Audi RS5 Sportback Front

There must be good demand for high-performance sedans as Audi has for the first time ever introduced the RS5 with a Sportback body. The go-faster five-door “coupé” makes its world debut today at the 2018 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS).

Compared to the regular Sportback, Audi has given the RS5 Sportback a wider look, thanks to wheel housings that bulge out by a further 15 mm. Other RS-specific visual changes include a wide, flat singleframe grille, solid air intakes with a honeycomb structure, a front spoiler with matte aluminum quattro lettering, gloss black trim elements, an RS-specific diffuser insert, RS exhaust system with oval tailpipes and fixed spoiler lip.

Of course, what gives the RS5 its 3.9 second zero-to-100 km/h acceleration time is the 2.9 litre TFSI V6 engine under the bonnet, producing 450 hp thanks to its twin turbochargers producing up to 1.5 bars of pressure. Peak torque is 600 Nm produced over a wide band of 1,900 to 5,000 rpm.

Audi RS5 Sportback Rear

Power goes to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, as well as a quattro permanent all-wheel drive system with a centre differential. In normal driving, torque delivery is split 40:60 front-to-rear for more dynamic handling, but the system can send up to 85% of torque to the front axle and 70% to the rear if it senses slip. There’s also an optional sport differential that provides rear torque vectoring.

The RS5’s suspension is seven millimetres lower than the S5 Sportback’s. Optional is an RS sport suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC), ceramic brakes and RS-specific dynamic steering. The Audi drive select dynamic handling system is fitted as standard.

You can bring four of your friends along for the ride, as the RS5 is a five-seater; it also has a 480 litre boot that can be expanded to 1,300 litres with the 40:20:40-split rear seats folded. You can specify the interior in any colour you want, as long as it’s black – although you can get optional honeycomb quilted Nappa leather as well as an RS design package with red stitching, Alcantara knee pads and red seat belts.

Which would you choose, RS5 Sportback or Coupe? Let us know in the comments.