MATT CAMPBELL March 30, 2012
Executive express delivers luxury with a strong performance bent.
From $175,300 plus on-road and dealer costs. 4.2-litre V8 engine; 331kW of power, 430Nm of torque; 7-sp dual-clutch automatic transmission; 10.8L/100km and 252g/km CO2; all-wheel-drive.
What does it say about me?
I like power and German efficiency … and pretty daytime running lights. And, being the Limited Edition model, it also says I like to get a bit extra for my money (sunroof, black-out styling pack, 20-inch wheels, sports exhaust, memory seats and a better stereo are all added for no cost).
What doesn't it say about me?
I like the other two big German luxury brands.
Who else is buying it?
Real estate agents and cashed-up retirees.
What colours does it come in?
The Limited Edition version is only available in white, black or grey.
If it were someone famous, who would it be?
Ludwig van Beethoven. This thing is all about the soundtrack.
Why would I buy it?
It's a stunning car to look at and has a brutal V8 that sounds amazing.
Will it let me down?
That would depend on how you drive it.
Does it cost too much?
It costs about $20,000 more than Mercedes-Benz's C63 AMG Coupe … so yes.
Will I get a deal?
Only 25 Limited Edition RS5s will be sold here, and almost all of them are accounted for - so no.
Is it safe?
There are six airbags as standard. If you opt for the sportier RS bucket seats you lose the front-side 'bags.
Will it get me noticed?
Yes. It's a stunner, and that exhaust note is enough to turn heads.
Any gadgets I can brag about?
You can option it with in-car television or adjustable suspension, and the seats have electronically adjustable air-powered bolstering.
Will I get carjacked in it?
The chances are slim, but it is a hot car - so don't drive in the badlands after dark.
How's the cabin ambience?
Much like a cave. It's dark, tight, and not exactly comfortable, especially if you're the kind of person whose pants are size L or bigger. So yeah, a cave sums it up nicely.
What's the stereo like?
Pretty damn good. It's a Bang & Olufsen system with 14 speakers, and it's very loud and quite clear. You can connect your iPod via cable and talk on the phone via Bluetooth, but there's no audio streaming function.
Does it like corners?
The all-wheel-drive system helps it scramble out of corners well, but the rear can get wide in the wet. The steering has a nice amount of weight to it, though, and it's quite agile when pushed hard.
What about bumps?
It doesn't love them - especially bigger ones. It can crash over larger potholes and the like, but generally copes fine with smaller bumps.
What about service stations?
We'd suggest you'll get to know your local servo attendant very well. Very well.
Would you buy one?
I'd find it very hard to justify the extra spend against the more manic Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe. In my opinion it doesn't quite look as eye-catching, but the Benz is nearly $20,000 cheaper, is more powerful and has an even better soundtrack. And it's comfier, too.
"Speed is a challenge. To combine speed and beauty is an art," Audi says.
"See, we can make one that goes as fast as it looks!"