Inside & Out: 9/10
The Audi RS 5 is sinister. That is by far the best word for it. With a snarling front end, huge air intakes, massive wheel arches housing 20-inch alloy wheels and those vast exhaust pipes at the rear the RS 5 certainly looks the part. There are lots of sporty looking A5s out there though, so it takes a push of the starter button before you fully realise that this thing is the real deal.
Then the 4.2-litre V8 snarls into life. Quite how this car passes sound regulations is a mystery. It is seriously loud.
Inside, the cabin is beautifully finished. A standard A5 is a nice place to be but when you get into six figures the cabin is truly magnificent. The suede steering wheel feels right out of a racer and our test car had every conceivable extra added. There is no manual gearbox available. Instead there is a double clutch transmission entrusted with making cog changes smooth.
Engine & Transmission: 8/10
Magnificent. That is how we would describe the 450hp 4.2-litre V8 which powers the RS 5. It is loud, muscular and ferocious. Around town it will grumble away quietly, constantly sipping at the fuel tank, but when you get out of town and stamp down your right foot it fizzles and claps like thunder. The response is immense. 0-100km/h takes well under five seconds and you would be losing your license in just a few seconds more. The 7-speed S-Tronic transmission is super-smooth, responding in milliseconds to every pull of the steering-wheel mounted paddles. The changes are impossible to perceive and there is no jerkiness, even on rapid downshifts. It is seriously impressive.
Ride & Handling: 9/10
With quattro all-wheel drive handling all this power the grip is immense. The steering is good, but not brilliant, with the age-old problem from Audi of there just not being enough feel through your hands. But this is a minor complaint in what is an otherwise thrilling ride. It is actually quite difficult to perceive speed in the RS 5 and you constantly have to reign yourself in from what would be a trip to the circuit court. Because of all the grip though, in wet or dry conditions you can really push this car on with assurance and you get very brave, very quickly.
Equipment, Economy & Value for Money: 5/10
This is a very expensive car and even that doesn’t guarantee you every extra. There was an astonishing €19,400 worth of extras added to the €102,800 price tag of the RS 5. We can only presume that someone who has six figures to spend on an Audi isn’t likely to be counting pennies. Ather €20,000 would probably be pocket change. The same applies to the running costs, which would be absolutely eye-watering. Aside from the €2,100 per year tax, massive insurance and fuel bills, there would the depreciation, which would be pretty steep too.
An absolutely epic car that is totally impractical for Ireland. But we still love it.