2019 Audi RS5 Sportback Review | carsales

2019 Audi RS5 Sportback Review | carsales


Audi’s performance division is looking bigger
and better than it probably ever has before. But one car that has eluded the line-up, has
been a five-door version of the RS5. Well, here it is. This is the RS5 Sportback, and on paper it
looks the goods. Joining the existing RS4 Avant and RS5 Coupe
and Cabriolet, the Sportback is priced at $157,700 plus on-road costs in Australia. Like those cars, power is drawn from a Porsche-sourced
twin turbo V6, which is made into an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. Nought to 100 takes just 3.9 seconds, which
is sprightly to stay the least. But more than that, it’s the way that the
RS5 Sportback develops its power. The torque curve between 1,900 RPM and 5,500
RPM is as flat as the High Plains. And the gearbox, well, it’s really, really
quick with the way it gets about its business. So long story short, you put your foot down
and it’s boogie time. This thing is just immense with the way that
it goes forward. The performance on hand here is simply mind-blowing. But there’s nothing simple about the RS5 Sportback’s
under body credentials. Audi’s legendary all-wheel drive system, a
Quattro Sport rear differential, RS Sport’s exhaust system and adaptive dampers are all
standard fitment. The RS5 Sportback rides on RS-tuned five-link
suspension at both ends and employs steel brakes, clamped by six-piston front and two-piston
rear callipers. That’s just as well. The Sportback weighs a sizable 1,840kg. But even with all that performance on hand,
the RS5 Sportback is still a really nice car to tour in. Being a torque convertor automatic, rather
than a dual clutch, means that you don’t get any lurching or hesitation from low speeds. And the engine is devoid of turbo lag. It’s really smooth and progressive with the
way that it builds speed. On the open road, you’re never going to quite
get that pillowy, soft ride of a large limousine. But that’s not the RS5’s brief. It definitely sits on the sportier side of
the ledger in terms of its ride and handling comfort. And there is a lot of noise entering the cabin
on coarse, chipped [?] surfaces. But it’s still a really comfortable car to
spend a lot of hours in. We’ve done about 500km in it today, and you
still jump out feeling fresh and ready for more. A similarly sporty vibe permeates the cabin,
with lashings of carbon fibre and plenty of Alcantara. Creature comforts like Audi’s virtual cockpit
display, wireless phone charging, and a Bang and Olufsen sound system, lend the Audi a
true tech-centric vibe. The RS5 Sportback scores points on safety
as well. However, a relatively cramped rear seat and
high-set rear windows may ultimately limit its family appeal. The master stroke for the RS5 Sportback, as
with a lot of Audis, is its all-wheel drive system. It transforms this car from a comfortable
and competent tourer into a really, really successful and easy to read sports car through
the bend. Unsurprisingly, some may come away from Audi’s
sledgehammer performance car thinking it’s a little bland. And make no mistake, we initially fell into
the same trap. But being understated is the RS5 Sportback’s
M.O. After a little bit of time, you soon realise
this is the consummate all-rounder.