Audi RS5 vs BMW M4 Competition Pack vs Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe
In the world of business class high-performance coupes, this trio rules the roost. Audi has the newest car and Benz the oldest (but most powerful) and BMW has added a Competition Pack to bolster the M4’s credentials. Which is best? We find out, on road and track.
Audi RS5 Coupe BMW M4 Competition Pack Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe
PriceR1 285 500R1 448 636R1 519 246
Power/Torque331 kW/600 Nm331 kW/550 Nm375 kW/700 Nm
0-100 kph3.9 sec4.0 sec3.9 sec
Fuel consumption8.7 L/100 km8.3 L/100 km8.9 L/100 km
Weight (claimed)1 655 kg1 585 kg1 725 kg
With each generation of these coupes, their engines develop more power, their suspensions become more adaptable and the electronics that allow these performance machines to corner at ever-loftier limits evolve further. The only thing that seems to go backwards is steering feel. Oh, how we miss a simple rack-and-pinion steering setup with hydraulic – as opposed to electronic – assistance.
Nevertheless, what we’re left with are 3 cars capable of dispatching 0-100 kph sprints in 4.0 seconds or less, achieving top speeds limited to 250 kph (or 280 kph, in the BMW’s case) and endowed with an endless array of settings and buttons so that their drivers can dial in the perfect driving experience for every circumstance.
We start with the Audi. Why? Well, because A is the first letter of the alphabet. The RS5 is brand new, having been launched in South Africa at the end of 2017. It’s underlying chassis, from the A4, has improved its handling prowess and reduced some of that notorious understeer that front- and all-wheel-drive Audis seem to be perennially saddled with. Under the bonnet is a Porsche-developed 2.9-litre V6 twin-turbopetrol with peak outputs of 331 kW and 600 Nm of torque, and thanks to its quattro drivetrain, the RS5 is claimed to get from standstill to 100 kph in 3.9 seconds (which matches the Benz's stated time). Now with its smaller engine (previously it was a V8), the Audi is 60 kg lighter than before (most of the heft has been reduced at the front end), which should make it a little more pointy and agile on turn-in.
Each with over 300 kW and nothing slower than 4.0 sec to 100 kph.
Audi has also selected an 8-speed torque converter transmission for the RS5; no dual-clutch gearbox here (as fitted to smaller RS cars)... just a good old-fashioned auto. Torque converters have come a long way in terms of 'shift responsiveness' and, besides, they deal with higher loads of torque better than dual-clutch ‘boxes.
Next up is the BMW. The Competition Pack adds R135 000 to the standard M4 Coupe in order to tailor its handling and performance characteristics for track use. Power is increased from 317 kW to 331 kW and torque remains unchanged at 550 Nm. 0-100 kph is clocked in approximately 4.0 sec and the top speed's upped to 280 kph. The Competition Pack includes firmer suspension, thicker anti-roll bars, adaptive damping, a front splitter tuned for downforce and a rather grumpy performance exhaust.
The M4 Competition Pack uses a 7-speed M-DCT gearbox, which is a dual-clutch unit equipped with launch control and 3 selectable settings: for the speed at which the gearbox selects the next gear (up or down), throttle response/engine performance and suspension firmness.
The Benz's coupe lines and shouty exhaust attract the most attention, whereas the Audi goes about its business in a subtle way.
Finally the Mercedes-AMG. The C-Class chassis isn’t holding up in its old age (at least as well as we had hoped), but in true Mercedes-AMG fashion, the Affalterbach-based firm has lopped in a thumping 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, which is the most powerful unit in this comparison. Lofy outputs of 375 kW and 700 Nm are directed to the C63 S' mechanical limited-slip rear differential and, conditions permitting, the Benz will do its utmost to catapult from 0 to 100 kph in 3.9 seconds, going on to a limited top speed of 250 kph. It’s the heaviest car here (by around 75 kg), so that may drown out its power advantage somewhat.
Doing the shifting is a 7-speed dual-clutch box with a race start mode and a traction control deactivation button that should only be pressed by either foolishly brave... or especially talented/experienced drivers.
Judging by what you’ve read above, it would be easy to say the BMW is the winner. After all, it won the drag race and annihilated the others on track. It can be used every day, but there are some notable drawbacks, such as excessive road noise and discomfort on bumpy roads. The Mercedes-AMG is crazy; it seems it was let out of the looney bin so that it can bludgeon its way from 'light to 'light in a blaze of smoke, thunder and crackles from the exhaust pipe. It’s not a track car and it lacks the refinement for everyday use that the Audi has, but if it's entertainment you’re after, it’s certainly the one to have, just make sure you have a tyre sponsor signed up.
Each car has something different to offer, but the BMW remains the driving enthusiast's weapon of choice.
The track enthusiast’s choice is obviously the BMW, but where does that leave the Audi? It’s hardly slow, but it is solidly beaten by the Mercedes-AMG and BMW in a straight line. It’s not an awful handler on track, in fact, by virtue of a pointy front end and plenty of traction, it put in a track time that matched that of the Mercedes.
Ultimately, the Audi is the car you want to drive every day. It’s comfortable on long drives, in traffic and even when things get bumpy. Compared with ordinary business class cars, it's stupendously fast, yet doesn’t sacrifice everyday driving comfort... In fact, it feels like a grand tourer more than a performance coupe. Even if it lacks the visual and aural appeal of the other 2, it brushes them aside on build quality and interior appeal. If you can live without having the fastest track car, the Audi's the winner.
Joining the performance family, Audi Sport launches its latest RS model - the Audi RS5 Sportback. Making its world debut at the 2018 New York International Auto Show, the RS5 Sportback offers a balance of high design and driving dynamics.
The 2019 RS5 Sportback represents the latest model in the highly successful Audi Sport family, with breakthrough 5-door coupe design and exceptional performance. "The Audi RS5 Sportback is a completely new offer for our customers. Our progressive interpretation of a five-door high-performance coupe has neither a predecessor model nor a direct competitor, "says Michael-Julius Renz, managing director of Audi Sport GmbH, about the latest member of the RS family. "The Sportback offers the ultimate in functionality with maximum performance."
Powertrain and performance
The 2.9 liter TFSI V6 biturbo engine delivers power, efficiency and distinct RS sound. The new biturbo engine generates 444 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque available in a wide rev range from 1,900 to 5,000 rpm. The Audi RS5 Sportback sprints from 0 to 60 mph in under four seconds and achieves a top track speed of 155 mph, or increased to 174 mph with the optional Dynamic plus package.
The two turbochargers on the 2.9-liter engine of RS5 are positioned directly inside the "V" promoting engine responsiveness and performance. For high engine efficiency, power and torque, the V6 engine uses a centrally mounted fuel injector and a combustion method with shorter compression and longer expansion phases. This B-cycle combustion process with central direct injectors further supports efficiency of the powertrain.
The power of the 2.9 TFSI reaches the quattro permanent four-wheel drive with self-locking center differential via a sporty eight-speed Tiptronic with optimized shifting times. It distributes the drive forces asymmetrically 40:60 on the axles - this guarantees both responsive handling and optimal performance. A traction control system manages distribution for maximum acceleration with minimal slip and the standard quattro sport rear differential to maximize driving dynamics.
The redesigned front five-link suspension with lightweight construction offers greater steering precision and improved handling through optimized steering-rack placement direct at wheel centers. With the standard RS sport suspension, the Audi RS5 Sportback sits 7 mm lower than the 2018 S5 Sportback. RS sport suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control, which uses steel springs and adjustable dampers that are connected to one another via diagonal oil lines and a central valve, is also available. Drivers can customize their driving experience through the standard Audi drive select system, which offers four drive modes: comfort, auto, dynamic and individual.
The exterior design of the new Audi RS5 Sportback picks up on distinctive details from motorsport past and features direct design inspiration from the Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO. As with any vehicle that bears the RS badge, the RS5 Sportback features development rooted in motorsport and technologies that embody the Audi Sport authenticity of "Born on the Track. Built for the Road." The wave-design shoulder line underscores the athleticism through the body and the flared box fenders provide cues to the standard quattro all-wheel drive, in addition to widening the body by 15 mm on each side over its S5 Sportback sibling.
The Audi RS5 Sportback features a wide and flat Singleframe grille, large RS-specific honeycomb air intakes, matte alu-optic front spoiler with quattro script, matte alu-optic exterior mirror housings and high gloss black side sills. Enhancing the distinct and sporty rear, the Sportback features a RS-specific diffuser, oval RS exhaust pipes and a high gloss black rear-lip spoiler.
The refined interior of the RS5 Sportback, with seating for five standard, includes impressive RS accents and driver-focused technologies. The Audi RS5 Sportback features the Audi brand's hallmark wing-design wrap-around dashboard with driver-oriented interior including user-friendly controls. From its S sport seats with RS embossing, flat-bottomed, perforated leather RS sport steering wheel and gear shift, and stainless steel pedals, the RS5 Sportback offers an all-encompassing performance Audi Sport package.
New Audi RS5 Sportback features 444bhp turbocharged V6
Audi Sport bolsters mid-range line-up with first hot Sportback version of RS5
Audi Sport has bolstered its line-up with the launch of the 444bhp twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6-powered RS5 Sportback.
Revealed at the New York motor show, the all-wheel drive fastback joins the RS5 Coupe and RS4 Avant in an expanded line-up of new mid-range RS models aimed at providing stiff competition to the likes of the BMW M3 and M4, and the as Mercedes-AMG C63 saloon and coupe.
UK sales for the first ever RS5 Sportback are expected to kick-off in late 2018, with officials from Audi Sport suggesting it will be priced close to the £63,575 RS5 Coupe in Britain.
“The Audi RS 5 Sportback is more than just a trade fair novelty – it offers something new,” says Audi Sport chief Michael-Julius Renz. “Our interpretation of a five-door performance coupe has neither predecessor models, nor a direct competitor.”
Distinguishing the RS5 Sportback from other recently introduced second-generation A5 Sportback models are a number of traditional Audi Sport styling cues. They include a wider single-frame grille sporting a high gloss black honeycomb effect insert, a more heavily structured front bumper sporting larger air ducts and a more prominent matt silver splitter element adorned with the word “quattro”.
As with the RS5 Coupe launched in 2017, the angular headlamps of the RS5 Sportback adopt tinted graphics and have also been altered with the addition of small vertical air ducts along their outer edges.
Further back, the front fenders have been widened by 15mm with wider blisters above the wheel arches while the side sills receive high gloss black styling elements and the exterior mirror use a carbon fibre optic
At the rear, the RS5 Sportback receives wider rear fenders extending out by the same 15mm over the standard A5 Sportback as those up front as well as a subtle fixed spoiler. There is also a uniquely styled rear bumper housing a high gloss black diffuser and Audi Sport’s signature oval tailpipes.
The new RS model comes as standard with 19-inch wheels, although buyers can option it with 20-inch rims. Two additional styling packages in either carbonfibre look or matt silver are also available.
The new RS5 Sportback is powered by the same twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 petrol engine already used by the RS5 Coupe and RS4 Avant. Developed in an engineering partnership between Audi and Porsche, the longitudinally-mounted unit develops a claimed 444bhp and 443lb ft of torque on a band of revs between 1900 and 5000rpm.
With a claimed kerb weight of 1840kg, this provides the new Audi Sport model with a power-to-weight ratio of 241bhp. Official performance figures give a 0-62mph time of just 3.9sec and limited 174mph top speed.
Drive is placed through a standard eight-speed torque converter equipped automatic gearbox and a specially tuned version of Audi’s Torsen torque sensing quattro four-wheel drive system. It apportions power in a nominal 40 per cent:60 per cent split between the front and rear axles, to provide the new Audi Sport model with a distinct rear-wheel drive bias.
When a loss of grip or traction is detected, the RS5 Sportback’s four-wheel drive system can alter the delivery of power, sending up to 85 per cent to the front-wheels or alternatively 70 per cent to the rear wheels when required.
Additionally, an optional Sport Differential can be ordered. It provides a torque vectoring effect to constantly alter the amount of power delivered to each individual rear wheel in a process Audi Sport says enhances the handling of its new model during all out cornering.
The RS5 Sportback features firmer springs and fixed rate dampers, and has been lowered by 7.0mm. It also receives different camber rates to the suspension used on the S5 Sportback. There is also an optional RS Sport Suspension, with even firmer springs and variable rate dampers. The latter is part of the Dynamic Ride Control system, which also includes ceramic brake discs and revamped steering mapping. The revamped suspension also features a special version of Audi's Drive Select system.
Inside, the RS5 Sportback gets Audi Sport sport seats, a flat-bottom multi-funciton steering wheel and RS graphics on Audi’s virtual cockpit digital instruments. Options include an RS Design packages.
Audi Sport claims 480-litres of boot space, expanding to 1300 litres when the 40:20:40 rear seats are folded.
Audi RS5 Sportback unveiled: oomph with extra doors
The new Audi RS5 Sportback has been revealed.
The Audi RS5 Coupé has been tearing up the tarmac for some time (having already featured in a three-way battle), but the performance arm of the Ingolstadt-based automaker has now taken the wraps off the Sportback version, essentially adding a pair of doors.
Making its debut at the New York International Auto Show, Audi bills the new five-door, five-seater performance model as “a version for the US and Canadian market”. No word yet on whether this RS5 Sportback is destined for local shores.
Predictably, the new model shares its twin-turbo 2,9-litre V6 engine with the coupé variant, sending 331 kW and 600 N.m to all four corners (the brand’s familiar Quattro permanent all-wheel drive with centre differential naturally comes standard) via an eight-speed torque converter transmission. From what we hear, the Sportback matches the coupé model’s claimed 3,9-second sprint to three figures and top speed of 280 km/h.
This US-spec model comes standard with 19-inch alloys, while 20-inch items will be available as an optional extra. Fitted with the standard RS sports suspension, the RS5 Sportback rides 7 mm lower than the S5 Sportback. Alternatively, Audi Sport will offer RS sport suspension plus (with Dynamic Ride Control), ceramic brakes and RS-specific dynamic steering.
Audi says the luggage compartment can swallow 480 litres, while folding down the rear seats reveals utility space of 1 300 litres.
Yes, Audi will be bringing the new RS5 Sportback to South Africa towards the end of 2018…
We have had much fun pitting the new Audi RS5 Coupe against its main rivals on the drag strip and on track and if you haven’t yet seen the video action, do yourself a favour and give them a watch.
In other news, Audi has confirmed that the RS5 Sportback will be coming to South Africa towards the end of 2018 and the new model will be on display at the New York Motor Show this week.
The RS5 Sportback is more practical than the coupe version but still offers notable performance.
The RS5 Sportback features the same powertrain as its coupe sibling with power generated by a twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 engine that produces 331 kW and 600 Nm of torque. An 8-speed automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive will ensure brisk acceleration which should see zero to 100 kph completed in about 3.9 seconds.
The interior is finished in black with ample seating for 5 passengers and is equipped with RS sports seats which can be had with an optional honeycomb pattern in Nappa leather. A flat-bottomed leather RS sports steering wheel with contrasting red stitching is also fitted along with Audi’s Virtual Cockpit.
The load bay offers 480 litres of space which increases to 1 300 litres with the rear 40:20:40 split rear seats folded down. Perfect for those who play golf or ride a mountain bike.
The RS5 Sportback is slightly larger than the RS5 Coupe and sits some 7 mm lower than the S5 Sportback. The Sonoma Green Metallic paintwork seen here will be offered as an exclusive option.
We will keep you updated as soon as local specification and pricing for the RS5 Sportback becomes available.
Good news! This Audi performance wagon is coming to SA in 2018
When former Audi Sport boss Stephan Winkelmann unveiled the B9 RS 4 Avant at the Frankfurt motor show we wondered if it would arrive on South Africa's shores.
Well, we can confirm that both the RS 4 Avant and recently-unveiled RS 5 Sportback are likely to be introduced to Mzansi in the final quarter of 2018.
V6 turbo power
It's the first time Audi has made a four-door RS Sportback though the RS 5 Cabriolet has been culled.
Both the Avant and Sportback are powered by a 2.9-litre V6 turbocharged engine with 331kW with 600Nm of torque. An eight speed automatic gearbox from manufacturer ZF does duty, four-wheel drive is standard.
The wagon has a claimed 0-100km/h time of 4.1 seconds while the Sportback rockets to 100km/h in 3.9 seconds says Audi.
Audi SA said: "Both cars are due later this year as part of growing the Audi Sport range. Timing still to be confirmed but we are looking at quarter four."