The Audi RS5 Coupé has been tearing up the tarmac for some time (having already featured in a three-way battle), but the performance arm of the Ingolstadt-based automaker has now taken the wraps off the Sportback version, essentially adding a pair of doors.
Making its debut at the New York International Auto Show, Audi bills the new five-door, five-seater performance model pictured here as “a version for the US and Canadian market”. However, Audi South Africa has since confirmed that the new RS5 Sportback is destined hit local shores towards the end of 2018, albeit likely in slightly different specification.
Predictably, the new model shares its twin-turbo 2,9-litre V6 engine with the coupé variant, sending 331 kW and 600 N.m to all four corners (the brand’s familiar Quattro permanent all-wheel drive with centre differential naturally comes standard) via an eight-speed torque converter transmission. From what we hear, the Sportback matches the coupé model's claimed 3,9-second sprint to three figures and top speed of 280 km/h.
This US-spec model comes standard with 19-inch alloys, while 20-inch items will be available as an optional extra. Fitted with the standard RS sports suspension, the RS5 Sportback rides 7 mm lower than the S5 Sportback. Alternatively, Audi Sport will offer RS sport suspension plus (with Dynamic Ride Control), ceramic brakes and RS-specific dynamic steering.
Audi says the luggage compartment can swallow 480 litres, while folding down the rear seats reveals utility space of 1 300 litres.
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.