Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The new Audi RS5 - more than what we need?

It took Audi quite a bit of time, but now it's here, or will be here. At the coming Geneva Autoshow Audi is supposed to present the new Audi RS5. It features a high revving V8 engine with 450 HP and 430 NM, accelerating the car in less than 5 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h. It comes with all the usual Audi features such as four wheel drive, double clutch seven speed gearbox and launch control. It's almost Ferrari F40 performance for you everyday trip to the office. Now, my readers know from earlier postings, that I am not really a fan of the current "bigger - heavier - faster" trend. It's actually impressive that Audi seems to be able to stay below 1.8 tons. But still, given the average speed on today's street is barely more than 130 km/h (even in Germany) you may wonder whether you need such a machine. Why not go for a nice A4 Avant 2.0 TFSI and a Morgan Plus 8, coming at the same price as a well spec'ed RS5 together, but delivering undoubtedly more fun and causing less depreciation also? Don't get me wrong, the RS5 is gorgeous and certainly fun to drive, but for a Sunday afternoon blast a Morgan is so much more fun and for the commute to the office the A4 does the job.


David said...

I can't help feeling disappointed by the RS5. That car hasn't brought a lot of change, nor pushed any of my hot buttons. Take the highlights from the press release:

450hp and 430Nm is hardly something to get excited for these days. RS4 unveiled five years ago had 420hp and (roll of drums...) 430Nm. Another 10 years and we might see, say, 480hp and 430Nm. That type of output is still less than Merc C63 pushed out 3 years ago.

New trick diff and DSG are fine. I'm certain they will help the RS5 make the numbers on the 'Ring (some claim sub 8:00) but it will put one more layer of gremlins between driver and car. Gone are the heroic heel 'n toe downshifts or the highly predictable ESP-off moments in the rain and snow.

It claims low consumption figures (10.8), but frankly I don't give a toss. If I wanted to flatter my green conscience (well, if I had one in the first place) I'd drive a Polo 1.1, not an RS that will potter along in 7th gear at 30km/h.

All of Audi's hype around new-found sportiness and lightweight... 1725kg, for god's sake! And Audi has often been on the optimistic side with its weight claims. No amount of high revving can compensate for high weight and modest torque. This is old-style M3, not RS recipe.

As for the looks, it lacks the presence of, say, the RS6. All very subtle and neat, too much so in my view. Lack of signature RS wheels is annoying. This being said, I know they need to be seen in the flesh for a proper impression.

77k Euros (£68k at today's rates) is steep. A lot steeper than the RS4 was, and a lot more than M3, C63, GT-R etc. What for?

Finally, rumours have it that the next M3 will be turbocharged (like M5, X5M, X6M). What an irony for long-time Audi followers.

So. That's the end of my rant. Had to get this out of my system

Bruno von Rotz said...

I must also say that I like the sound of the Merc C63 better than Audi's V8.