2015 Audi RS 5

What's new for 2015? For 2015, the Audi RS 5 gets a few minor updates to its options list, including three new wheel designs, a Black Optic Plus package and red-painted brake calipers.

Style and performance don't come together much better in Audi's lineup than they do with the 2015 RS 5. Although it's based on the rather ordinary A5 and its S5 performance variant, the four-seat RS 5 swaps in a scintillating 450-horsepower V8, giving it a 117-hp boost over the S5 and more than double the A5's output. With the standard rear-biased all-wheel drive, the RS 5 is an enthralling car to drive, second only to the otherworldly R8 in Audi's current two-door hierarchy.

Other than a pretty firm ride quality, the four-seat RS 5 is pretty agreeable for everyday driving, too. With comfortable front seats and decent cargo capacity, the RS 5 makes for a satisfying long-distance tourer. And like every Audi, the RS 5 has an impeccably crafted and well-appointed cabin that can be further upgraded with several infotainment, comfort and appearance options. With its tasty blend of luxury, style and high-revving V8 thrills, the 2015 Audi RS 5 will certainly be a tempting choice.

Exterior Highlights
High-performace coupe or convertible (Cabriolet) offered in one well-euipped trim level

The 2015 Audi RS 5 is a high-performance coupe or convertible (Cabriolet) offered in one well-equipped trim level. Both body styles have the same equipment, but the convertible substitutes a power-operated soft top with a rear window defroster and a wind blocker.

Standard features include 19-inch wheels with summer tires, a sport-tuned suspension, performance brakes (with larger front discs compared to the S5), dual exhaust, RS-specific styling flourishes (including "wide-body" panels for a more muscular appearance), automatic adaptive xenon headlights with washers, LED running lights and taillights, an adaptive rear spoiler, a tilt-only panoramic sunroof, auto-dimming mirrors with exterior heating, front and rear parking sensors, keyless ignition and entry, tri-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated eight-way power front sport seats (with four-way power lumbar adjustment), driver memory functions, carbon-fiber interior trim, split-folding rear seatbacks, Bluetooth phone connectivity, the base MMI infotainment system with dash-mounted controls, a 6.5-inch display and a 14-speaker (12 for the convertible) Bang & Olufsen sound system with satellite radio and iPod integration.

The Technology package is optional and includes a CD player, HD radio, Bluetooth audio connectivity, an upgraded MMI system with console-mounted controls, a 7-inch display, a navigation system with voice controls, Audi Connect (featuring Google Earth integration, Google-powered search functions, smartphone app integration and WiFi hotspot capability), a rearview camera and blind-spot monitoring.

The Driver Assist package requires the Technology package and adds adaptive cruise control and adaptive steering. The Comfort Seat package adds perforated leather seats with ventilation and less-aggressive side bolsters to both body styles, while the Cabriolet additionally receives a neck-level heating system that deletes the standard "RS" embossing on the seatbacks. The new Black Optic Plus package replaces last year's Black Optic package and consists of unique 20-inch wheels, a gloss-black grille, gloss-black window trim, body-colored mirrors, a carbon-fiber engine cover and a sport exhaust system with black finishers.

Stand-alone options include various 20-inch wheels, carbon-ceramic front brakes, red brake calipers, the sport exhaust from the Black Optic Plus package, leather/synthetic-suede "S line" front seats (not available with the Comfort Seat package) and matte-aluminum exterior trim.

Understated design, top-notch materials, supportive front seats, multilayer construction provides impressive insulation convertible roof

The RS 5's interior receives high marks for its understated design and use of top-notch material. The RS 5's standard front seats provide ample support to hold the driver and passenger firmly in place while cornering, yet are comfortable enough for all-day touring. The optional Comfort Seat package actually reduces the size of the side bolsters for those who prefer a more relaxed approach.

Although the Cabriolet has a traditional soft top, its tight-fitting, multilayer construction provides impressive insulation from noise and weather, rivaling retractable hardtops in this regard. As a bonus, the soft top leaves more room for luggage. With the top stowed, the convertible provides 10.2 cubic feet of trunk space -- only 2 cubes fewer than the coupe. Both body styles feature folding rear seatbacks for more capacity, a rarity among convertibles.

Standard safety features on the 2015 Audi RS 5 include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, front knee airbags, full-length side curtain airbags (coupe only) and front and rear parking sensors. Optional electronic aids include a rearview camera and a blind-spot monitoring system.

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