The current Audi RS5 Coupe and Sportback four-door hatchback are quite entrancing, given how they look and behave like well-mannered cruisers but flicker into red-mist fiery antics with a prod of their accelerator pedals. Wake each one up, and their engines emit formidable growls and the cars reveal their true performance potential. Now, Audi is giving its dual-personality RS5s a fresh new design that better matches their athletic potential. The playbook for this update matches that which Audi used on the 2020 A5 and S5 Coupe and Sportback, as well as the A4 and S4 sedans.
Upfront, the 2021 Audi RS5 Coupe and Sportback—they’re pretty similar from the A-pillar forward—receive an updated grille with a black honeycomb design. A clever blast from the past, the implied row of air vents right above the grille harken back to the classic Audi Quattro. Below, the RS’s lower vents get a more prominent look. The main attraction of the front face is a new headlight design. Matrix LED headlights are standard, but buyers can instead opt for darkened Matrix LEDs with Audi’s laser light tech.
In the rear of the vehicles, a revised bumper design shows off that sultry, big-outlet dual exhaust. New 20-inch wheel options are available, including one finished in bronze. Step inside, and you’ll find the honeycomb pattern from the grille repeats itself on the RS sport seats. Alcantara and leather provide for a sumptuous interior, with Nappa leather available as an option. The models receive a new 10.1-inch central touchscreen based on Audi’s latest infotainment platform. There’s no longer a knob on the center console that controls the infotainment system. Audi’s 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster is the cherry on top of this tech-filled interior’s cake.
Engine power hasn’t changed, so the 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6 hiding in the RS5’s new nose continues to make 444 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. Once again, this engine pairs to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive is standard. Drivers can choose new RS1 and RS2 drive modes in addition to the familiar comfort, auto, and dynamic settings.
Audi hasn’t announced U.S.-specific information for the updated RS5 models yet, but you can expect them to cost a little more than the current models, which start at $75,195. Expect the 2021 Audi RS5 Coupe and RS5 Sportback to arrive in the U.S. in the second half of 2020.
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