We first heard that Audi would be bringing the RS5 Sportback to our part of the world earlier this January when Scott Keogh, Audi of America president, confirmed the bit of news. We knew it would be fast and good looking, but boy is the Sportback model with the extra performance bits a handsome car.
Audi should’ve called it the “Mean Green Machine”
The RS5 Sportback features the same monstrous powertrain as the RS5 Coupe we saw earlier this month. That means power comes from a twin-trubocharged 2.9-liter V6 engine that cranks out a generous 444 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. The motor is paired to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and features a rear-biased all-wheel drive system.
While the RS5 Coupe will make the sprint to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds, Audi claims the RS5 Sportback can do the same run in under four seconds. With the extra bodywork, we’re guessing that’s Audi’s way of saying it’s 3.9 seconds. And just like with the two-door variant, opting for the optional Dynamic Plus package raises the car’s top speed to 174 mph – up from 155 mph.
Compared to the S5 Sportback, the RS-badged model is seven millimeters (roughly 0.25 inches) lower. The model comes with a fixed sport suspension setup, but can be fitted with adaptive dampers as an option.
New Sportback model is a first for the RS5 family
If you think the S5 Sportback is a looker, then you’ll definitely be impressed with the RS5 Sportback. It ditches Audi’s ridged grille for a mesh unit, has larger air intakes, wider fenders, bigger wheels, a sizable rear diffuser, and two massive exhaust outlets – a trademark of RS vehicles. Essentially, it looks like a longer version of the RS5 Coupe, which isn’t a bad thing in any way.
Is the RS5 Sportback a good enough apology for not selling the RS4 Avant in the U.S.? Definitely not. But it is one heck of a good starting point, and getting 444-hp in a sleek hatchback is something we can get behind.
When can I see it at the dealer?
Audi hasn’t announced pricing for the vehicle yet, but we expect it to be in the same neighborhood as the coupe, which costs $70,875 (including the $975 destination fee) in our neck of the woods. If you’re not dying to get into the coupe and would like to wait to get your hands on the sportback model – and why wouldn’t you it looks so much better – you’ll have to wait until the second half of the year. The car will go on sale in the rest of the world shortly after.
Look out for live pictures of the RS5 Sportback from the New York Auto Show in the near future.