New York - As you would have expected, the workings under the skin of Audi's new RS5 Coupe and subsequent RS4 Avant have now been applied to the A5 Sportback bodystyle.
On show at this week's New York Auto Show, the new RS5 Sportback gets the same 331kW/600Nm 2.9-litre turbocharged (Porsche-sourced) V6 as its coupe and wagon counterparts, but this time housed in the brand's swoopy four-door coupe body. With traction from the RS-mandatory quattro all-wheel drive system, Audi says the RS5 can bolt from 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds and top out at 280km/h.
It shares its general shape and dimensions with the regular A5 Sportback, which is currently on sale with 2-litre turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, as well as in 3-litre turbo S5 form, meaning there's a practical 480 litres of boot space expandable to 1300 with the back seats folded flat.
Outside, however, the RS treatment sees all four wheel arch blisters extend by 15mm, not only to aid in aggressive appearance but to accommodate a wider track and big 19 or 20-inch wheels. More RS-specific body addenda include a honeycomb grille, rear diffuser, twin oval tailpipes, a fixed boot spoiler and a front bumper with gaping air vents. There's also a choice of Gloss Black, Carbon, and Matte Aluminum trim packages.
The RS5 sits 7mm lower than an S5 on its five-link front and rear suspension, which can be had with optional Dynamic ride control for three-way adjustability. Also optional are carbon ceramic brakes, Dynamic steering and a sport differential between the rear wheels.
Gear changing duties happen by way of an eight-speed tiptronic transmission, while the aforementioned quattro system apportions drive to the front and rear axles in a 40:60 split in normal conditions. But, when slippage is detected, it can send up to 85% of power to the front and 70% to the rear depending on grip necessities.
The Sportback's cabin fitments are much the same as we know from the RS5 Coupe, where standard sport seats can be specified with fine nappa leather upholstery and honeycomb patterns optionally. A now obligatory flat-bottomed steering wheel sits just ahead of Audi's virtual cockpit digital instrument cluster, which is included as standard equipment (hooray!).
Audi South Africa confirms the RS5 Sportback will be launched locally towards the end of this year and will announce prices closer to the time. It also says the RS4 Avant is on the way but can't yet say when - this after initially announcing the wagon wouldn't be offered in our market.