This new Audi RS5 is one of the very best all-around sports cars you can buy, especially in its more practical Sportback body style. However, since its debut, it has lacked some of the emotion, some of the fizz that enthusiasts were hoping for. That very fizz is something the old car had. So, despite the new car being faster, more capable, more comfortable and even more efficient, is it actually better?
Powering the new Audi RS5, in this case the Sportback, is a 2.9 liter twin-turbocharged V6 with 450 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque. It has an eight-speed automatic and Quattro all-wheel drive, which helps it hit 60 mph in under four seconds. That sounds great on paper.
The real-world engine winner, though, is the old RS5. It gets a 4.2 liter naturally-aspirated V8 with 450 horsepower as well but with only 317 lb-ft of torque. That lower torque figure only allows it to get from 0-60 mph in… honestly, it doesn’t matter because listen to it…
Sure, the new 2.9 liter blown-six is astonishingly effective but not incredibly exciting. The old 4.2 liter free-breathing screamer that powers the old B8-gen RS5 is nothing short of intoxicating. Just listening to it wail, howl and bark near its 8,250 (!) rpm redline, even through a microphone and some crappy laptop speakers is deeply addictive. Imagine hearing it in the real world, feeling that incredible engine react to your own right foot? Compared to that, 0-60 mph times mean nothing.
There’s no question that the new Audi RS5 is objectively the more impressive car. However, it’s just not exciting enough to warrant its price tag. The old car is slower, less capable and features far worse technology. However, the old car does all the things sports cars are supposed to do better than the new car; it looks better, sounds better, gives its driver more fizz and is far more fun to drive.