Following Mercedes example, Audi is expanding its performance line of vehicles, during this year New York Auto Show. The first ever five-door Sportback version of the mighty RS 5 makes its world public debut.

At the front, the Audi RS 5 Sportback features a wide, flat single-frame grille, solid air intakes with a honeycomb structure typical of an RS, gloss black design elements and a front spoiler with matte aluminium quattro lettering. 

At the rear an RS-specific diffuser insert, RS exhaust system with oval tailpipes and fixed spoiler lip further distance the car from its A5 series siblings. 19-inch wheels are standard, and the list of optional extras contains upgrades to various 20-inch designs, as well as personalisation features such as optic packages in Gloss Black, Carbon, and Matte Aluminium.

With 450PS and 600 Nm of torque deployed throughout a wide speed range from 1,900 to 5,000 rpm, the new 2.9-litre V6 powering both RS 5 variants delivers slingshot performance that is reflected in a 3.9-second 0-62mph sprint time for the new Sportback and the potential for a top speed of up to 174mph.

That output is managed by the eight-speed tiptronic transmission with optimised shift times and by the RS-specific five-link suspension, which is of course supported by quattro permanent all-wheel drive. As an alternative to the standard set-up Audi Sport also offers RS sport suspension with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) featuring adjustable, electronically controlled damping, along with features such as ceramic brakes and dynamic steering with RS-specific tuning.

The centre differential-based quattro system has a 40:60 front-to-rear bias favouring agile, adjustable handling with optimal traction, and when tested by challenging conditions can channel up to 85% of power to the front and up to 70% rearwards.