by Aiden Eksteen
BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi have endured as the forerunners of the premium sports and luxury vehicle option they purvey in the USA, with BMW dominating the performance circuit and
Mercedes being the king of luxury. Audi has struggled to define itself as either, but the 2021 Audi RS5 Sportback makes a good argument that it can do both fairly well. Under its hood is twin-turbocharged 6-cylinder gas engine that, with its 444 horsepower showing, may seem meager compared to the BMW M3's 473 hp V6 and the Mercedes-AMG C63's 503 hp V8, when in reality, the RS5 proves to be just as quick off-the-line with its 3.8-second 0 to 60 mph sprint time, and as fast down a straight. The real contrast comes in the handling, ride quality, design, and features each brand imbues into its offerings, so how does the RS5 Sportback fare when it comes to these aspects?
Just two years after its launch, Audi is giving the RS5 a bit of a facelift. It sports a new singleframe grille, larger pentagon-shaped air inlets, and the wheel arches have been widened slightly. This is meant to give it a more imposing stance. The new ventilation slits above the grille are a homage to the 1984 Audi Sport quattro.
On the inside, the Sportback now features heated rear seats as standard. There's also an all-new 10.1-inch touchscreen interface, offering wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration via a USB port. The RS model comes with a model-specific display providing valuable performance-related information, like tire pressure, oil temperature, boost pressure, and lap times.
If you want something that will stand out even more than the standard RS5, you can buy one of two new launch edition year models. They are called the Ascari launch edition and the Black Optic launch edition. Both models feature unique exterior and interior design elements. Only 100 Ascari Sportback editions will be made, while 325 Black Optic units will be offered.
See trim levels and configurations:
|2.9 TFSI quattro||
2.9L Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
At its price, the 2021 Audi RS5 Sportback is an expensive vehicle, but it's a special one that offers the best of both worlds when it comes to performance and luxury. It's bound to turn heads wherever it goes and if this isn't because of its sporty and suave design, it'll be its characterful V6 motor. Put the pedal to the metal and the RS5 4-door Sportback will blitz to 60 mph in just 8.3 seconds from off the line, which is right on par with the BMW M3 and only a tenth of a second slower than the AMG C63. It may not be as deft or engaging as those competitors, but it offers potential that can be fully utilized by any driving fanatic. Unfortunately, the RS5 Sportback, and many other cars in the classification for that matter, typically supply a rather harsh ride. However, with its featureful and commodious cabin and comfortable seating, the RS5 remains an utterly pleasant vehicle to be in. There has been no official crashworthiness or safety review of the 2021 Audi RS5 Sportback, but with only a few recalls to its name and its many inclusive advanced driver assists and safety features, this first-gen RS5 can be considered safe and dependable. In review, the RS5 Sportback is a phenomenal sports car that's well worth the money.
As a high-performance, specialty model, the 2021 Audi RS5 Sportback is presented in a top-spec, standalone offering. If the $75,400 sticker price doesn't deter you and you want to make the most out of your purchase, there are a couple of optional extras we can recommend. Any of the premium metallic color options are worth considering, as they complement the 2021 RS5 Sportback's athletic and upscale impression nicely. We'd stick with the standard wheels, however, as the optional upgraded wheels worsen the RS5's already firm ride. The RS Driver Assistance Package is also worth considering for the must-have driver-assistance and safety features it contains.