With seemingly less concern associated with fuel costs, automotive engineering over the last couple of years has taken on two primary agendas – new SUVs and faster sports cars. The benefit of the latter is that speed and engine efficiency often go hand-in-hand.
Case in point – Audi’s new RS 5. With a three-year gap between the new model and its predecessor, it will look to compete with a collection of faster sports coupes like the Mustang, Camaro, and BMW M4. This new breed offers room for four passengers and all the latest toys for enjoying the ride – albeit a shorter one as innovative engine technology means you move from Point A to B quicker than ever before.
For Audi, this meant replacing the naturally-aspirated 4.2-liter V8 with a 2.9-liter V6 supported by a pair of turbochargers. This helped shed nearly 70 pounds of weight and add 126 foot-pounds of torque while achieving the identical 444 horsepower. It also features a higher top speed of 174 mph, which is better than that of the proceeding model and current Mustang but still trailing the 190-mph top speed of a Camaro. Its 0-60 time of 3.7 seconds ties the Camaro but is half of a second quicker than the first-generation RS 5.
Additionally, the seven-speed dual clutch transmission was replaced by an eight-speed automatic – which would seem to be a nod towards catering to a larger audience of drivers. Additional features include carbon-ceramic front brake rotors, a carbon fiber engine cover, an 8.3” infotainment/navigation display, and the optional dynamic ride control active suspension package – another comfort-focused option meant to make it attractive to both enthusiasts and commuters.
A well-equipped RS 5 will run about $90,000, compared with a top-of-the-line Mustang coming in around $50,000, and a fully decked out Camaro reaching $75,000.