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The main challenge that faces any car manufacturer when making a coupe is to reach that perfect balance between performance, luxury and comfort. There are a lot of them out there, but none have managed to balance all three things quite as well as the Audi RS5, or in my opinion at least.
Let’s start with the obvious: Performance. I know a lot of you would argue that American muscle cars such as the Ford Mustang GT or the Chevrolet Camaro SS can match the performance of the Audi RS5 at a much more reasonable price, but sometimes it simply isn’t about the numbers.
It’s true that the American muscle cars might match the numbers produced by the Audi’s 2.9L twin-turbo V6 engine, which produces 450 hp & 600 NM of torque, but when it comes to putting those numbers to actual use on the road, the Americans simply cannot match Audi’s brilliant all-wheel-drive Quattro system or the preciseness of its 8-speed transmission.
What all that power and grip allows the RS5 to do, is hit 100 km/h from a standstill in just 3.9-seconds and achieve a top speed of 280 km/h. All of which is done with complete control and predictability behind the steering wheel, and that’s pretty amazing for a tiny 2.9-liter engine.
Now I’m sure the muscle cars fans will put up one last fight before abandoning this article and say their muscle cars sound better than the RS5, but I’m not quite sure about that. The RS5 manages to amuse your ears with a great tune full of turbo pops and roars using an active valve twin exhaust system that opens once you’re in Dynamic drive mode. It’s probably not as loud as a muscle car but it sure as hell is more exciting.
All that staggering performance comes wrapped in an unmistakably recognizable body that no one can mistake for its lesser-powered sibling, the Audi S5 coupe. Especially with those huge air intakes up front, much more aggressive body lines, wider wheel arches and RS badges that are all over the car. Of course, there’s also that exclusive Sonoma Green color that is quite controversial, but I personally love it.
When it comes to luxury how can you ever fault an Audi? Both quality of materials and how well everything is put together in the RS5 feels top notch. With stitched leather and Alcantara filling up the cabin, and to make you feel special those carbon fiber inserts across the dash and center console are a welcomed addition always.
To really appreciate luxury, it’s always the little things that catch my eye. Something as simple as the 12V socket cover in the Audi RS5 that mimic the same look and texture used on the volume knob in the center console makes you understand why there is no compromise when it comes to luxury with the RS5.
Now I might be stepping on some more toes, but I must highlight certain aspects in which the Audi RS5 is better than the equally-priced legend, the Nissan GT-R. I know the GT-R beats the RS5 in every performance metric out there, but just hear me out.
Although both cars are within the same price range, which in the Audi’s case is between AED 376,900 - 420,000, and the RS5 cannot match the physics-bending performance of the GT-R, it manages to give you a lot of performance while not compromising on the levels of comfort.
I don’t want to lose the GT-R fans here (especially since I am one of them) but bear with me. In the RS5 you are surrounded by amazing Audi tech that makes your everyday commutes in traffic and at low speeds pass like a gentle breeze.
Starting with the amazing Audi Virtual Cockpit that replaces the instrument cluster and can be customized to ensure all the information you desire is in front of you all the time. Couple this with one of the best infotainment systems I’ve ever tested, the Audi MMI. It keeps all the controls within easy reach and is very simple to navigate and use. I’m just hoping that Audi doesn't ditch it on its sport models like it did in the new A8 where it replaced it with a triple screen layout.
Finally, the seats, that not just give you maximum number of controls to find that perfect comfort and grip you need in a corner but also offer a comforting message when you need it most. As for the back, it might look cramped, but it really isn’t, my 10-year old son and 5-year daughter fit comfortably without me having to sacrifice my driving position and they enjoyed the ride with the cool air from the tri-zone climate control system.
To sum it up, I think Audi managed the impossible to give us a coupe that delivers controllable performance and a fun filled drive while delivering on both luxury and comfort in a very familiar Audi way. I can without a doubt call the RS5 one of my favorite coupes available in the market.