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Why Is The New Audi RS5 Not As Well-Rounded As The Car It Replaces?

Sports Car / 7 Comments

Although you certainly can't blame the turbo V6 for shortfalls.

What's up with the Audi RS5 these days? It's a question worth asking now that the scene is being dominated by the larger German sedan players—namely the BMW M5 and Mercedes-AMG E63 S. On initial impression, the RS5 encapsulates every aspect we've learned to love about the RS badge. It has a powerful 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 that makes 450 horsepower and a dramatic 443 lb-ft of torque. The problem is that all that machinery translates to a lifeless driving experience-albeit one that still yields impressive numbers.

Because Audi has yet to make its foray into the world of rear-wheel drive, that power is still sent to all four wheels through an all-wheel drive system that's directed by clever computers, but it's not quattro that's to blame for the slack.

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The man tasked with finding out what is responsible is Henry Catchpole of Carfection, who first finds the cabin to be suspect. For one, why does the 12-volt outlet cover feel so nice and expensive when the shift paddles are made of cheap plastic? And why is the Drive Select button so far away from the driver when it should be close for easy access? It could be telling of Audi's logic on this one, but these are the small things. There's always the chance Audi spent the time and cash engineering the car well but not on making as well-rounded as it could be. And it turns out that's what happened, but it may not be a bad thing. Rather than slack on high performance, it's the middle ground abilities that take a backseat.