WORLD PREMIERE: 2020 Audi RS5 Coupe and Sportback get Facelifts

As one of the best looking cars in its segment, the Audi RS5 is not a car in need of a facelift. It’s getting one anyway, as Audi needs to keep its model line modern and fresh as newer competitors hit the market. So released today, the Audi RS5 Coupe and Sportback have both received a mid-cycle refresh to make sure they stay looking as sharp as can be.


Much like the rest of Audi’s new lineup, the RS5 gets a new face that includes the brand’s new familial grille design, which is now flatter and wider. Above the grille, there are three “implied” vents, that are supposed to hark back to the Audi Sport Quattro from the ’80s. I do like how Audi even admits the vents are “implied” in the press release, meaning they’re fake. Still, they look cool, so Audi gets a pass.


But it also gets some other visual upgrades that make the Audi RS5 looks more aggressive, such as 40 mm wider wheel arches, new front air inlets and optional Matrix LED headlights. The RS5 Coupe also gets a carbon fiber roof option, which not only reduces weight and lowers the car’s center of gravity but it also visually lowers the car.


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Two new colors are available; Turbo Blue and Tango Red and the former — seen on the Audi RS5 Coupe in these photos — looks very good. Both cars can also get blacked out logos and four-ring badges.


On the inside, the new Audi RS5 gets the same sort of visual upgrades as the RS4. So it has the brand’s new Touch Response MMI system and upgraded Virtual Cockpit, which includes the awesome new “RS Mode”. While it doesn’t look much different, functionality is greatly improved, which is more important than any sort of visual upgrade.


However, there is another interior update that doesn’t really add any visual or functional upgrade but it does improve the overall experience inside the Audi RS5. That’s the upgrade to all-aluminum paddle shifters. One of the most annoying aspects of modern Audi performance cars was the brand’s use of cheap-feeling plastic paddles. Now, they’re all-aluminum and feel much better, having sample them in the Audi RS6 at the LA Auto Show.

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Straight-line performance hasn’t changed, though, as the facelifted Audi RS5 will still use the same 2.9 liter twin-turbocharged V6 as before. That means 443 hp (450 PS) and 442 lb-ft of torque, which is still plenty. It also retains the same eight-speed automatic and Quattro all-wheel drive, with the same optional rear sports differential.


However, lateral performance has been improved, as both the new Audi RS5 Coupe and Sportback get the same new Dynamic Ride Control as the RS6. DRC is an optional suspension upgrade that consists of cross-linked hydraulic suspension, which can keep the body flat and taut during cornering but also allow the ride to be supple over broken pavement. The pre-facelift RS5 had DRC as well but this new version is much improved.

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Another addition to the facelifted Audi RS5 is the brand’s new RS1 and RS2 modes. With a button on the steering wheel, the driver can select from two different customizable driving modes. Those modes are programmable via the Drive Select menu and allow the driver the tailor the car exactly to their personal preference, with two to choose from. So the driver can have one for daily use and one for track use, or whatever else they might want. It’s a system new to Audi’s latest RS cars and it’s one that previous RS models were sorely missing.


Sales for the Audi RS5 Coupe and Sportback will begin in Germany shorty, followed by rollouts in other markets. Prices will start at EUR 83,500.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.