Over the weekend, we got our first look at official images of the new Audi RS5 when a brochure leaked out onto the interwebs, but it didn’t contain any technical details of the latest product from Quattro GmbH. Thankfully, our friends in Ingolstadt have seen fit to drop that information on us this morning, and as we suspected, they have opted to go with an upgraded version of the engine that served so well in the late RS4.
The 4.2-liter V8 remains naturally aspirated, but its breathing has been improved to bring the maximum output up to 450 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. The power peak comes up at 8,250 rpm, just shy of the 8,300 rpm redline, and maximum torque is delivered throughout the range between 4,000 and 6,000 rpm. The RS5 comes out the factory with the ability to accelerate to 62 miles per hour in 4.6 seconds on the way to a governed top speed of 155 mph. Owners that wish to exceed that speed can have the governor unlocked, enabling a terminal velocity of 174 mph.
As usual with higher performance Audi models, Quattro all-wheel-drive is the order of the day for power distribution. However, unlike other recent applications that have used a Torsen center differential, the RS5 features the first use of a new crown gear differential with electronically controlled clutch pack. The torque split can be varied from the nominal 40:60 front-to-rear to as much as 70 percent front or 85 percent rear. An optional active torque vectoring rear differential is also available to further improve the RS5’s handling. The only available gearbox in the RS5 is a new seven-speed S-Tronic dual clutch transmission (DCT). Hopefully now that Audi has a high-output DCT, we’ll also see it replace the dreadful R-Tronic unit in the R8 soon.
The RS5 will get its public debut in Geneva next week and goes on sale in Europe this spring for a base price of €77,000 (about $104,000). Sadly, U.S. Audi spokesman Christian Bokich tells Autoblog that there is nothing to announce right now about plans for the RS5 in this market.