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Next Audi RS5 to get turbo-six, possible Sportback variant

by Drew Johnson

Audi is readying its next-generation RS5.

Audi's next-generation RS5 will ditch its naturally-aspirated V8 in favor of a more powerful twin-turbocharged V6, a new report finds.

Following the latest downsizing trend, Audi has plans to replace the last-generation RS5's 4.2L V8 with a turbocharged 3.0L V6. The death of the 4.2L V8 will leave the Audi 's 5.2L V10 as the last naturally-aspirated engine in the Audi stable.

Despite its smaller stature, the V6 will actually trump the V8 in horsepower and torque. Early estimates peg the V6 at 480 horsepower and "well over” 400 lb-ft of torque; the old V8 was rated at 450 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque. As a side note, Porsche will use a version of the RS5's turbo-six in its next Panamera sedan.

Although fast Audis typically use dual-clutch transmissions, the German automaker will reportedly fit the RS5 with a conventional eight-speed automatic. The ZF-sourced eight-speed can shift gears just as quickly as a dual-clutch unit, but provides a smoother in-town experience thanks to its torque converter. Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system will be fitted as standard. Audi has no plans to offer the RS5 with a manual transmission.

According to , the RS5's new powertrain will allow it to accelerate from 0-60 in just a hair over four-seconds. Top speed will be electronically limited to 174mph, but the RS5 will actually be capable of hitting nearly 190mph.

Handling should be sharper than the last RS5 thanks to a 50 pound diet and a new sports differential that's rear-wheel drive biased.

The RS5 will be offered as both a coupe and a convertible, but a new Sportback body style could be offered. If Audi gives the RS5 Sportback the green light, it will be sold in the United States.

Look for the new Audi RS5 to debut sometime next year.

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