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New Audi RS5 Sportback is a 444bhp Quattro hatchback’d coupe

Mega-rapid but ultra-aloof fast Audi-ness now available as a coupe-saloon niche-buster

New niche of Audi klaxon: what happens when you combine the brutally rapid Quattro drivetrain of the RS5 Coupe and RS4 Avant with the five-door, A5 Sportback bodystyle? The answer is heading to the 2018 New York motor show.

Yep, it’s time to welcome the first ever Audi RS5 Sportback. This is pretty much the closest you’ll get to a new RS4 Saloon, if you’re feeling nostalgic. If you’re less sentimental, this is basically an easy bit of box-ticking from Audi Sport. 

The logic (not that logic bothers many German car companies) goes thus: Audi’s got the handsome Sportback body, that’s lower and svelter than the RS4 Avant’s boxy booty, and Audi Sport’s itching to deploy its 2.9-litre, 444bhp, bi-turbo V6. The very engine that’s ready-bolted to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive with an adaptive rear diff and 40:60 rear-biased torque split. Simply add 20-inch wheels, oval tailpipes, some RS motifs, and voila. A new model. 

How else will you tell it apart from the S5 Sportback. Why, there’s a whole 7mm of ride height drop. Yep. Seven mil lower. Don’t put your back out climbing inside…

Conservatively, the Germans claim the RS5 Sportback will see off 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds (our testing of the RS5 coupe suggests knocking half a second off that on a good day), and a top speed limited to 174mph. It’s not a lightweight beast, at 1840kg, but it ought to keep that new C63 AMG honest on a damp road.

Time for the admin: you’ll find wild RS5 Sportbacks roaming the UK in late 2018, and they’re projected to cost pretty much the same as the two-door coupe: £64,000.

Multi-mode adaptive suspension, ceramic brakes and ‘dynamic’ steering is all waiting on the options list. So is Sonoma Green paintwork. You know what the right choice is…

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