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Audi RS5 (2009) spyshots

By Georg Kacher and Ben Pulman (artist's impressions by Radovan Varicak)

Spy shots

30 March 2009 16:41

This is Audi’s new RS5 out on test on the roads surrounding the Nurburgring, and under the bonnet is a 450bhp twin-turbo V8 that’ll let this coupe take the fight to BMW’s M3. And this RS5 is also our first chance to see the tweaks that’ll appear the A5 facelift in 2010.

A V8? So this new Audi RS5 is hardly in line with the times?

Not at all, especially when you consider that the next M3 is expected to run a twin-turbo six-cylinder engine. But Ingolstadt wants to take the fight to BMW, so will equip its new RS5 coupe with a direct-injection 4.2-litre V8 that produces 450bhp, 332lb ft and rev to 8000rpm – BMW’s naturally aspirated M3 currently has 414bhp by comparison.

And to match the BMW, the RS5 will be available with both a six-speed manual and a seven-speed twin-clutch ‘box for lightning fast gear changes – the RS5 should reach 62mph in 4.5 seconds.

We know Audi’s can produce big bhp numbers, but will it be any good to drive?

Yes, because Audi is pulling out all the stops to make the RS5 an M3-beater. The engine will be mounted as far back as physically possible (in an Audi at least) to ensure a 50:50 weight distribution, while the RS5 also features wider front and rear racks and 20-inch wheels.

And of course this Audi is equipped with a Quattro drivetrain, plus the RS5 will also feature the company’s rear active sport differential – accelerate into a corner and it’ll apportion more torque to the outer rear wheel, helping the car steer.

>> Click 'Next' to read more about the Audi RS5