If we were talking about the previous-generation Audi RS5, being compared to the Nissan GT-R, we would not agree with the sense of that comparison. The first-gen RS5 was a good car but it was very specifically a sports car. The Nissan GT-R would eat it for lunch, as it’s a bonafide supercar. However, this new Audi RS5, while still not a supercar in terms of performance, gets surprisingly close, as Autocar found out.
On a delightful stretch of twisty Welsh roads, they pushed both of these cars back-to-back. It’s there, on those twisty roads, where the RS5 shows that it can keep up with the GT-R. Admittedly, the Nissan is faster, of course, but probably not by as much as you’d think and probably not enough to justify the extra cost. Saying that it’s probably as quick does sound a bit bias and baseless, but these aren’t our words, they’re the words of Autocar.
In a straight line, there’s no contest. The Nissan GT-R blows the Audi RS5’s doors off. With 562 hp from its 3.8 liter twin-turbo V6, the GT-R can get from 0-60 mph in 2.8 seconds. That’s supercar-killing performance. As for the Audi RS5, it makes 450 hp from its 2.9 liter twin-turbo V6 and can get from 0-60 mph in about 3.8 seconds. While a second difference might not sound like a lot, in the automotive world it might as well be a minute’s difference.
But the RS5 makes up for that power difference by being lighter and a bit smaller. Plus, its engine makes full torque at a lower rpm, so it makes a bit easier work of point-and-shoot through corners. This helps the RS5 make up some ground through the twisty stuff. Still, the GT-R is faster, but the RS5 can keep up.
Where things really get different, though, is in how they drive. The Nissan GT-R is a violent and intoxicating experience. Some enthusiasts criticize the GT-R for being a bit too anodyne and digital (myself included). However, the sheer velocity and speed it can achieve, as well as how violently it achieves them, is staggering. It leaves you breathless when you step out of the car. The Audi RS5, on the other hand, is relaxing. It’s calm and quiet, even at triple-digit speeds. It achieves its performance with a subtle calmness that the GT-R is incapable of. The Audi’s cabin is also leaps and bounds nicer, with better materials, a nicer design and far better tech.
So if you’re looking for a car to thrill and excite, it’s the Nissan GT-R. If you’re looking for more of a really fast grand touring car, it’s the Audi RS5.