The horsepower war took a bit of a hiatus for a few months after Audi’s B7 platform RS4 went out of production and the debut of the Mercedes Benz C63 AMG – both in 2008 and both to do battle directly with the king of the hill: the BMW M3.
However, Audi is back and packing quite a weapon in their arsenal – a powerful coupe of RS caliber. The all-new 2011 RS5 has finally broken cover after much speculation as to what exactly Audi would put into play in the battle between the mid-size, mini-supercar realm. The M3, for an all-round package has managed to keep atop of the list of these mid-size powerhouses over the last few years by providing the most complete package between handling, power, and luxury accouterments.
Audi is out the change the game, of course, with the new RS5. So, let’s take a look at the specifications that have been taken from the “accidentally leaked” brochure of the upcoming Ingolstadt warrior. The wide-bodied two door is anticipated to sport a modified version of the V8 of the now defunct RS4. So, the car will be powered by a 4.2L V8 pushing out approximately 450HP – a full 30HP over the B7 RS4 and the V8 model of the R8 sportscar – coincidentally, about 30 horsepower over the 4.0L V8 of the M3.
This boosted power figure, in part, has been created by the two enormous air boxes sitting just behind the front air dam. In terms of a redline, the RS5 runs out of juice at 8,200 RPMs and is regulated by a dual clutch transmission with 7 forward gears. Rumor has it that the RS5 will not have the option for a traditional 6-speed manual – though this has yet to be confirmed.
The war is on, but will there be a winner takes it all? We’ll find out more after the first test drives.