Driving report: Audi RS5 Sportback Competition: Sportier than ever

“We had a group of die hard, sporty driving customers who came to us and said the RS4 and RS5 needed to be more track oriented.

Driving report: Audi RS5 Sportback Competition: Sportier than ever

“We had a group of die hard, sporty driving customers who came to us and said the RS4 and RS5 needed to be more track oriented. So after we launched the current generation of the vehicle, we decided to develop these Competition versions," explains Florian Mair, head of the Audi Sport model range. In contrast to the standard RS5 and its four-door Sportback twin, the Competition Plus variant includes a fixed steering ratio, modified differential tuning, faster gear changes and a manually adjustable chassis.

Visually, apart from the black Audi rings on the hood and trunk lid, hardly anything has changed. Optional drama is provided by 20-inch wheels and optics packages with exterior mirrors, front blade and side flaps as well as sill extensions and a rear diffuser in carbon - either in matt or glossy. The fact that the Audi RS5 Competition Plus has lost eight kilograms is more of a measurement for the evening chats with regulars. The situation is similar with the acceleration, because the sharpened Ingolstadt car now accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds – 0.1 to 0.2 seconds – depending on the body variant. At the same time, the top speed was increased from 250 to 280 or 290 km/h.

Audi Sport's engineering team has developed a coilover kit that allows civilian users to manually tune it to offer the best possible balance between comfort and performance. The chassis of the RS4 and RS5 Competition Plus has been lowered by 10mm compared to the standard RS versions and the vehicle user can also manually lower it by a further 10mm. Chassis engineer Andrei Filip: "These customers can put the car on a test bench, remove the wheels, lift the hood and make the desired adjustments by playing with the rebound and compression stages and the vehicle height, which gives them a lot of options." the RS5 comes with a booklet and specific tools to make this task easier. Wait and see who really does it afterwards.

In addition, the new Competition Plus vehicles offer higher spring rates, three-way adjustable dampers and stiffer anti-roll bars, which are intended to make the vehicle's handling more precise and agile. In addition, each tire is two kilograms lighter. In contrast to the Competition version, which has a variable dynamic steering ratio, this is fixed at 13.3:1 in the Competition Plus, so that the front axle reacts more quickly to the driver's wishes. The changes are always noticeable, because while you notice a tendency to understeer in tighter corners in the standard RS5 towards the limit, this has now largely disappeared. Andrei Filip: “We modulated the throttle so that it opens and closes faster. As a result, the weight shifts more forward when the pedal is lifted and more backwards when pedaling, which creates a vehicle movement that benefits the sporty handling.” However, the sportiest of all Audi coupés looks particularly balanced in comfort mode anyway, where bumps and holes are loose pushed away without the driver having to intervene.

The question remains, however, whether the two packages are worth the lavish surcharges, because the normal Audi RS5 / RS5 Sportback (each from 87,000 euros) and the station wagon version of the RS4 Avant (from 86,000 euros) are incredibly fast cars for everyday use , highway and racetrack that excels in every discipline. The competition package costs 7,875 euros and the competition plus package, which is suitable for the racetrack, increases the price by a handsome 11,875 euros. It all depends on how relevant it is for the sporty driver to be a few seconds faster than usual on the race track.

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