The 2013 Audi RS5

450hp 2013 Audi RS5 priced from $68,900

The 2013 Audi RS5 is about the reach US consumers and when it does – this 450 horsepower, V8 powered high performance all wheel drive coupe will carry a starting price of $68,900 plus the destination charge of $895 for a total “base” price of $69,795.

The 2013 Audi RS5 is an ultra high performance model based on the A5 coupe but the track-based high performance modifications allow the RS5 to stand out from the A5 and S5 with a price to boot. The heart of the 2013 RS5 is the 4.2L FSI V8 that churns out 450 horsepower and 316lb-ft of torque with that power funneled to all four wheels via a seven speed Audi S Tronic dual clutch transmission and the Quattro advanced all wheel drive system. This drivetrain configuration allows the 2013 Audi RS5 to dash from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds on the way to hitting a top speed of 174 miles per hour.

As is the case with other Audi performance models, the 2013 Audi RS5 features exterior components that are unique to this new high performance sports coupe. This begins up front with the honeycomb style “Singleframe” grille set in an aggressive front fascia with larger lower openings, also filled with black honeycomb. Along the sides, the RS5 features unique lightweight wheels and out back, there is another package-specific fascia with an extra aggressive lower splitter area that encases the large dual exhaust tips. The 2013 RS5 also features an automatic rear spoiler that lifts to improve aerodynamics when the car goes over 75 miles per hour, dropping back down when speeds drop below 50. Also, this spoiler can be set to the up position manually via a switch inside. Also inside, the 2013 Audi RS5 features a race inspired flat bottom steering wheel that holds stereo control buttons and shift paddles to control the dual clutch transmission.

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In addition to the 450 horsepower V8 and the unique body dressings, the 2013 Audi RS5 differs from the A5 and S5 in its high performance capacity with the most aggressive suspension setup in the model lineup. This setup features unique shocks, springs, wheels and tires for supreme cornering and braking while the Quattro AWD system of the RS5 is tuned specifically for this model – sending more power to the rear wheels to allow this car to react more like a rear drive sports coupe. The Quattro system also allows the differential to transfer power to a specific wheel when under hard cornering so the RS5 is designed to perform well in every performance venue – be it drag strip, autocross tarmac or road course.

The RS line has long been popular overseas but 2013 marks the first introduction of the Audi RS5 to the US market. The RS name was first offered to American buyers with the TT RS Coupe but with the arrival of the 2013 RS5 – American Audi enthusiasts finally have their shot at one of the big, bad V8 Audi performance models. It will be interesting to see how well this 450 horsepower RS5 competes with other models in the luxury performance coupe segment but it will be more interesting to see if Audi buyers opt for the RS5 over the S6, S7 and S8 – all of which are powered by the new twin turbocharged 4.0L V8.