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First Drive: 2018 Audi RS 5

Audi Sport is cranking out some modern classics. We’ve got the five-cylinder-powered RS3 and TT-RS making great noise, and now a new RS 5 is ready to join the party. This is the 2018 Audi RS 5 and it’s got enough juice to make it a quicker (and maybe more affordable) combatant in the Germany luxury sports coupe market.

Under the hood is a twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6 engine that’s good for 444 horsepower. It’s also good for moving the RS 5 from 0-60 mph in just 3.7 seconds, per Audi. For the record, that’s quicker than a BMW M4 with the Competition Packaged and the Mercedes-AMG C63 and C63S. The car is a blast to drive and blurs the lines between potent sports coupe and proper grand touring machine.

But the line becomes less blurred once you go over a few bumps. The suspension, when in full dynamic mode, is extremely stiff. Like, save it for the race track stiff. But when you want to best the BMW and Benz offerings, you better bring your best… and Audi has done just that.

There’s no softness found in this latest RS variant. It’s an ass-kicking machine that looks resplendent in its available Sonoma Green paintwork. If you were thinking about buying an M4 or C63… maybe you should think again, and take a look at the RS 5.

[Disclaimer: Audi flew me Scottsdale and put me up in a nice hotel. There was food and booze as well.]

The Audi TT RS is so good we had to give it another go

Yeah, we drove it already… but we needed to give it another go. The 2018 Audi TT RS is worth the extra time, because it’s just so damn good now. Audi is offering up a 400-horsepower sports coupe that’s basically a budget R8.

It’s not cheap, but compared to the competition it’s well priced. Plus you can leave the carbon ceramic front brakes and RS suspension off your shopping list and save a healthy $6,000 to keep it all under $80k.

The Audi TT RS might just be the pinnacle of the MQB platform. It’s crazy fast, supremely confidence inspiring, and well styled. Unless you *have* to have those RWD tail-out shenanigans, the TT RS is the best choice in its segment.

First Drive: 2018 Audi TT RS and 2018 Audi RS3

The inline five-cylinder engine is one that should be quite familiar to fans of Audi’s racing history. It will soon be familiar to fans of the latest that the German automaker has to offer and it arrives in two flavors; the new 2018 Audi TT RS and 2018 Audi RS3.

Each comes packing 400 horsepower courtesy of an inline five-cylinder engine that’s backed up by 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

On the outside of both cars, you’ll notice clues to the lively mill hiding between the fenders. The front fascia is more aggressive and the rear sport exhaust belches noise from a pair of large, black, oval exhaust tips.

Inside you have RS stitched into the sport seats and a bit of suede mingling with leather. If you opt for the slightly more sporty TT RS, you also get the steering wheel lifted straight out of the Audi R8. Each car has lots of character, tremendous levels of performance, and serves up delightful noise. One has room for more to party while the other is fully focused on the task at hand. You can’t make a wrong choice here, because either path leads you into the Audi Sport family and you have an RS-badged machine parked in your garage.

We check both of the vehicles out on the turns of Lime Rock Park and the open road of rural Connecticut.

[Disclaimer: Audi flew us to NYC and put us up in a swank hotel. We choppered to and from the track and ate way too much Greek food. I’m now 65% feta cheese.]

First Drive: 2018 Audi S5 Sportback

There’s compromise in the automotive world. Some of it is bad, but some of it is the good sort of compromise. The 2018 Audi S5 Sportback is that good kind. Yes, we’re hopelessly dreaming of a day when wagons will return in large numbers to roam the roads. That day isn’t today, so that’s why we have a vehicle like the S5 Sportback.

It’s a sedan, that is kind of shaped like a coupe, and has some of the utility of a hatchback. It’s also packing a 354-horsepower turbocharged V6 engine, an available sport rear differential, and adaptive suspension. So yes, the S6 Avant would be our real dream machine in this space. But that doesn’t exist.

We can choose from a bunch of other cars that dance around the fact that America doesn’t want a wagon… thankfully, most of them are good and the S5 Sportback is no exception.

[Disclaimer: Audi flew me up to Seattle, put me up in a hotel, and gave me food and booze. They did not take me seriously, however, no matter how many times I said to reduce model count to just coupes, sedans, wagons, and real SUVs.]

First Drive: 2018 Audi SQ5

Take one part Audi S4 and S5 powertrain. Mix that with a bit of Q5 body work. What do you have? A surprisingly good fat wagon that goes by the name of 2018 Audi SQ5.

There’s over 350 horsepower on tap. An optional rear sport differential makes sure the power is applied purposefully. An optional adaptive air suspension system keeps the car planted when it needs to be and allows it to raise up when necessary. Large front brakes with six-piston calipers haul the action down to a stop in short order.

If you need a luxury crossover but want a luxury sports sedan… this is the car for you.

[Disclaimer: Audi put me on a plane and sent me to British Columbia. There was a hotel, food, and booze involved as well.]

First Drive: 2018 Audi S4 and Audi S5

Instead of sampling one new Audi, let’s try out two!

That’s what I did when I trekked to Palm Springs to take in both the 2018 Audi S4 and the 2018 Audi S5. Both are powered by a 354-horsepower 3.0-liter turbocharged V6, and both are a nice improvement over the car they’re replacing.

There’s more noise, more refinement, and an overall greater driving experience. So hit play and enjoy a two-for-one first drive video review.

[Disclaimer: Audi provided a hotel, food, and booze.]

Quick Spin: Getting dirty with the 2017 Audi Allroad

Here’s a quick look at the new 2017 Audi Allroad. It’s our German friends longroof answer to the crossover question.

Here for the new model year, Audi has swapped in a revised 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder engine, which is now good for 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque.

The ride height is slightly raised.
There’s underbody protection.
Throw in more aggressive tires and some mud flaps and we’ve got a $53,000 ($44,000 base price) trail runner.

Yes, we didn’t venture out into the deeper parts of the trail but I know that we could’ve. How? You’re going to have to wait for the video where we torture a Volkswagen Golf Alltrack to find out.

(Spoiler: It handled said “torture” just fine)

[Disclaimer: Audi tossed me the keys to the 2017 Allroad and included a tank of fuel. I had to wash the mud off the car before giving it back, while it was raining outside. I had to go wash a car… while it was raining. I still didn’t get all of the mud, sorry Audi.]

First Drive: 2018 Audi Q5

For Audi, the Q5 is quite an important machine. It’s the automaker’s volume seller here in the United States. There’s a new one coming and we trekked to Mexico to sample the latest four-ringed compact crossover.

Our first drive of the 2018 Audi Q5 unfolds over the roads and off-road stretches around Cabo San Lucas. The southern end of the Baja peninsula proves to be a great place to sample the second-generation Q5.

While Virtual Cockpit will certainly grab your attention, it’s the addition of a new generation of quattro to which you should be paying attention. The Q5 has an all-wheel-drive system that can run in full front-wheel-drive mode until the system deems it necessary to send power out back. This makes the Q5 better on fuel economy, yet it still retains that quattro sense of comfort you want in less than ideal weather.

[Disclaimer: Audi got us on a plane and put us up in a Bond Villain-like hotel Cabo. There was food and booze to be had in the evenings as well.]

2017 Audi R8 V10: The German Lamborghini

First it was the Gallardo and now it’s the Huracan, and both Lamborghini cars are intertwined with a German sports car. It’s called the Audi R8, and it’s pretty damn incredible.

Like the Gallardo has evolved into a better Lamborghini, so too has the R8. It’s better, tougher, more aggressive, and yet an easier driving machine when you want it to be. It was never difficult, but it’s now more compliant and comfortable when you push a few buttons.

Push a few more buttons… and you can hang the tail, scream the V10 up to its redline, and set blistering dashes from a stop. The updated Audi R8 is a tremendous machine.

[Disclaimer: Audi tossed us the keys to the R8 and included a full tank of gas. Many more tanks were consumed in short order.]

Audi S3: The Facelift Review

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The new iteration of Audi’s S3 is pretty damn good. The old iteration of Audi’s S3 was also pretty damn good, but this one has a few updates that really make the car shine. I loved it before, I adore it now. For most automotive enthusiasts, this thing is nearly perfect. It’s the right size, it’s got all of the power, tech, and handling you really would ever need. I just wish it came with a stick. Or as a wagon. Read on for more info.

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