Audi RS5 coupe driven
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One of the best things about the Audi A5 is the way it manages to look like it's flying even when it's standing still.
That's even more obvious with the all-new RS5 version, but once you get your mitts on the fat-rimmed sports steering you'll be quickly aware that it's not just an illusion of speed you're getting.
The RS5 is powered by a 4.2-litre V8 delivering 444bhp at a dizzy 8250rpm, so performance is not for the faint-hearted. The pace couldn't be easier to access, either, because the RS5 is available exclusively with a S-tronic semi-automatic gearbox.
All you need do is stand on the go pedal and the scenery will quickly become a blur. The speed's all accompanied by a loud 'phut' from the exhaust pipe every time the gearbox shifts up another gear.
If you want to be more hands-on you can flick up and down through the seven-speed box via the steering-wheel-mounted paddles.
The problem is that even when you drive the RS5 like you stole it, it's still not the most thrilling machine.
You can rely upon the reassuring traction of Audi's latest four-wheel-drive system, minimal body roll and sharp turn-in to corners, but it would be nice if there were a little more bite through the steering wheel to help you engage with the car.
All that go needs to be backed up by decent brakes, and the RS5's certainly are powerful, but they are rather abrupt in their quest to haul you to a standstill.
That said, it's hard not to be impressed by the quality and duality of the RS5. The cabin is sublime, and flicking the adaptive suspension from Dynamic mode into Comfort setting changes the ride from firm and abrupt to smooth and cosseting.
Yes, those silver door mirrors create a bit of wind noise, and there's a bit of road noise on grainier surfaces, but the RS is a surprisingly civilised long-distance tourer. At least it would be were it not for the measly 26.2mpg average fuel figure – and you'd only achieve that figure if you pussyfoot it around.
What Car? says
Not as exciting as the numbers would suggest