We’ve known for some time that the RS5 would sport an 8-speed automatic rather than the dual-clutches that are the vogue among sportier cars. But why?
asked Anthony Garbis, RS5 product manager, why at the New York International Auto Show. Turns out the reason is pretty simple. The RS5 just makes more torque than any of its dual-clutches can handle.
Audi Sport recently expressed its feelings on the matter of torque, saying that people shopped for hp but bought torque. That ethos is on full display in the RS4 and RS5.
Although their 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 only makes 450 hp (the same as the outgoing model), they make 443 lb-ft torque, which is nearly 100 more than the last generation. It’s hardly surprising that the designers couldn’t find a dual-clutch to handle the extra force.
Garbis added that, as a grand tourer, the automatic transmission suits the RS5, especially the Sportback, which was on display for the first time ever in New York.
Not to be confused with its lowlier sibling the S5, though, Audi Sport was sure to improve the transmission’s tuning and even gave it a unique torque converter for duty in the RS5 Sportback.
And the team didn’t stop there. The attention to detail could only be described as German. The RS5 Sportback’s oil cooler—mounted horizontally under the bumper, doesn’t just cool, it also generates downforce to keep the front wheels planted at speed.
The engineers also linked the turbos to the engine via stainless steel tubing. Although automakers generally prefer plastic (for weight), Audi wanted to cram a lot of air into as small a space as possible. AS a result, the piping needed to be strong. Stainless steel meant that less material was needed for the tubing, making the interior diameter larger, and adding airflow.