2019 Audi RS5 Sportback blends performance, style and practicality

It's the first time Audi Sport offers the RS5 in the Sportback body style

The New York Auto Show marks the world debut of the first ever Audi RS5 Sportback. Combining the powertrain from the RS5 Coupe and RS4 Avant with the practicality and style of the five-door body, the new RS5 Sportback has no direct competitor — for the moment, at least.

As expected, it sports design cues similar to the RS5 Coupe, including the more aggressive aero kit. Distinctive details include the bulged wheel arches (extended by 15 mm/0.6 in), flat single-frame grille with an RS honeycomb structure, gloss black trim, as well as carbon fiber elements: the front spoiler, mirror caps, rear spoiler lip, and diffuser insert.

The exhaust system with oval tailpipes and the exclusive 19- or 20-inch wheels round off the exterior RS treatment. Customers can further customize the car with the Gloss Black, Carbon, and Matte Aluminum optic packages.

Inside, the 2019 RS5 Sportback features details such as the RS sport seats in Nappa leather, a flat-bottomed RS multifunction steering wheel, RS badging, and dedicated RS information displays in the Audi virtual cockpit. The RS design package adds contrasting red stitching on the steering wheel and selector lever, Alcantara knee pads, and red-trimmed seat belts and floor mats with the RS logo.

As with the RS5 Coupe and RS4 Avant, the RS5 Sportback is powered by a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 gasoline engine that delivers 450-hp (444-bhp) and 443 lb-ft (600 Nm) of torque available from 1,900 to 5,000 rpm. Linked to an eight-speed tiptronic transmission that sends power to all four wheels via the rear-biased quattro system (40:60) the RS5 Sportback accelerates from 0 to 60 mph (0-96 km/h) in 3.9 seconds and tops out at 174 mph (280 km/h).

The standard RS sports suspension makes the RS5 Sportback 7-mm lower than the S5 Sportback for enhanced handling, while the five-link design of the front and rear axles is said to ensure a comfortable ride even in the sportiest of driving modes (controlled via the standard Audi drive select dynamic handling system).

For those who want a more hardcore setup, the RS sport suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC), ceramic brakes, and RS-specific dynamic steering is the one to have.

The 2019 Audi RS5 Sportback will arrive in dealerships in the US and Canada from the second half of 2018, and later on in Europe as well.

READ MORE: It's a shame Americans can't have the RS4 Avant performance wagon, isn't it?

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