Coupe and five-door versions of Audi’s M3 and M4 contender get revisions for 2020

The Audi RS5 might not be one of the more exciting cars in its class – for that think BMW M3, Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio and Mercedes-AMG C63 – but its cruising refinement, supple ride in its softer modes and punchy engine make it more of a grand tourer than its peers, and standard all-wheel drive means it’s adept in poor weather too.

For 2020 Audi has updated both the RS5 Coupe and RS5 Sportback, with tweaks to the exterior design, a revised interior finish and updated infotainment – though there are no changes to either the chassis or the drivetrain.

The visual updates include some of the touches we’ve seen recently on other S and RS models throughout the Audi range. This means a wider and flatter ‘single-frame’ grille design, topped by a trio of faux vents that reference, albeit not overly successfully, the similar design on 1984’s Audi Sport Quattro – but more pertinently, now match the rest of the RS stable.

The car’s air inlets have also been reprofiled with a pentagonal look, while optional matrix LED lights with laser technology feature darkened bezels, again referencing other recent Audi performance models. The sills and rear diffuser have also been reprofiled, and the latter can be optioned in various finishes.

As ever, the RS5 sits wider than the regular A5 and S5s, with arches 40mm wider than standard, but a pair of paint colours are new to the range: Tango Red and Turbo Blue. Choose the coupe, and you get a carbonfibre roof, around 4kg lighter than standard, while 19-inch wheels are standard, with 20-inch items an option.

Audi states proudly that dark colours dominate the RS5’s interior, which is a bit like stating the sun will rise in the east tomorrow. If you wish to make the cabin just a little less dark there’s always the RS design package, with red accents (colourful) or grey ones (less so), while red or grey contrast stitching also features on some of the smaller leather and Alcantara accents.

As with other recent Audis the RS5 has now moved to a touchscreen-based MMI display, with a 10.1-inch screen sitting atop the dash. Virtual Cockpit features once more too, and you can of course specify Audi Connect to include a selection of online-based services.

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Drivetrain-wise though everything is as before – power still comes from a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 under Audi’s TFSI branding, sending power to all four wheels via an eight-speed Tiptronic auto. Maximum output is 331kW, with 600Nm of torque for good measure. Audi quotes an identical 0-100kmh time of 3.9sec for both the RS5 Coupe and Sportback, while the usual 250kmh limiter can be extended to 280kmh on request.

A sport differential is available for the rear axle (something that has given recent Audis more dynamic personality than their forebears), but it’s unclear whether Audi has also tweaked the steering, previously a weak point but more recently a feature it’s beginning to get right.

RS sport suspension is standard, with Dynamic Ride Control – which actively controls roll and pitch – an option. New are configurable RS1 and RS2 modes, selectable at the press of a steering wheel button. Drivers can adjust the usual parameters, including engine, transmission, damping, steering, the sport differential if fitted, and the car’s aural qualities.