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With slight visual and technological tweaks, the updated Audi RS5 remains a fast, practical and approachable four-door coupe.

11 Nov 2020

The Audi RS5 is a fast Audi that's approachable and easy to like. Of course, performance is aplenty. But it also delivers a level of practicality, luxury and daily usability that makes it a very reasonable everyday performance car.

It's actually only been about a year since this current generation RS5 was launched, but Audi has decided that it needs some upgrading. And so here it is...

So, what's changed?

Subtle exterior changes have made the RS5 slightly more sleek-looking
Many of the changes are quite subtle, and on first glance you might imagine that very little has changed.

Visually, the front of the car now sports a wider and lower Singleframe grille. Together with the pentagonal geometrically cut side intakes, the front of the car appears wider and sleeker, and makes the car looks a tad sharper.

At the rear, there's a new bumper and diffuser insert, and there's a new sill trim design across the flank of the car. And, you get the option of new 20-inch milled aluminium five-arm peak style wheels in Matt Bronze (they look fantastic).

The 10.1-inch infotainment system is now entirely controlled via the touchscreen
The infotainment is also new - the screen size has gone up to 10.1-inches, and the system runs the latest generation interface.

As with the newest generation of Audi models, the central touchpad is gone. Infotainment operation is conducted entirely via the touchscreen. I'm personally not sold on this, primarily because of the ergonomic inefficiency of it all. Perhaps it's because I'm not particularly tall or blessed with long arms, but in my usual driving position the touchscreen is always just a hair further away than I need it to be.

The Digital Cockpit can now be configured to an RS display
The RS5 also gets some new digital cockpit graphics. The styling on the 'traditional' dial graphics has been updated to a slightly sharper and sportier look, and there's also a new RS-style meter that's clearly motorsport-inspired.

The paddle shifters are also different - fully aluminium, rather than the plasticky ones previously.

There are new sub-menus available, too. On the infotainment screen, you can see detailed information like oil and coolant temperatures. And, the car can help time your 0-100km/h run (a function accessible via the digital cockpit). Again, practical? Not really, but it's a whole lot of fun.

Two definable RS modes can be quickly accessed from the steering wheel
You also now get the sport exhaust. It's not particularly loud, but it is quite entertaining with its ample pops and cackles when you're in a sportier setting. There are also now two definable RS modes, which can be easily engaged via the steering wheel.

There is one other change that's quite discernible. When you switch over to manual mode in the sportier drivetrain setting, you engage an 'MS' mode. It sounds a bit complicated, but basically instead of seeing M1, M1 and so on, you now see M1S, M2S, etc.

In sportier settings, manual gear changes are lightning quick
What this actually translates to is perceptibly quicker gear shifts. Even when shifting down three gears, gear changes are instantaneous and immediate. Practical? Not for the daily drive no, but on the track, there'll be some benefits. But, it's fun to play around with, and it's no doubt effective.

And mechanically?

The 2.9-litre V6 engine is unchanged, with 444bhp and 600Nm of torque delivering gutsy and urgent acceleration. Power is sent through an eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox to all four wheels, and there's the option of a sport differential to further amplify the car's sporty capabilities.

The 2.9-litre V6 engine delivers highly responsive and effective performance
The standard suspension is firm but surprisingly forgiving. Long journeys in this car isn't going to be a problem at all. The RS5 is easy to drive, easy to handle even when going quickly around bends, and it's quite a fuss-free approach to performance.

Is it a step forward?

The RS5 isn't terribly different from the car that came before, which shouldn't come as a surprise. The pre-facelift model was already really well-rounded, and this update is primarily focused on updating some of the technological features (in line with the rest of the Audi range).

Improvements to the RS5 further its approachable, easy to like nature
As a whole, the RS5 tends towards the side of restraint - while the dynamic performance and soundtrack are somewhat muted and undramatic, it's still by no means unexciting.

Buyers who want something shoutier and more in-your-face will gravitate towards the AMGs and Ms. This car feels a lot more self-assured in its abilities, without the need to shout it to the world. You know, approachable and easy to like.

Need to hear more of this RS5's exhaust note? Why not also catch our video review?

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Car Information

Audi RS 5 Sportback 2.9 TFSI qu Tip (A)
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: $422,870

Engine Type


V6 Twin-Turbocharged

Engine Cap





331kW (444 bhp) / 6700 rpm



600 Nm / 5000 rpm



8-speed (A) Tiptronic

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Fuel consumption


10.6 km/L

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audi  rs  audi rs  rs5  audi rs5  rs5 sportback  quattro  rs 5