The diesel Audi A8l, then the Audi A7 Sportback and now the Audi RS5 coupe in India test drive. We sure are going Audilicious in a big way. To be frank enough, the RS5 coupe looks the German part right from the outset. The very reason that the RS5 coupe is the most sought after coupe everywhere in the world and Audi thinks that the Indian market may also be upto the mark on this one. Not only is the Audi R8 the most sought after hyper car in the country but it has also managed to outsell most of the Porsches and come to think of it, we are quoting numbers from month to year basis. So we have the Audi RS5 coupe in India for a preview. As of now, Audi don’t have a car for test drive or review here, so a preview has been done here so that the prospective buyers of this car have a right set of expectations.
As discussed earlier, the Audi RS5 coupe in India has got that same goatee grille that has become an Audi signature but at the same time, has been widely adopted by different manufacturers with a different approach. Nevertheless, Audi can definitely put their money in saying that this is a their trademark approach. However the grille of this new car is a bit different as it looks more like a mesh with those 4 interwined circles and the RS5 badge giving the connotation of a Skoda vRS turbo look. The head lamps are nothing short of spectacular and have the usual Audi visage in them. The air dams and splitters have the Audi A7 look embedded in them. Like most of the Audi cars, there is no fog lamp holed in the air dams as well. Wish that Audi could have given an option of fitting in a full LED complement for the fog lamps. The tyres are of the 265/35-ZR19 alloy type whereas Audi have also given an option to go in for higher profile tyres of the size 20 configuration. The side profile look seems a tad more menacing than the Audi A7’s and is more in the ballpark of the Audi R8. As for the rear, the windscreen may allow just for that sight while the tail lamps are an all LED configuration shared with the others in the Audi family. The twin tail pipes are chunky units and look very good. If you are in the mood for it, Audi is ready to offer you a performance sports exhaust with a whole lot of aural qualities to it.
Top notch cabin quality is another Audi trademark but we feel that the cabin would be boring just like the other Audis here in India. Whilst the other markets across the world may get all black leather upholstery, Indians would maybe get the mix of beige and leather for company. The seats are said to be well sculpted and this Audi, just like the A7 comes with two seats at the rear for added practicality. The seats have head rests with restrainers. The instruments and switches are typical Audi fare while the MMI system isn’t of the pop up types, like in the Audi A7. The steering wheel also has the RS5 badge on it in half red and green. The pedals however have a car symbol on them and this looks real sporty along with the drilled configuration that they come in. There is no dearth of gizmos around however not all gizmos are unwanted in here. The front seats offer fantastic under thigh support and also have a great amount of travel to accommodate the driver and also the co-passenger. However this is at the expense of the rear passenger seat space, which by the way, is almost non existent if the front seat is pulled all the way back. The yacht like gear lever from the A8L has been replaced with a new round sporty one. The rear seat space is best for kids with a low under thigh support and head room. The boot space is good for touring with about 455 liters at your disposal. Unfortunately, the seats don’t split the 60:40 pattern and hence this means that some of the practicality is lost in the process.
Every Audi nowadays comes with the Quattro system, given the performance on tap. This all wheel drive system transfers 60 percent of the power produced to the rear wheels however when the situation demands, it can transfer as much as 90 percent of power to the rear wheels, making this coupe essentially a rear wheel driven one. The Audi RS5 coupe in India would be available with the electro magnetic dampers that the Audi A7 also carries with it. It is said that this damping system has various modes to it and one can play their hearts out here with the variable steering, power and also suspension adjustments. Ride quality is similar to the Audi A7’s while handling is said to be similar to the R8 coupe if a bit disconcerting. The disconcerting part is because the RS5 coupe tends to have the nose heavy characteristics of a heavy front engined car. Whilst one might be pointing the car towards a certain corner, the car would display a bit of the understeer that rear wheel drive biased cars show and then cut the corner quickly, aided by its Quattro system. The steering feels precise, if a tad light, when cutting corners. For the ride quality, the Comfort mode is the best where the stiff dampers of the RS5 coupe are at their highest point with their setting being considerably softened. Muted thuds are what usually follow the car’s love affair with potholes. The ground clearance, which is on the higher side, for a coupe, will still scrape some speed breakers if one isn’t careful enough. The RS5 is as silent as the Audi A6 at regular speeds of upto 130 kmph however post that, the RS5 takes on a wail which is befitting its V8 engine configuration.
The Audi RS5 coupe in India has an engine which is actually a derivation of the one in the Audi R8. For that matter, the engine borrows heavily from both the V8 as also the V10 engine configurations and ends up with power figures which are exactly in the mid level of both the engines. This 4163 cc direction injection petrol engine has a V8 cylinder configuration which puts out 444 Bhp of power at a lofty 8250 rpm while the torque of 430 Nm is delivered at 4000 rpm. Transmission duties are taken care off by a 7 speed DCT, which essentially is a dual clutch setup. There are paddle shifts provided for behind the steering wheel. What Audi have done is incorporated the clunk sound that the Audi R8’s transmission has when the gears are shifted. However, here, the sound setup is such that it is emitted only when the car is put in Dynamic mode. However the car is best left in auto mode where it upshifts just short of the redline whereas the Dynamic mode brings in the devil in it with upshifts happening just at the redline. Even if one were to downshift, the RS5’s throttle gets automatically blipped resulting in pure motoring sound to the ears. It is said that the RS5 races from 0-100 kmph in only under 5 seconds and this despite having a kerb weight which is approximately 130 kgs more than that of the Audi R8. The top speed is an electronically restricted 250 kmph. The timing quoted here for the 0-100 kmph figure is for achieved only with the launch control mode. Otherwise expect to add some 0.3 seconds to the timings.
Such a performance and it is but natural to expect super rated brakes for company. The RS5 coupe comes with discs all around and couple that with the ABS, EBD and many other assorted electronic aids and the RS5 is one brake happy machine. Even panic stops are said to be dealt with a sense of stability. Safety features aren’t much discussed in hyper coupes with the assumption that the companies would definitely take care of them and the RS5 coupe is no different. For the fuel efficiency, it is said that the RS5 drinks more fuel (petrol) than even its nearest competition, the BMW M5. Approximates put it as 4.6 kmpl in the city and 7.7 kmpl on the highway. The 65 liters fuel tank however more than makes up for the lack of good fuel efficiency by providing a decent range.
Summing it all up, the RS5 coupe should do well in India considering that there was no alternative to the maniacal BMW M5. The Audi RS5 produces more power than the Bavarian, however, it doesn’t have the handling precision that the Bavarian is known for. The best part is that the RS5 doesn’t announce its sinister intentions, which the M5, just trumpets with every stride. The Audi is also calmer in traffic and does none of the snorting antics until it is called for. It is a practical car to live with and drive, that is if you are fine with its drinking habits. Well, off course you would be. The Audi RS5 coupe price in India of Rs 76 lakhs is a good thing to justify that its buyers wouldn’t care a nary about its fuel gulping habits. Bookings for it have already started however deliveries would be post October and hence no test drive cars have made it to India yet. Audi certainly is on a roll starting 2011 and we are sure that this roll that they have started would continue and take the company to the next level in India.