A gentleman’s four door road rocket: Audi’s RS 5 Sportback

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Maturity - a word that sounds both positive and boring at the same time. Perhaps it depends on your perspective? When you’ve reached that point of harmonious equilibrium in your life, the concept should make more sense. Maturity brings confidence in knowing what, where and how you are doing things in your life.


The Audi brand designs and manufactures mature-looking cars. They are conceived to age well, engineered to appeal to many driver types and made to high-quality standards. The brand is less interested in being brash and loud. Not dull by any means - Audi has created the RS or Audi Sports sub-brand which is a testament to striking design. These models titivate the senses in a mature way. They have also been Scotch Guarded against ego overload.


The RS 5 Sportback is not a wild rider hooligan, but more a secure time warp rocket ship.


A new Audi Sport model, which made its debut recently, is the RS 5 Sportback. Built off the A5, it’s garnished to the hilt. Its muscular stature makes for an eye-catching site. The RS 5 is undeniably bold and beautiful on the eye and an attraction on the road. Equally as attractive as the Coupe, the Sportback accommodates four rimless doors which better accommodates a driver and their passengers.  

So, on the looks front, it gets a tick and there are accommodations for four.


Being a performance car, what lies beneath its bonnet is important. Generally, the bigger, the better. The previous RS 5 squeezed a lively 4.2-L V8. It's 2019, the world is going green and less is much more these days. The new RS 5 features a 2.9-L V6 twin turbo engine. But don’t be fooled by its meagre size because this engine, which is shared with the Porsche Panamera S, scoops a dollop of power like a supercar. 331 kW and 600 Nm to be precise, it is available through most of the RS 5’s rev range. That means you’ll hit the legal limit in 4.1 seconds and top out at a governed 250 km/h. The sound of the engine is magic to the ears, albeit, for aficionados, the older V8 had an audible charm that no V6 can mimic.


All I can say is thank heavens the RS 5 comes standard with Audi’s outstanding Quattro system. You try putting that much power down on the tarmac without drama. I know some of you like a bit of drama – like you’ll get from a rear-wheel-driven car - but with that much grunt, entertainment quickly flips to scary depending on the driver's experience levels. So, if you feel the need for rear wheel sliding then the C 63 and M3 are your best bet. Quattro, on the other hand, doesn’t play that game - it’s idiot proof - oodles of power lashed reassuringly down on the ground for a failsafe driving experience. Now that’s my vibe.

Performance – it gets a tick.


The interior is much the same as the A5 and S5 – it’s very Audi – Bauhaus in its simplicity but very beautifully put together. I do have an exception though – the RS 5 looks more unique than the S5. Well, it doesn’t really. Not unless you tick the optional box for the Carbon inlays in the RS look. This detailing replaces the detailed standard aluminium treatment and looks great. But on the whole, the interior is beautiful and very practical. The boot is big and electronic in its operation, and you can carry four adults with ease. The RS 5 Sportback is well-spec'd with a long list of mod-cons that make driving safer and easier. The options list is long, but remember, you start ticking some of the boxes and your RS 5 will get pricey.


Interior – it gets a tick.


Highlights of the RS 5 are its outstanding engine and gearbox combination, surefooted braking system, compliant ride and razor sharp optional Dynamic steering. It’s not perfect - almost though. The RS 5 is a very powerful Grand Tourer, rather than a brutal sports sedan. What that means is that cars like BMW’s M3/4 are honed for dynamic driving, especially the Competition Pack or GTS variants which are raceway ready.


Personally, this softer-sided, gentleman’s express rocket is more my vibe. Plug it into Comfort mode and briskly, but casually, slink from location to location. If you’re feeling naughty and up for a giggle, hit the Dynamic mode and your RS 5 just got angrier. Everything becomes harsh, blisteringly quick and ready to race. Once you’re done giggling, red in the face and your pulse is racing at 100 bpm, then dial back to Comfort Mode and just enjoy the beautifully advanced machine within your hands. 


Plus + 

Bold and beautiful.

Outstanding engine.

Very quick.

Refined and comfortable ride.

Minus -

Not as hard-edged some of its competitors.

It’s an expensive version of already very competent A5/S5. 

The competition 

BMW M3/M4, Mercedes-AMG C63 /S, Alfa and Romeo Quadrifoglio Verde. 



RS 5 Coupé

2.9 TFSI quattro tiptronic - R1,466 833.00


Service and Warranty

5-year/100 000 km maintenance plan. 



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