by Aiden Eksteen
With a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 under the hood, a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, and a quattro all-wheel drive system, the 2021 Audi RS5 Coupe is here to prove to its rivals that it's an Audi to beware of. The 444 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque delivered by this powertrain launches the compact 2-door coupe from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds - one-tenth of a second faster than the BMW M3 and right on par with the Mercedes-AMG C63. Those competitors come in at around the same price as the 2021 Audi RS5 Coupe - $75,100 - and while the RS5 Coupe does measure up fairly well against them, it's not quite as enjoyable and engaging to drive. It is, nevertheless, still a fun and adroit sports car that boasts an exquisite cabin and oodles of avant garde features and technology.
After a refresh for the new year, the new RS5 Coupe boasts a slimmer and wider front grille that sits below three narrow vents on the front fascia that are meant to remind us of 1984's Audi Sport quattro. The wheel arches are also 1.6 inches wider for a more aggressive stance, while a refreshed rear diffuser that mimics that of the RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback brings the styling up to date. The old 8.2-inch infotainment display has also been shown the door to make way for a 10.1-inch touch display. Also offered in the USA are Ascari and Black Optic launch editions of the RS5, available as packages. But act quickly if you want one - just 25 examples of the Ascari will be made and only 100 Black Optic launch models will be offered.
See trim levels and configurations:
2.9L Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
In terms of it being a sports car, the 2021 Audi RS5 Coupe isn't the most competitive or enjoyable, as its inclination for understeer diminishes driver confidence and it offers a restrained level of driver engagement. With that said, anybody that gets behind the wheel of the RS5 Coupe is still bound to have a genuinely thrilling and pleasant experience - go full throttle and the RS5 sprints from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds, one-tenth faster than the Sportback. It presents occupants with an immaculate, meticulously designed, and well-built interior that's been nicely outfitted with modern creature comforts, conveniences, and technology.
Unfortunately, though its sloping roofline does add to its suave and athletic flair, it does also cut into the rear cabin's headroom and diminishes trunk space, meaning the RS5 Coupe isn't a very practical vehicle for day-to-day errands. No version of the first-generation RS5, which includes the 2021 Audi RS5 Coupe, has undergone review by either the NHTSA or the IIHS. The fundamentally similar A4 has, however, and it earned the best possible scores. All in all, the RS5 Sportback would be a more pragmatic choice over the Coupe, and if it's a 2-door coupe you're insistent on, the BMW M4 and the AMG C63 are just better options when it comes to the driving experience.
The most popular competitors of 2021 Audi RS5 Coupe: