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Facelifted Audi RS5 ready for the UK

Sharper look, better driving experience?

Audi UK has announced the RS5 facelift order books open this week with a starting price of £58,725.

First revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show last September, the RS5 features a hand built 4.2-litre V8 that has an output of 444 bhp and peak torque of 317 lb/ft transmitted through a 7-spd S-tronic gearbox to the Quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system. A sport differential is available as an option.

The RS5 Coupe does the 0 to 62 mph sprint in 4.5 seconds and has an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph  (however, for an additional fee, Audi can de-restrict this limitation for a new top speed of 174 mph).

Visually the RS5 takes on the new front end as seen on the facelifted A5 and S5 range with more angular lights featuring LED technology, a mesh single piece grille with the now trademark 6-corner design and the option for a satin silver finish to the lower splitter. The rear lights get a new design of the LEDs and there is a new style for the 19” alloy wheels. The 20” alloys are still an option, as are carbon ceramic brakes.

On the inside there is a new flat-bottomed RS three-spoke steering wheel and detail improvements to the air conditioning, Multi Media Interface, mirror adjustment and electric window switchgear, the gear lever and the instrument stalks. New look optional inlays are also now available. The RS5 comes quite loaded with standard features such as a Bluetooth mobile phone integration, cruise control, DVD-based satellite navigation and Audi Music Interface iPod connection, but as with any Audi there are many optional extras available.

Audi offers a new Sport Package for £2,250 which includes Dynamic Ride Control, sports exhaust, dynamic steering and 20-inch rotor-design titanium-look alloy wheels. The cruise control system can also now be upgraded at extra cost to the adaptive system with braking guard, which uses radar sensors to control distance from traffic in front of the car between 19mph and 155mph, and can also initiate partial braking or full deceleration if its sensors detect an impending collision.

Audi claims to have made many changes to the RS5's suspension and steering to try and counteract the really quite bad reviews the car has had. Vague steering, a terrible ride and understeer have all been criticisms levelled at the original RS5 so we can only hope that Audi have listened and made the RS5 a more fun car to drive, so it can finally challenge the BMW M3 and Mercedes C63 AMG Coupe.

Deliveries of the 2012 Audi RS5 begin in April. For now we can watch the RS5 drifting on the snow in a location which will be familiar to those who saw Sunday's episode of Top Gear!

Images and video courtesy of Audi

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About Tim Oldland

Contributing Editor - Long time petrolhead, automotive design engineer and journalist. Also Social Media Manager for the ecurie25 Group - www.ecurie25.com Tim has worked in the automotive sector for many years, but has been a fan of anything with 2 or 4... read more