We think it’s fair to say we should all own some kind of V8 while we still can. Yes, they may be ruinously expensive to run compared to a diesel supermini, but that kind of joy is worth it. And you could do a lot worse than one of these: the old-generation Audi RS5.
Back then, the handsome 8T A5 was a leap forward both in terms of dynamism and niche-building. The two-door sister of the four-door A4 spawned a four-door version of the two-door version of the four-door car for the first time. The real highlight was, of course, the performance end of the range.
Before the modern blown V6 in the new model there was an S5 with 349bhp from a detuned V8, which was further held back by tall gearing. Then there was the RS5, the full 444bhp meat-sack that combined desperately well-balanced, if slightly conservative, styling with a soundtrack from the gods. It was a brilliant thing in totally standard form, composed and controlled most of the time with all-wheel drive traction and a lovely cabin. It had all the things Audi cars normally have, but it also had charisma in spades. A rare beast, then.
The engine was more or less the same 4.2-litre V8 that had amassed a thick folder of media praise as part of its duties in the B7-era RS4, whose twilight production life overlapped that of the then-new 8T A5 by a couple of years. Peak power was at 8250rpm and the rewards for chasing it were an absolute treat for all the senses.
Fast-forward almost a decade and they’ve dropped in price, but perhaps not as far as you’d have expected. In eight years the cheapest examples, like this one, are just under £16,000 after clocking up 70-90,000 miles. To be more specific, this very example is up for sale at £15,995, exactly the same price as the RRP of the cheapest new Ford Fiesta. Frankly we don’t know which angle to be more shocked.
Anyway, this pale grey 8T looks in great condition. The bodywork looks straight, the interior is tidy and there are a lot of photos, which is always encouraging. It has plenty of kit, like electric seats and navigation, four driving modes including a user-customisable one, leather upholstery and a perforated leather steering wheel. Big box ticked, there; at least for me.
There are parking sensors at both ends, three-zone climate control, an alarm and much more, not to mention the 19-inch five-spoke alloy wheels that do still manage to look big, unlike on current models. The car has covered 89,000 miles in its eight years on the road but has a full service history, the seller says. Whether this is from Audi or not, we don’t know.
Still, for a car that can launch to 62mph in about 4.5 seconds while taking care of the usual daily grind and going relatively unnoticed when thieves come calling, you can’t do too much better. We should all own a V8 at some point, and the RS5 is a peach.