2021 Audi RS 5 Coupe & Sportback Debut With New Launch Editions

New updates have just been rolled out for the 2021 Audi RS 5 Coupe and Sportback. Audi really focused on playing up the “sleek look” of the models, adjusting things like the front grille, air inlets, and adding ventilation style slits above the grille. There is no mistaking the new RS 5 for anything other than an Audi sports car. 

All of these updates summarize themselves pretty nicely into a sweet looking ride with two more launch additions to choose from: the Ascari launch edition and the Black Optic launch edition. Unique design elements differentiate the two models which are available in limited numbers, so you might want to get in line now.

Black Optic Launch Edition

The Black Optic is available in, well, Mythos Black – no surprise there – but also in Glacier White, Daytona Gray, Nardo Gray, and Tango Red. If you decide on a different color, the black won’t be left behind since Audi glossed a lot of the finishes accordingly. Black detailing includes the Audi rings and badges, front spoiler and rear diffuser trim, and the mirror housings. The Black Optic launch edition comes with 20-inch, five-segment-spoke-evo design wheels fitted with summer performance tires.

The Dynamic Package switches it up a bit with red brake calipers, Dynamic Ride Control, and then back to black with the RS sport exhaust system. Other performance features include a three-spoke flat bottom steering wheel with shift paddles, driver assistance and navigation package, and Audi dynamic steering which provides a variable steering ratio based on the vehicle’s speed.

The Black Optic launch edition will have just 100 Coupes and 325 Sportbacks available. Starting MSRP is $87,400. 

2021 Audi RS 5
Photo: Audi of America, Inc.

Ascari Launch Edition

The Ascari launch edition comes in Ascari Blue which is a metallic paint. Sticking to the theme, the brake calipers and ceramic front brakes also come in blue with some silver touches for contrast on the 20-inch five-arm-flag design forged wheels. Moving to the interior, gray contrast stitching and carbon matte inlays decorate the front of the dash and center console.   

Like the Black Optic edition above, the Ascari edition has Dynamic Ride Control, a variable steering ratio, along with other performance touches like the RS sport exhaust system, summer performance tires, and RS-tuned sport suspension. The Ascari also borrows the three-spoke flat-bottom steering wheel and the driver assistance and navigation packages from the Black Optic edition. 

The Ascari launch edition has a few less available with 25 Coupes and 100 Sportbacks for 2021 buyers. Starting MSRP is $95,600 for the Coupe and $95,900 for the Sportback.

2021 Audi RS 5 Ascari launch edition interior layout.
2021 Audi RS 5 Ascari launch edition interior layout. Photo: Audi of America, Inc.

2021 Audi RS 5: Engine & Powertrain

The Sportback and Coupe might have different looks but they are the same underneath the hood with a 2.9-liter bi-turbo engine. The engine, a V6, produces 444 horsepower and 442 lb-ft. of torque. In the best of circumstances, the Coupe can close the gap from zero to 60 in 3.7 seconds with the Sportback close behind at 3.8 seconds. Top speed can be pushed from 155 to 174 with the upgrades on the launch editions. 

The engine is attached to an eight-speed Tiptronic transmission with quattro all-wheel drive which is synonyms with Audi’s lineup. The quattro system, configured specifically to the RS 5, can re-direct torque between the rear wheels or send nearly all available rear torque to just one wheel.

Drivers can choose between the pre-programed Audi drive modes: comfort, auto, dynamic, and individual. Special to the RS 5 are the RS1 and RS2 drive modes where drivers can customize the quattro sport differential, dynamic steering, shift points, throttle response, and Dynamic Ride Control to suit their own taste.

2021 Audi RS 5 Ascari launch edition under the hood.
2021 Audi RS 5 Ascari launch edition under the hood. Photo: Audi of America, Inc.

2021 Audi RS 5: Pricing & Warranty

Outside of the two launch editions, the 2021 Audi RS 5 Coupe begins at $75,100 with the Sportback starting at $75,400. Add on another $1,045 for the destination charge. A standard Audi warranty lasts four years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. For more information on Audi’s warranty, and to determine whether or not you need more, please see our comprehensive guide.

Emily Pruitt is fascinated by the current changes in the automotive industry, from electric cars and infrastructure to fully autonomous vehicles. Outside of the automotive world, she can be found writing poetry or unraveling the latest mystery novel.

Photos & Source: Audi of America, Inc.