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The case for a super-sedan
Audi’s RS5 is a brilliant car on the track but would it make much sense on the road?
The last few months have seen luxury car manufacturers drop some really exciting new car models. BMW brought the new M5, Mercedes brought in the AMG E63S and not to be left behind Audi got in the RS 5 Sportback. I have been fortunate enough to have driven all three of these cars and while the M5 and E63S are 600-horsepower monsters, the RS5 is a more moderate one at a mere 444 horsepower because it is technically a class below that other cars. But what would you do with 444 horsepower at Rs 1.1 crore?
Well, there is the Buddh International Circuit where the RS5 can really show off its chops. Audi, which invented the permanent all-wheel drive system in cars they call ‘Quattro’, does love highlighting this system. The system manages to control the amount of power going to every wheel in the car and while the RS5 has a rear- bias, that is more power is usually sent to the rear wheels, the Quattro system makes the RS5 almost idiot-proof. That does not mean that in the twisty corners on the BIC’s infield the RS5 does not like to misbehave a wee bit, but on the whole the RS5 is a very well- behaved car.
But what would you do with so much power in a road car in India? Not much really, and Audi themselves have slightly muddied the waters by giving the option of the cheaper, almost as crazy S5. Audi has for years had two grades of souped-up cars, the fit but sedate ‘S’ range and the full-blown crazy ‘RS’ range and the issue for Audi fans, or people with a lot of money to spend, has always been making sense of the full-blown car. And that is the case here as well. Outside the track during the Audi Sportscar Experience, a part of the drive included a small tight track with sliding on a wet surface, a slalom and braking test. The S5 did not post the fastest times. It did, however, feel to be less brutal, easier to handle with more than enough power.
And that is a challenge for Audi. The S5 has just about less than 100 horsepower on its crazy sibling but it also costs upwards of thirty lakhs less. You can possibly get an entry-level A3 for the price differential and given that you cannot really push the RS5 on most roads and the S5 is a beautifully-tuned machine, if you are looking for a car that does its job as a car well but also can be fun to drive every time you want it to be, I’d always choose the S5 instead.
Sure the RS5 is a more fun car but the fact is that India, while it has some stunning and exciting roads, is on the whole the most fun country to drive a car. Of course if you have silly money, the RS5 is the way to go, but personally stick to the S5.
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