We have to be honest, the 2018 Audi RS5 hasn’t received the warm welcome we were hoping. The first-gen car was just so good, had a brilliant naturally-aspirated V8 and a sort of hooligan attitude. So when we heard that the new second-gen RS5 would be even more powerful, lighter and much faster, we were naturally excited. However, now that it’s been driven, almost every review we’ve heard and read claims it to be a bit too numb to really compete with the BMW M4 and Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe.
But, realistically, the Audi RS5 was always sort of the alternative sports coupe. It was the car you bought if you wanted something other than the BMW or AMG. So how does the Audi RS5 compare with the other sports coupe alternative, the Lexus RC F? Autocar finds out in this latest video.
These two cars’ similarities end at their number of doors. Aside from being coupes, these two cars couldn’t be more different. Under the hood of the Audi RS5 lies a 2.9 liter twin-turbo V6 that makes 450 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. The Lexus RC F packs a naturally-aspirated 5.0 liter V8 that makes 467 hp and 389 lb-ft of torque. The Audi powers all four wheels, via Quattro, and the Lexus is rear-drive only. So both cars have very different approaches to the sports coupe recipe. But which is better?
Well, it’s hard to say because they’re drive as differently as their spec sheets suggest. The Audi RS5’s twin-turbo engine provides instant thrust that can almost be too much at times. It’s the far faster car, getting from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds, while the Lexus takes 4.3 seconds. But while the Audi is faster, the Lexus is a bit more exciting to drive. Its naturally-aspirated engine is thrilling and makes a fantastic noise. Audi’s twin-turbo engine is incredibly effective but a bit soulless.
That sentiment seems to carry over to the handling. While the Audi RS5 is incredibly fast and impressive, it’s just not that exciting to drive. Its steering is seriously numb, it’s ride is comfortable and its cabin is quiet. It’s more of a fast GT car, rather than a serious sports car. It’s impressive, comfortable and enjoyable to drive long distances in great speed but it’s not thrilling. The Lexus RC F isn’t a great sports car, as it has bad steering as well and is too heavy to be agile, but it’s a bit more exciting than the RS5.
The problem is that neither of these cars are great sports cars. The Lexus has a fantastic engine and the RS5 is seriously fast. But neither inspire you to drive them. In the end, Autocar basically tells you not to get either the Audi RS5 or the Lexus RC F but to get a BMW M4 or AMG C63 instead. Ouch.