This long sleek RS five-door you see before you is the Sportback, which is Audi speak for a liftback. Think of this as being almost as practical as the RS 4 Avant, but slinkier, sexier. It kind of compensates for the fact that there hasn’t been a sedan version of the RS 4 for a couple of generations.
Like the Coupe and Avant, it uses the Porsche-engineered 2.9-litre biturbo V6, pumping out a solid 331kW or 444hp if you want a more even number. Alongside that there’s 600Nm of slingshotting surge, available pretty much right across the useable part of the rev band. So think quick, no matter what the drive mode or revs selected.
People have moaned that it doesn’t sound as good as the RS 4 V8s of yore and it might not have the sturm und drang of the AMG C 63 but in an increasingly troubled world where emissions actually do matter, despite the self-centred naysayers, a biturbo V6 that still does the hustle business as well as a V8 makes plenty of sense.
No it’s not as stupendous sonically, even with its standard sports exhaust, but it still gets gone like only an RS can. We got sprint figures in the high threes for the RS 5 Coupe and Avant so were expecting the same for the Sportback (claim 3.9sec) but it went one better, hitting the 3.5sec mark. Likely that’s because we ran the numbers on a cool Autumn morning when it just felt like belting out some good ones.