Want something slightly more practical than an RS5, but not as big as an RS4? Audi has just the weapons grade niche-filler for you: the new RS5 Sportback.
It’s the first time Audi’s five-door A5 Sportback has been given the RS treatment (the previous-gen version was only given an S5 variant), and the results are rather aesthetically pleasing, aren’t they?
It follows the same recipe of the RS5 coupe and the RS4 Avant, meaning there’s a longitudinally-mounted 2.9-litre V6 living up front powering all four wheels. The Porsche co-developed unit develops 444bhp and 443lb ft of torque, making 0-60mph possible in 3.9 seconds. That’s a couple of tenths down on the coupe, as the Sportback is predictably a little fatter - it tips the scales at 1840kg. The top speed meanwhile is limited to 174mph.
The V6’s torque is split 60:40 favouring the rear wheels via a Torsen centre differential. Depending on traction conditions, it can send anything up to 85 per cent of torque to the front, and 70 per cent to the rear.
The RS5 Sportback’s rear doors and hatchback boot opening aren’t the only things helping practicality - there’s actually quite a lot of luggage space to play with. The 480 litre boot is only 25 litres off the capacity of the RS4, and if you fold down the rear seats, you get a whole 1300 litres to fill.
So it’s fast, practical, nicely makes up for the lack of RS4 saloon in the range, and unlike the RS4 Avant, it will be sold in North America, with orders opening in the US and Canada during the second half of 2018. Expect UK sales to kick off slightly later, and pricing to be similar to the coupe.
Happy with just having an ogle in the metal? The car is making its debut at the New York Auto Show this week.