The RS 5 is Audi’s answer to the BMW M3 Coupe, but how good is it? Here’s my review…

  • 4.2-litre naturally-aspirated V8
  • 444 bhp and 317 lb-ft of torque
  • 0-62 mph in 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph
  • Seven-speed S-Tronic gearbox
  • Quattro four-wheel drive system

Performance and gearbox

The numbers for the RS 5 speak for themselves, a 4.2-litre V8 engine that produces 444 bhp and 317 lb-ft is always going to be fun. The 0-62 mph time of 4.6 seconds is impressive to say the least, but the way that power is delivered through the utterly brilliant seven-speed S-Tronic gearbox is where the magic happens. I’ve always said that power is only as good as the gearbox, and in this case the RS 5 is brilliant. It’s wonderfully responsive and smooth, making the car drive just as you’d expect it to. With 8,250 rpm, launch control, and a thunderous V8 rumble to go with it, how can this car not put a smile on your face?

Star rating: ★★★★★

Audi RS 5 2010 - Front Audi RS 5 2010 - Rear

Handling and drive

The RS 5 comes with four driving modes: Comfort, Auto, Individual and Dynamic. Comfort and Auto are pretty self-explanatory, but Individual and Dynamic are where the fun is at. Individual is a customised setup where you can choose the suspension, damper and throttle response settings to your liking, but Dynamic is basically all of those settings set to extreme.

When you put this car in Dynamic mode, it becomes a different beast entirely. The Quattro four-wheel drive system combines with a new Sport differential system – capable of sending up to 85% of torque to the rear wheels – to really bring the car to life. The stiffened suspension and firmer steering response allows the car to take corners like it’s literally on rails, and as a driver it really promotes so much confidence in the car.

If I had one criticism of this car though, I’d say it’s its weight. At 1,725 kg, it’s quite a heavy car. When you consider that its rival in the BMW M3 Coupe weighs 70 kg less at 1,655 kg, you start to see where this car lacks. If I’m being honest though, the weight isn’t a massive issue whilst cornering, but more prior to the corner when braking. It really feels like you’re slowing down the titanic.

Star rating: ★★★★☆

Audi RS 5 2010 - Front Audi RS 5 2010 - Rear

Styling

Walter de Silva was Audi and Volkswagen’s Head of Design for over a decade, and upon the release of the A5 he described it as “the most beautiful car I’ve ever designed”.

Well when you go and get that already-beautiful A5 and chuck on flared wheel arches, aggressive styling, a monstrous rear diffuser and some cool touches like a retractable spoiler and daytime running lights, you get a car that is better in every single way.

This particular model is finished in Suzuka Grey which is a sort of pearl white colour that just looks great. Those 20-inch gunmetal grey alloys really set the car off too. Quite simply, I love the look of this car.

Star rating: ★★★★★

Audi RS 5 2010 - Front Audi RS 5 2010 - Grille

Interior and spec

Audi are known for producing brilliant interiors and the RS 5 is a perfect example of that. Everything feels shaped around the driver and really oozes class everywhere you look. The steering wheel is nice and chunky which I think is a must for a sports car, the flappy paddles are easily accessible which is also massively important too. The leather RS 5 branded bucket seats are really comfortable and well-positioned as well, and come electric and heated as standard.

Spec-wise the car is endless, with an extensive multimedia system, sat nav, bluetooth, phone connectivity and more, plus a Bang & Olufsen sound system that is just too damn good for a car.

Star rating: ★★★★★

Audi RS 5 2010 - Seats

Conclusion

The RS 5 is without a doubt a special car. Okay it’s perhaps too heavy and that’s a bit of a problem, but what car doesn’t have its flaws? To me, the perfection that’s on offer in its engine, gearbox and Quattro drivetrain make it an absolute joy to drive and more than make up for that extra weight.

Besides, look at how beautiful it is. I honestly think it’s one of the best looking cars on the road today. I know it’s not a supercar, but it definitely has that supercar allure about it, and in my eyes definitely challenges some of those that are.

Star rating: ★★★★★

Calvin Fehr

I'm a car fanatic that buys cars, sells cars, reviews cars and does pretty much anything else to do with cars. I drive different cars daily from Fords to Ferraris, and video myself on my journeys to and from work.

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