2018 Audi RS5: Road Test Review
- May 14, 2018
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Driving a sports car around the BIC is always a fun prospect but when you have the entire Audi RS range along with the R8 on the menu, excitement is bound to be quite high. For the past six years, Audi has been holding the Audi Sportscar Experience on the BIC to demonstrate the performance potential of its sports cars to customers and media alike. This time, the collection of cars includes the RS5, RS6 Avant, RS7 Performance and the piece de resistance, the R8 Plus.
What is the Audi Sportscar Experience?
The Audi Sportscar Experience is an annual track day experience that Audi organises to familiarise its existing and potential customers to its performance cars. Typically, the experience includes a slalom course with a skid pad and a braking test. This is set up to showcase the handling abilities and braking of the cars.
Then there is the full track experience where you follow a lead car that instructs you on how to take corners, braking points, turning points and when to get on the gas to power out of the turn. It is a way to demonstrate the cars’ track-cred in a safe and controlled way. At no point is anyone let loose on the track by their own. Which is a good thing, in most cases.
How was the experience?
The batch we were in was broken up into two groups one headed straight for the track where the RS5 and R8 were waiting for them while we headed to the slalom and handling course in the parking lot. We were to drive the RS7 and the RS6 first. I hopped into the RS7 and first were shown a demo of how it's done. The course was setup using cones and comprised of a straight, a couple of left and right turns which led to a skid pad where we were to drift the car out of the skid pad and on to the slalom finally braking hard into the braking box at the end of the course. Oh, and we were asked to switch the ESP off.
I was third in line and in the RS7. As soon as we were given the go, I floored the throttle as instructed and we were off. Lift off for the first left, on the throttle through the right, lift off again and turn on to the skid pad, turn left and as I unwound the steering I gave it some throttle and the rear stepped out. But not in the ‘oh s**t’ way but in a rather controlled slide. The car straightened out and we went through the slalom with ease before braking hard into the ‘box’. Round 2, and the results were the same. The RS6, on the other hand, was quite a handful through the course. It felt like it understeered a lot and due to its size and heft wasn’t easy through the slalom or the skid pad. The RS7 though was a treat through the course.
On the racetrack, I was put in the R8 first for four laps and then we were given the RS5 for another two laps. Though we didn’t push the cars to their limits, we got a fair idea of just what the 5.2-litre, 610PS V10 is capable of. Needless to say, we drove it in ‘sport’ mode and the exhaust note with the overruns was just mesmerising. Plus, when you reach the redline, the whole car tingles with excitement and you can actually hear the engine thrumming just inches from your left ear. Compared to the R8, the RS5 felt like a library. A very plush one though. And driving the RS5 on the racetrack reaffirmed our verdict when we tested it a couple of months ago.
Sounds interesting. How can I go for the Audi Sportscar Experience?
The experience is for both existing and prospective Audi customers. You can apply to take part in the event online and you can even contact the local Audi dealer to help you get a seat at the Sportscar Experience. But the event is normally held over a single weekend with only about 100 slots available in all. The current eighth edition is being held till the 8th of July only.
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