AUDI Australia already holds 50 pre-orders for its revised RS5 super-coupe, which was officially launched today with a range of cosmetic and performance enhancements and a starting price $13,900 lower than the model it replaces.
The updated model is now priced from $161,400 plus on-road costs, allowing it to better match direct rivals such as the $155,000 BMW M3 coupe ($162,300 for the automatic) and $154,800 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG coupe.
The RS5’s arrival in Australia completes the facelifted A5 range that was launched here in February and went on sale in April.
The addition of the new flagship variant expands the A5 line-up to a staggering 21 variants, encompassing coupe, cabriolet and sedan bodystyles.
Headlining the list of changes are a more efficient electromechanical power steering system, a honed version of the existing seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission, and a handful of minor styling changes along the same lines as the rest of the updated A5 range.
Claimed to give the car a more athletic and muscular road stance, these cosmetic tweaks include a new bevelled single-frame honeycomb grille, sharper bonnet edges, sleeker and more wedge-shaped bi-Xenon headlights flanked by LED daytime-running strips, new-colour LED tail-lights, a tweaked rear bumper and new oval-shaped exhaust outlets at either side of the rear-end.
Completing the fresh look are new-design 19-inch forged aluminium wheels with 265/35-series tyres as standard.
The mighty 4.2-litre direct-injected V8 engine at the heart of the RS5 is unchanged, however, and produces the same 331kW of power at a high 8250rpm and 430Nm of torque between 4000 and 6000rpm.
Still, Audi claims to have shaved one-tenth of a second from the 0-100km/h sprint time, down to 4.5 seconds, courtesy of tweaks to the S-tronic dual-clutch transmission.
As before, the automatic features steering wheel paddle shifters and an automatic launch control function.
Fuel consumption has also been improved, by 0.3 litres per 100 kilometre to 10.5L/100km, courtesy of the new electromechanical power steering set-up that Audi says has been “carefully tuned by quattro GmbH engineers to offer instant response and incredible cornering performance”.
Top speed is again limited to 250km/h, but Audi will disengage the electronic limiter on request, upping the performance ceiling to 280km/h.
Underpinning all this performance is an unchanged quattro all-wheel drive system that can distribute up to 70 per cent of engine torque to the front wheels or 85 per cent to the rear, with a rear-biased default setting of 60 per cent.
Inside the cabin, the RS5 now gets a racing-inspired flat-bottomed steering wheel as standard, as well as an improved MMI satellite-navigation unit. The interior also features redesigned controls, stalks, buttons and ignition key.
Two new Audi exclusive packages are also available, adding either diamond quilting ($14,990) or contrasting red leather (from $9,400) elements to the cabin.
Audi Australia managing director Uwe Hagen said the revised RS5 had already generated plenty of interest and would continue the legacy forged by its predecessor in the hotly contested Australian performance-car market.
“In the two short years since it arrived in Australia, the Audi RS5 Coupe has generated a huge amount of interest among enthusiasts,” he said.
“The combination of a powerful, high-revving V8 engine, fast-shifting S tronic dual-clutch transmission and quattro all-wheel drive makes the RS5 a formidable buying proposition.
“Early interest in the new model has been even stronger than we anticipated and we look forward to continuing that trend.”
Audi Australia corporate communications executive Shaun Cleary confirmed to GoAuto today that the company still intends to further expand its RS line-up in the first quarter of next year with the blistering RS4 Avant, which combines the same V8 as the RS5 coupe with the added practicality of a wagon bodystyle.