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2013 Audi RS5

06:07AM - 01.05.'13

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I imagine spending time with a sexy sports coupe is similar to a first date with a supermodel. Before she arrives, there's a buildup of excitement mixed with nervous anticipation. Even though the background work is done, there are many concerns and unanswered questions about how the two of you will get along. What about compatibility, engagement and dynamics?

The big day arrives, and you answer the door to find her waiting in the driveway wearing a form-fitting Misano Red Pearl dress and sleek Anthracite stilettos. As you shake your head in disbelief, you swear she just winked her... ah... xenon headlight at you.

Relax big boy, you've been fantasizing about the 2013 Audi RS5. Like all of its German counterparts, Audi sells its A5 coupe and cabriolet in several different flavors. All share the same basic chassis, and most of the cabin appointments, but mechanically they are all a few yards apart. And each is distinguished by its individual performance envelope.

Seated at the top of the hierarchy is this RS5, with a base price of $69,795.

The entry-level model, known as the standard A5 2.0T, is fitted with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four rated at 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It starts at $38,745 (all pricing includes Audi's $895 destination charge), and that buys ownership of a well-respected coupe. The performance-oriented S5, one nice leap up the ladder, arrives with a supercharged 3.0-liter six rated at 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. Its base price of $51,795 will further thin the wallet, but the investment is well worth it.

Seated at the top of the hierarchy is this RS5, with a base price of $69,795. The enthusiast-tuned coupe boasts a naturally aspirated 4.2-liter eight-cylinder rated at 450 hp and 317 lb-ft. Unlike its siblings, offered with manual or automatic gearboxes, the all-aluminum direct-injected engine is mated to a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission. Matching its siblings, power is sent to all four wheels through the automaker's famed Quattro all-wheel-drive system, with a torque split that generally sends 60 percent rearward, to improve driving dynamics. The RS5, however, gains front and rear sport differentials to ensure that traction is maintained regardless of how hard it is pushed.

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