Some of the most desirable cars out there for enthusiasts are to be found at Audi. At the top end there is the R8, R8 GT and then the TT-RS, S5, S4 — you name it. They’ve definitely pushed the envelope in becoming a full-scale competitor to BMW’s M Division and Mercedes-Benz AMG.
The Audi strategy is two-pronged – S variations and more hard core RS models. Unfortunately most of the RS models have been kept for Europe’s consumption only. That changed for at least one model in 2010 when Audi announced that the RS5 would be coming to the United States. They didn’t say when exactly though, and they decided to wait for when the mid-cycle enhancement was ready. The updated RS5 was first announced at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year.
The styling update primarily centers around the front end. There are new, smaller and more shapely headlights and the reworked grille loses it chrome surround. Out back there is a redesigned bumper and the taillights have new detailing. The result is fresher and more Germanic than before – the 5 has always been a bit of a deviation in Audi’s lineup. While there isn’t much surface work on any of the other Audis, the 5 has flowing, Walter de’ Silva penned lines. This update squares them off a bit.
Under the hood is what we care about most with this car – exterior updates are happening for the entire range. The RS5 is even more special than before, as you get eight-cylinders in the RS5, something that can’t be had in the rest of the A4/A5/S5 range. For 2013, the S5 swapped out its 4.2-liter V-8 for a twin-turbocharged six-cylinder. While buyers will reap efficiency rewards, we sure do love the sonorous exhaust note of Audi’s rev-happy (8,000 rpm redline) and free-breathing 4.2-liter V-8. Unlike the new S5, it is naturally-aspirated and generates 450 horsepower and 317 pound feet of torque. That’s good for a 0-62 mph time of 4.5 seconds.
Inside, there is a new three-spoke steering wheel with a flat bottom. The center stack has been redesigned as well, with a reduction in buttons and complexity. The interior trim can be had to match the body color as well, a cool touch. The RS5 is launching this Spring, and Audi is holding out on releasing pricing information until the last minute. Exchange rate issues, maybe? Until it hits the road, check out some new photos Audi just released in our gallery below.