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February 2010
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Geneva Auto Show: High-performance Audi RS5 ready for debut

Audi’s hot RS5 coupe gets its debut at the Geneva auto show in early March. But Audi still hasn’t committed to bringing the car to the U.S. market.

The RS5 will get Audi’s high-revving 4.2-liter V8 engine, making 450 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. Horsepower is up 30 from the last 4.2-liter, which made a name for itself in Audi’s R8. The roughly 3,800-pound RS5 will sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 4.6 seconds. The coupe will pull all the way up to a limited 155 mph, but upon request, Audi can push the limiter to an autobahn-ready 174 mph.

Audi claims the RS5 will get more than 21 mpg combined. To do this, it minimized friction in the engine and drivetrain and added an energy-recovery system that operates during coasting and braking.

Audi’s seven-speed transmission also helps with the fuel savings. The dual-clutch system has been reinforced to accommodate the powerful V8. It can operate in fully automatic mode, or the driver can take control with the paddles or the center-mounted shifter.

Standard on the RS5 is Audi Drive Select, which allows drivers to switch between auto, comfort and dynamic driving modes. The modes apply to the exhaust sound, fuel curve and suspension settings. With the optional MMI system, you can create a setting all your own. The RS5 also features a launch-control mode, where you just stomp on the gas and let Audi’s seven-speed figure out the rest.

Like all RS models, the RS5 gets Audi’s permanent all-wheel-drive system. The newest of these systems uses a crown-gear differential which is lightweight and very efficient. Seventy percent of the power can go to the front wheels and as much as 85 percent can go to the tail if necessary. The standard bias is a sporty 40:60.

The RS5 sits nearly 0.8 inch lower than the slick A5 and it rolls off the line with 19-inch alloys standard. Twenty-inch wheels are available, as are carbon-ceramic brakes.

Inside, Audi offers several trim options, from piano black to carbon fiber to suede. Optionally, you can get a dark stainless-steel mesh. The interior gets brushed aluminum on most of the buttons and switches.

The base price of the Audi RS5 will be e 77,000, or $104,600 at current exchange rates. Let’s just hope Audi sees fit to bring this one across the pond.


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