2019 Audi RS5 Sportback First Drive Review
Toby Hagon’s 2019 Audi RS5 Sportback First Drive Review with price, specs, performance, ride and handling.
2019 Audi RS5 Sportback Specifications
Price $157,500+ORC Warranty three-years unlimited kilometres Safety Not tested Engine 2.9-litre twin-turbo six-cylinder Power 331kW from 5700-6700rpm Torque 600Nm from 1900-5000rpm Transmission 8-speed automatic Drive quattro all-wheel drive Weight 1730kg
Size matters in the new Sportback version of Audi’s hot shot RS5. Blending the four-door practicality of a sedan with the falling roofline and frameless doors of a coupe, the new addition to the lineup is 59mm longer than the two-door it shares so much with.
That means easier access to the rear and more space when you’re there, although head room is still tight for taller people.
Legroom, too, is acceptable rather than great, although at least you get rear air vents and two USB charging points to keep gadgets going. Oh, plus there’s an extra seat in the middle, taking capacity to five, one more than the RS5 Coupe.
And while the 480-litre boot is 15 litres larger than the Coupe it still falls well short of the 505 litres on offer in the RS4 Avant, the most practical of Audi’s compact RS models.
The RS5 Sportback shares plenty with the wagon-only RS4, although its lighter body ensures the blast to 100km/h takes just 3.9 seconds, a full 0.2 seconds quicker than the more practical wagon.
Brisk it is, the 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 using its 331kW to good effect. While it’s a tad bland in Drive, tipping the stubby gear lever into Sport adds some snarl to the exhaust and sharpens gearshifts.
The standard Quattro all-wheel drive systems ensures none of the 600Nm goes wayward, traction a highlight out of intersections or tight corners. Indeed it’s the point-and-shoot user friendliness of the RS5 that cements its fiery temperament.
What it lacks in character compared with the rival BMW M4 or crankiness against the Mercedes-AMG C63 it makes up for with competence and sheer pace, the ease with which it devours bitumen seriously impressive.
It also lacks little over the identically priced ($157,500+ORC) Coupe, the carbon fibre roof the main shortfall. And the addition of those rear doors and an electric tailgate will for many cement that practicality argument.