Introverts are people too. Sure, it’s hard to notice us, and truth be told, we kinda like it that way. We don’t need to be the loudest person at the bar. In fact, we probably aren’t even at the bar — too many people around to compete with. We are the flashiest of our friends. We like simple, quieter moments with less distractions and less craziness overall. That isn’t to say we don’t like to have fun, but it has to be in our own way, on our own, more subtle terms. This contrast is personality types is no more noticeable than when it comes to car choices. The extreme extroverts, and sometimes extremely insecure (the two are not mutually exclusive), can often be seen, from miles away in fact, driving the screaming yellow Ferrari, or the lime green Lamborghini, or the magenta Porsche with twenty five inch gold rims. Introverts on the other hand, do in fact like fast cars too, and driving them especially. But we tend to err towards the side of the subdued, at least in terms of style. And we’d like to thank Audi for providing introverts everywhere with the most prolific example of this personality type in automotive form: the 2019 RS5.
Perhaps the German automaker wouldn’t be completely thrilled to hear that its uber-racy product line being called understated, but in a way it is a compliment, and we are grading on a bit of a curve here. The A5/S5/RS5 in general is, in fact, a very aesthetically appealing car that does garner quite a bit of attention. It possesses the age old sports car proportions — long hood, short deck, low to the ground with a sloping roofline that automatically enters it into the ‘fast-looking’ car category. But, for all of its power and performance, its competitors all seem to scream where the RS5 just waves.
Beginning under the hood, the RS5 is a rocket. A 2.9-liter twin-turbo DOHC 24-valve V6 pumps out a staggering 444-horsepower and almost perfectly matched 443 lb-ft of torque (couldn’t eek out that one more pound foot to make it symmetrical Audi?). That torque peak is 126 lb-ft more than the previous RS5 and happens from a very low 1,900 rpm all the way through 5,000 rpm to make for a Tesla-like low end grunt. That power gets routed through a very decisive 8-speed automatic transmission (sadly no manual is offered any longer) and onto to Audi’s vaunted Quattro AWD system to even further help power be utilized efficiently right out of the gate — no useless showy wheel spinning here, just mash the throttle and you’ve gone 0-60 mph in a scaldingly fast 3.7 seconds before anyone even realizes, which is just how introverts like it.
The RS version of the 5 is the sportiest of the breed, so it should come as no big surprise that the suspension is extremely tight and could be construed as jarring for some expecting a more A8 feeling. There is a Comfort setting for the suspension that does mitigate some of those issues, but you will still be keenly aware that you are not driving an old Lincoln Towncar. The Dynamic package offered on the RS gives the best suspension setup Audi can offer while the Dynamic Ride Control utilizes diagonally connected shocks to minimize body roll and keep all four wheels planted solidly to the tarmac. The RS5 also doesn’t pretend to be a Miata either. It is a Grand Tourer of the highest caliber and tips the scales at a sizable 3,990 pounds, though you’d never know it from the gas gauge. The RS5 puts out an impressive 18/27 city/highway mpg.
Inside, the RS5 is pure German luxury. The fully digital 12.3-inch dash display is also fully customizable to the drivers needs and wants and can show anything from navigation to audio to infotainment, to more sportier information like RPM, lap times, horsepower and torque, lateral Gs or real-time tires pressure and temperatures. The Nappa leather seats are incredibly supportive and can withstand the rigors of a day at the track while also being comfortable enough to keep your legs from falling asleep driving also the interstate for a few hours at a time. The thick, flat-bottomed steering wheel just feels racy, and the overall design philosophy of the wraparound dash works well for a driver-centric experience.
The RS5 also offers a host of safety features like Audi pre sense basic and pre sense city that essentially is Audi’s version of crash avoidance and damage control. The basic program pretenses the seat belts, precharges the brakes and starts to close the windows and sunroof, while the city program keeps an eye out for pedestrians and stationary objects up to 52 mph, and can also initiate emergency braking under 25 mph. There is also a side and rear assist that keeps an eye on your blind spots for you, and with nearly 450-horsepower on tap, there are going to be a lot of things behind you.
With a base price of $70,875, the RS5 isn’t cheap, but for the amount of luxury, power and performance you get, it’s hard to argue that that money could be better spent elsewhere. Besides, with its very understated looks, it’s also hard to put a price on owning a car that will allow you to blend in when you want to, and then blast off when you want to as well. Of course only us introverts can truly appreciate that kind of benefit … but hey, we’re people too.