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Audi To Launch RS5 Sports Coupe In North America in Early 2012

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On: Tue, Jul 27, 2010 at 10:53AM | By: Chris Weiss

Audi To Launch RS5 Sports Coupe In North America in Early 2012

When Audi first introduced the 450-hp RS5 coupe at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, it wasn't clear whether or not it would be offered in the North American market. Audi clarified this in April, when word from its high-end Quattro GmbH division confirmed that the RS5 would make it across the Atlantic. At the time, deliveries were speculated for early-2011 or even as early as the third quarter of this year. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait until sometime in early 2012, as Audi North America chief Johan de Nysschen told the NY Times today.

When the RS5 hits, it will mark the return of Audi's high-end performance RS models to the U.S. The coupe will settle in above the S5 and A5. It features a 450-hp V8 engine, a slightly tuned version of the 4.2-liter V8 used in the Audi R8. The engine is mated to a dual-clutch seven-speed S-tronic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddles. The V8 and gearbox team up to deliver 317 lb-ft of torque, a 0-to-62-mph run of 4.6 seconds and an electronically-limited 155 mph top speed. The latter can be increased to 173 mph upon request. Despite its speed and performance, the RS5 provides an Audi-sourced fuel economy of nearly 22 mpg.

Other aspects of the RS5 include the Quattro all-wheel-drive system with a crown-gear differential, designed to allow shifting in torque between the two axles—up to 70 percent can be delivered to the front and up to 85 percent to the back. In standard setting, the all-wheel configuration is set at 40:60, with the majority going to the rear wheels to enable sporty handling. Torque vectoring technology works with the all-wheel drive to improve traction and cornering, and three drive modes—auto, comfort, and dynamic—alter the settings of the steering, transmission, differential and engine to meet the driver's demands.

Inside, the RS5 features leather/Alcantara sport seats, a perforated leather steering wheel, a lap timer on the driver information system, and carbon fiber and aluminum accents. A multimedia interface (MMI) system and upgraded trims and materials are available as options.

North American pricing has not yet been announced, but the car sells for a base of £57,480 in the U.K., which equates to about $89,000 with today's exchange rates. The car will compete against coupes from the performance arms of other premium manufacturers like the BMW M and Mercedes-Benz AMG lines. Competitors include the BMW M3 Coupe and Cadillac CTS-V.

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