One of the best engines on the planet is Audi’s 4.2 liter naturally-aspirated V8. It’s something from the car gods, as it makes tremendous power, delivers it in a beautifully linear fashion, revs out to 8,250 rpm and makes the most incredible noise doing it. It’s just a sensational engine. The only car Audi currently uses this V8 in is the outgoing Audi RS5. However, with the next-generation RS5, Audi will be ditching the glorious V8 in favor of a 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged V6.
Admittedly, we knew this was going to happen. Audi has been downsizing and turbocharging every new performance car not named R8, as has pretty much every other premium car company. It’s just the way of the times. But fret not, as this new twin-turbo V6 is said to deliver more than the 450 hp of the 4.2 liter V8 and it will do so at a much lower rpm, thanks to the turbos. So the new Audi RS5 will no doubt be quicker than the old car.
This new twin-turbo V6 will be mated to a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic gearbox, much like the current Audi S5, which will drive all four wheels via Quattro. The RS5’s engine will be one of the engines built from the joint venture between Audi and Porsche and will also be used in the upcoming Panamera. The Porsche will get a ZF-source eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox instead of the RS5’s automatic though, which seems unfair for us Audi fans. There will be no manual option for the next RS5 either, which comes as no surprise, really.
Expect 0-60 mph time to come in just over four seconds, though it could get just under that, maybe 3.8/3.9 seconds. Top speed for the RS5 should be around an electronically-limited 174 mph. So there’s no doubt that the next Audi RS5 will be an absolute beast on the road and on the track, but we fear that it will lose much of the soul the current car has.
We’re also hearing rumors that Audi could finally create a Sportback variant of the Audi RS5, which would be very interesting. Currently, the only Audi Sportback to get the RS treatment is technically the RS7, so an RS5 Sportback would be a very cool, very welcome addition to the four-ringed family. However, even if Audi does develop it, it won’t make it to the North America because Audi.
We’ll miss the 4.2 liter V8 in the current Audi RS5, but we have no doubt that this new twin-turbocharged V6 will be the better performer. We just hope it brings some of the V8’s soul with it.