The 2018 Audi RS5 Is Actually a 'Micro Hybrid'
The new 444-horsepower sports coupe scores just enough hybridization to help it with start/stop duties.
In the eyes of some traditionalists, the new Audi RS5 is already guilty of powertrain heresy. While the previous generation of the sports coupe came equipped with a high-revving, naturally-aspirated 4.2-liter V-8 sourced from the widely-respected B7-generation RS4, the 2018 model year version of the RS5 goes with a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V-6. And as if that weren't bad enough...as it turns out, the new RS5 is also a hybrid.
Or, to be more specific, a "micro hybrid," as it's described in a new Reuters report. The system, made by automotive supplier Valeo, isn't designed to provide power directly to the wheel; instead, it uses a starter-alternator to enable a more efficient version of the stop-start feature found in many new car models. (Most other new cars simply use a big starter motor to power their stop-start systems, which Reuters points out is less expensive, but also less efficient.) The RS5's start-stop can reportedly kick the car back to life in a fraction of a second—which, if correct, could help mitigate much of the hair-wrenching frustration that leads many of us to deactivate such systems the second we start our cars.
Audi reportedly has plans to begin transforming to an all-hybrid and electric lineup over the next few years, starting with the new A8 that formally arrives next month. That plan, however, involves turning many of its internal combustion models into mild hybrids that leverage the VW Group's new 48-volt electrical system, according to Automotive News. In the case of the 2018 Audi A8, that setup will add about 16 horsepower and 44 pound-feet of torque, and will enable the car to coast for up to 45 seconds with the engine off. The RS5's system isn't nearly as powerful...but if there's one thing this 444-horsepower super coupe isn't lacking, it's power.
- RELATEDAudi RS Models Could Go Rear-Wheel-Drive, Audi Sport Boss SaysStephan Winkelmann drops a tantalizing hint at Goodwood.READ NOW
- RELATEDShaggy Dog Audi RS6 Avant May Be the Best Dumb and Dumber Tribute Car EverAt the very least, it's probably the quickest.READ NOW
- RELATEDNext Audi A8 Will Be a Super-Mild Hybrid, Thanks to 48-Volt Electrical SystemIt joins the Bentley Bentayga and the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class in boasting the potent new setup.READ NOW
- RELATEDWatch Spider-Man Ghost-Ride the New 2018 Audi A8Johnny Blaze is gonna be pissed if he finds out you're stealing his schtick, Peter.READ NOW
- RELATEDCrossovers Are More Important Than a Hardcore R8 Supercar, Audi Sport Boss SaysThe reason, predictably, is a financial one.READ NOW