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Driven: First-ever Audi RS5 Sportback lands in Australia

All-new Audi RS5 Sportback tipped to be one of Audi Sport’s most popular models

Audi logo14 Feb 2019

AUDI Australia believes its all-new RS5 Sportback could become more popular than both of its mechanically related RS5 coupe and RS4 Avant siblings, which would make it the second-most in-demand offering in the Audi Sport range behind the RS3 small car.
 
Despite the A5 Sportback having been on sale in Australia since 2010, this is the first time the five-door model has been offered in RS guise, with Audi Australia corporate communications director Shaun Cleary hopeful the RS5 Sportback will be a hit with customers.
 
“We’re actually pretty ambitious with RS5 Sportback because we see it may potentially even surpass RS4 Avant, which you might be surprised by because it’s an all-new model, but we haven’t had RS4 sedan for this entire generation and the one before as well,” he said.
 
“But we see that that body style ticks a couple of boxes for customers. Obviously, it’s a sporty car, but it’s design-led as well, which the RS5 Coupe is, but now you’ve got that added versatility of it being a five-seater as well as having that coupe overall body style.
 
“So, we think that will really hit a sweet spot with customers. We’re not talking exact numbers, but we do think there’s potential,l and we’ve provisioned in our planning that it could actually even exceed RS4 Avant, which would be great.”
 
Mr Cleary said the RS5 Sportback would appeal to the type of buyer who enjoys the design language of a coupe but with the added practicality that a five-seater brings.
 
“I think often people associate sportiness and design quite closely, the RS5 Coupe is all about the design but is limiting in terms of versatility, so if you’ve got kids or something like that, you want to have car seats in the back. From a functional point of view, it presents a challenge,” he said.
 
“With the RS4 Avant, that’s obviously a very functional, practical car, but this is the best of both worlds. So, you tick that design box but you also have the versatility there if you do want to have car seats or even just passengers in the back a little more easily or regularly than you might in the RS5 coupe. 
 
“It’s catering for different buyers and recognising not everyone wants exactly the same thing, and, in fact, people want something a little bit different to maybe what their neighbour or whatever might have.”
 
Audi is expecting the take-up of RS5 Sportback to more than 90 per cent male, with an average age in the late 40s – younger than the average A5 buyer.
 
The RS5 Sportback arrives in showrooms with the same $157,700 plus on-roads pricetag as its coupe sibling while also sharing many mechanical similarities with the two-door version.
 
Meanwhile, the RS4 Avant wagon, which is also mechanically related to the RS5 twins, sits $4800 downstream at $152,900.
 
Under the bonnet of the RS5 Sportback is a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 pumping out 331kW from 5700-6700rpm and 600Nm from 1900-5000rpm, mated to an eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission.
 
Fuel consumption is rated at 8.9 litres per 100km, while emissions are pegged at 202 grams of CO2 per km.
 
Drive is sent to all four corners via Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system, which allows the RS5 Sportback to sprint from standstill to 100km/h in 3.9 seconds – the same time as the coupe, despite being 110kg heavier, and 0.2s quicker than the RS4 Avant.
 
It comes as standard with Audi’s Dynamic Ride Control hydraulic suspension that helps keep the vehicle flat through corners, while stopping power is aided by red six-piston front and two-piston rear brake callipers.
 
For those that feel that braking power is not enough, carbon-ceramic brakes are available as an $11,900 option.
 
The RS5 Sportback’s overall length (4751mm) and wheelbase (2824mm) are both 59mm longer than the coupe. It is also1846mm wide and 1368mm tall.
 
Standard equipment closely mirrors the coupe with the exception of an electric tailgate for the Sportback’s liftback rear end, which offers 15 litres of extra storage space.
 
Specification includes 20-inch wheels, Matrix LED headlights, a sports exhaust system, adaptive dampers, a quattro sport differential, a head-up display, a flat-bottomed sport steering wheel with paddle-shifters, a 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster, an 8.3-inch infotainment system with sat-nav, Bluetooth connectivity, Wi-Fi hotspot and digital radio; wireless phone charging, heated and massaging front seats, and a panoramic sunroof that can be deleted at no cost.
 
Standard safety kit includes six airbags, autonomous emergency braking (AEB), tyre pressure monitoring, adaptive cruise control, a surround-view camera, rear cross-traffic alert, reversing a camera, blind-spot monitoring and lane-keep assist.
 
Two exterior packages – a black/carbon and matte aluminium/carbon pack – are available for $10,900, while the RS Design package ($3300) includes a black Alcantara steering wheel and gear selector with red stitching, door armrests and centre console sides in black Nappa leather with red stitching, RS floor mats and black seatbelts with a red edge.

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