22 February 2010

Revealed: Audi RS5

444bhp rival for BMW M3 Coupe breaks cover ahead of Geneva debut

Audi RS5

We weren't supposed to find out about this until next week, but call it an early GenevaPresent. Ready? OK.

Audi has revealed the RS5 - a 444bhp rival for the BMW M3 Coupe - ahead of its Geneva debut after brochure details were leaked onto the internet by some naughty rapscallions of loose morals.

See more pics of the RS5

But to heck with the back-story. Let's kick off with the Big Numbers: the four-wheel-drive RS5 will crack 62mph in 4.6 seconds and run to 155mph - unless you ask Audi very nicely to remove the limiter, in which case it'll hit 174mph. Yes, it's faster - and more powerful - than the M3 Coupe.

That 444bhp comes courtesy of a reworked version of the R8's 4.2-litre V8, making a full 30bhp more and driving all four wheels through a seven-speed DSG gearbox. A new centre diff feeds 60 per cent of the torque to the rear wheels in normal driving, but can send up to 85 per cent to the rear - or 70 per cent to the front - in extreme conditions. Oh, and you can turn the ESP off. Like, properly off. Good.

Visual differences from the S5 could best be described as ‘subtle': there's a new front splitter and bigger air intakes, with a retractable spoiler round the back that raises at 75mph, a feature officially known as the ‘Ooh, look at me, officer!' wing.

We're expecting the RS5 to cost around £60,000 when it goes on sale later this year, making it more expensive than that M3 Coupe. We'll bring you more details from the Geneva show next week. Waddya think, y'all?

Now share it...

What do you think?

This service is provided by Disqus and is subject to their privacy policy and terms of use. Please read Top Gear's code of conduct (link below) before posting.