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New York show: Audi unleashes first RS5 Sportback

Baby got Sportback: Audi has taken its bahn-storming RS5 Coupe and injected some five-door style, creating the first RS5 Sportback.

Audi RS5 Sportback combines five-door practicality with blistering V6 performance


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29 Mar 2018

AUDI has doubled its second-generation RS5 sportscar range with the addition of the Sportback body style for the first time, which is expected to join its Coupe sibling in Australia by the end of this year.

Revealed at the New York motor show this week, the RS5 Sportback crucially fills a hole in Audi’s RS model line-up, offering sedan practicality – albeit in five-door liftback form – in the absence of an RS4 Sedan.

While its most direct rivals are traditional four-door sedans, the RS5 Sportback also gives the German marque an offering that can go toe to toe with the venerable BMW M3 Competition and Mercedes-AMG C63 S.

Just like the RS5 Coupe and RS4 Avant before it, the RS5 Sportback employs a 2.9-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine that pumps out 331kW of power from 5700 to 6700rpm and 600Nm of torque from 1900 to 5000rpm.

These outputs are sent to the ground via an eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission and Audi’s rear-biased quattro all-wheel-drive system.

As such, the RS5 Sportback can sprint from standstill to 100km/h in 3.9 seconds while on the way to its top speed of 280km/h, despite the 110kg weight penalty over its two-door counterpart.

Comparatively, the 331kW/550Nm M3 Competition achieves marks of 4.0s and 250km/h, while the 375kW/700Nm C63 S registers 4.0s and 290km/h.

Those familiar with the RS5 Coupe will instantly recognise the RS5 Sportback from its A-pillars forward, with both models sharing their overall exterior designs – save for the obvious panel changes to suit the different body styles.

Inside is a similar story, with the RS5 Sportback lifting its cockpit set-up from the RS5 Coupe, but rear passengers are treated to three seats and two doors. Additionally, 480 litres of cargo capacity lurks behind.

Given the S5 Sportback and S5 Coupe are identically priced from $105,511 before on-road costs, it is expected that the RS5 Sportback will share its list price with the $156,600 RS5 Coupe, but this will be confirmed closer to its launch.

According to Audi Sport GmbH managing director Michael-Julius Renz, the car-maker has high expectations for its latest RS model, which he said will arrive without peer.

“The new Audi RS5 Sportback is a true international car – we expect it to conquer all markets”, he said.

“The Audi RS5 Sportback is more than just an international trade fair novelty – it offers something new to our customers.

“Our innovative interpretation of a five-door high-performance coupe has neither predecessor models, nor a direct competitor.

“The new Audi RS5 Sportback will carry the RS genes out onto the road.”

Following the launch of the all-new A5 Sportback in May last year, sales of the model surged in 2017, with 660 examples sold to the end of December, representing a 28.4 per cent increase over the 514 deliveries made in 2016.

This effort placed the A5 Sportback eighth in the $60,000-plus mid-size-car segment last year, trailing the Mercedes-Benz C-Class (8549 units) and CLA (3445), BMW 3 Series (2584), Audi A4 (2177) and Lexus IS (1524), among others.

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