mule spy shots – Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

Engineers from Audi have started the first public road trials of the new RS 5.

The German automaker is just weeks away from the June 2 unveiling of its second-generation A5 but work on the new RS 5 still has a long way to go.

That’s because our latest spy shots confirm we’re only at the test mule stage.

The car may look like one of the many prototypes we saw for the new S5, but if you look a little closer you’ll notice the modified wheel arches to accommodate a wider track. Some additional intakes have also been carved into the front.

2019 Audi RS 5 test mule spy shots – Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

While the current RS 5 sports a naturally-aspirated 4.2-liter V-8, the new model is expected to downsize to a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6. The new engine is likely the same one already used by Porsche in the Panamera S.

In the Panamera S the engine delivers 420 horsepower but in the new RS 5 output should be dialed up beyond the 450 hp of the current model. All-wheel drive will be standard and the sole transmission should be a dual-clutch unit possibly featuring eight forward gears.

Thanks to the use of the Volkswagen Group’s new MLB evo platform, look for the new RS 5 to weigh significantly less than its 3,800-pound predecessor. This should help improve upon the current car’s 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds.

We’re expecting a reveal of the new RS 5 sometime in 2017. Sales in the United States aren’t expected to commence until the following year so we’ll likely see the car arrive as a 2019 model. In addition to the coupe, there will be another RS 5 Cabriolet and this time around we should also see an RS 5 version of the U.S.-bound A5 Sportback.