2021 Audi RS 5 arrives with fresh looks, special launch editions

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Audi updated its A5 and S5 for the 2020 model year but the late launch of the updated RS 5 sees the high-performance option arrive as a 2021 model.

The updated 2021 Audi RS 5 reaches showrooms this fall in coupe and Sportback hatch body styles, and to mark the launch Audi is offering Ascari and Black limited editions.

The updated RS 5 doesn’t benefit from any extra power over the previous model. Under the hood sits a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 generating 444 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque, or enough for 0-60 mph acceleration in 3.7 seconds (3.8 seconds for the Sportback) and a top speed of 155 mph. The top speed can be lifted to 174 mph as an option (standard on the Ascari and Black editions).

The engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic with larger aluminum shift paddles. All-wheel drive is still standard and Audi’s Sport differential that allows torque to be split between the rear wheels is still available.

What has changed is the exterior styling, which takes on a more streamlined look up front, as well as a wider, flatter grille. The headlights can also be enhanced with available laser lights and darkened bezels to set the RS 5 apart from the regular A5 models, and the side skirts and rear diffuser both feature a new design.

For the interior, a larger 10.1-inch touchscreen display sits atop the dash and can be used much like a smartphone, while also making life easier is standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Natural-speak voice activation and buttons on the steering wheel can also be used to control vehicle functions.

2021 Audi RS 5 Sportback

Specific Audi Sport touches in the cabin include the RS logos, including some in the digital instrument cluster, as well as a flat-bottomed steering wheel and body-hugging sport seats lined in Alcantara and leather and fitted with a massage function as standard. Heated rear seats are now also standard.

In the ride and handling department, there’s a standard RS-spec sport suspension that drops the ride height a further 0.3 inches compared to the S5. The suspension can also be enhanced with hydraulic-based adjustable dampers. Another worthy option for serious performance fans are carbon-ceramic brake rotors.

The Ascari and Black limited editions are really just styling upgrades. The Ascari is limited to 25 coupes and 100 Sportbacks, and draws its name from its exclusive Ascari Blue paint scheme. It also features 20-inch wheels finished in silver, as well as blue brake calipers and carbon-ceramic rotors, among other goodies.

2021 Audi RS 5 Ascari Launch Edition and RS 5 Black Launch Edition

2021 Audi RS 5 Ascari Launch Edition and RS 5 Black Launch Edition

The Black edition is limited to 100 coupes and 325 Sportbacks and gets its name from the black accents it comes with, as opposed to the body color which can be ordered in Mythos Black, Glacier White, Daytona Gray, Nardo Gray and Tango Red. The black accents can be found in numerous spots including the 20-inch wheels, Audi badges, and roof (coupe only). This model also comes with red brake calipers.

Full pricing details are listed below:

2021 Audi RS 5 Coupe – $76,145
2021 Audi RS 5 Sportback – $76,445
2021 Audi RS 5 Coupe Ascari Launch Edition – $96,645
2021 Audi RS 5 Sportback Ascari Launch Edition – $96,945
2021 Audi RS 5 Coupe Black Launch Edition – $88,445
2021 Audi RS 5 Sportback Black Launch Edition – $88,445

All figures include destination.

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