...to run a dual-clutch transmission.
Are you a casual sports fan wondering why both the Audi RS5 Coupe and new RS5 Sportback make use of a conventional eight-speed automatic with a torque converter instead of a dual-clutch transmission? Following the launch of the RS5 Sportback at the 2018 New York International Auto Show last week, Project Manager Anthony Garvis provided an answer. According to him, it's actually extremely straightforward.
Audi doesn't use a dual-clutch transmission in the RS5 because it doesn't have one capable of handling the twin-turbo V6's 443 pound-feet of glutenous torque. Before you start screaming the R8's high-performance S-Tronic DCT should be more than capable of handling the job, don't, considering that the 532 horsepower 5.2-liter V10 only makes 398 lb-ft of twist. Not to mention, the RS5 isn't really a race car despite the Rennsport moniker. "This car is a grand tourer," Garvis told Automobile at the show. He also feels that a torque-converter transmission is a better fit in terms of driveability. Conventional transmissions are just as fast as dual-clutch units while ditching the herky-jerky low-speed behavior.
He was also quick to add the transmission has improved compared to the one used in the S5. It gets a unique torque converter with more aggressive transmission control software. Pricing for the RS5 Sportback isn't available at this time, but expect it to be in and around the coupe's $69,900 in North America. It should begin arriving in American Audi showrooms later this year before branching out to other markets.