2018 Audi RS 5 first drive review: green with mean

Like all animals, humans are subject to various temptations. A salad is healthier than a burger and fries, but the whiff you get within a block of an old-fashioned burger joint is irresistible. Similarly, you shouldn’t buy another project car, but when will you find another like it?

Temptation momentarily struck on a back road in Andorra as I debated passing a truck.

In a garden-variety family car, I’d have waited patiently. I’d have taken advantage of the semi’s leisurely pace to adjust the A/C, or change the radio station. In the 2018 Audi RS 5, I flicked the left shift paddle twice, signaled, and gunned it. I don’t think the truck driver even noticed I went by.

Your passport, please

New for 2018, the second-generation RS 5 was born to answer two callings. One: It must be a capable corner carver with a quick turn-in and the agility of a cat. Two: It needs to be irreproachably docile and calm on the highway as it purrs through miles.

This isn’t just a hopped-up S5, a lot of engineering work went into making it worthy of wearing the RS emblem. Between the fenders lies a 2.9-liter V-6 that gulps two large turbos’ worth of pressure to make 450 horsepower between 5,700 and 6,700 rpm, and 442 pound-feet of torque over a broad range that stretches from 1,900 all the way up to 5,000 rpm. It’s bolted to an 8-speed automatic that channels the V-6’s grunt to all four wheels via Audi’s famed Quattro system.

DON’T MISS: Audi SQ5 first drive review: practicality with a dash of performance

Buyers who want a manual are out of luck, but that shouldn’t be a problem. Audi Sport’s research says you probably don’t want three pedals in the RS 5, according to development boss Stephan Reil. Besides, the tiptronic fires off lightning-quick shifts.

But, you need to get moving before thinking about shifting.

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