Mechanically, though, it was business as usual: in addition to the naturally aspirated V8 – derived from the R8’s 5.2 V10 – and quattro drivetrain, it retained the pre-facelift model’s seven-speed S tronic dual clutch gearbox (there was never a manual option) and mechanical centre differential. Bringing up the rear was the same electronic differential shuffling torque on demand. Dynamic Ride Control dampers remained as standard.
The thing to remember with any used performance car is that while it might now be cheaper, the cost of maintaining it isn’t. It’s this crucial fact that escapes starry-eyed owners, who then cut corners on servicing.
That’s a bad move since something like a fast-fit stamp is the last thing you want to see in an RS5’s service book. No disrespect to the able technicians who work in such places, but knowing some of the RS5’s idiosyncrasies is crucial to its trouble-free running. They include rattly chain tensioners at around the 70,000-mile mark and, as already hinted at by the value of a carbon-clean, the tendency for the inlet valves to coke up.
Theories as to the cause of this include the engine breathing oily fumes from the crankcase ventilation system and the inlet valves not being hosed down with fuel, as they would be were the injection system port-based rather than direct.
It’s all horribly technical but all you need to know is that a full set of specialist or main dealer service stamps and evidence of supplementary work including regular transmission fluid changes is the secret to RS5 happiness. That and the sound of its 444bhp V8.
How to get one in your garage
An expert’s view
Simon Howarth, founder, AMD Technik: “We’ve been servicing performance Audis for 30 years and we know RS models inside out. Personally, I prefer the earlier B7 RS4 to the RS5. It’s the purist’s choice: more practical and exclusive. There are loads of RS5s for sale, but have you ever tried opening the door in a car park? They are so long, you have to squeeze out to avoid bashing them. It feels like a car for the American market. But I can understand why people love them for the wonderful V8 and those coupé looks. The facelift didn’t bring much so early, low-mileage ones will be in demand as prices fall and people see they’re a performance bargain.”