Gliding Without Wings – A Peek Into The World Of German Sports Cars
German Sports Cars are very stoic when it comes to their design language. They’re so stoic that even their most exciting sporting models look rather boring. There was even a time when the quickest German cars look as pedestrian as their slower counterparts.
For a more appropriate example, just look at how much the Porsche 911 changed since 1963. It really hasn’t – after 55 years. It just grew bigger. It still looks like a squashed bug (Volkswagen Beetle).
Having said that, there is probably not a German Sports Cars brand whose cars look more boring than an Audi. Do not get us wrong, Audi makes solid offerings. It makes stylish, perfectly proportioned vehicles. However, they’re so proper that they don’t have enough presence to earn them a third look. Even the powerful R8 looks mundane when parked next to a Ferrari 458 Italia or a McLaren 720S. With the absence of giant, obnoxious wings, winglets, and over-sized bumpers you would be hard-pressed to tell that the Audi is actually faster than your typical large winged Subaru Impreza WRX STI RA or the equally menacing Honda Civic Type R. There are always two sides to a coin. And if you look at the other side, being mundane; blending in is actually Audi’s strong suit.
Enter the new Audi RS5 Sportback. It does have special aero pieces that help it generate downforce but the engineers made an effort to not make it visible. The only cues that hint at this Audi’s special powers are the large front air dam and the Kermit-the-Frog green paint.
So what’s the big secret? It is hiding behind that massive grille Audis of late have. We’ll let Anthony Garbis, product manager for RS 5 at Audi of America, tell you about it. He said in the New York Auto Show, “Packaging wise, this car is very cool, because you can fit this big biturbo and all the tubing and all the cooling system in this engine bay,” he said. “We have an oil cooler that’s mounted parallel to the ground […] and it actually creates 3 pounds of downforce at 62 mph.”
Clever, that oil cooler is mounted behind one of the air ducts for better cooling and downforce, reducing drag. But as with Audi, you would need Superman’s X-ray vision to see it. Because aside from making the RS5 handle like it runs on rails, everything must be kept cool. A cool engine is a happy engine. Especially one that has 444 hp and 600Nm of twist. “The fact that the engineers can get 3 pounds of downforce from the oil cooler is very neat,” Garbis added.
Like all Audi’s the RS5 Sportback is adorned with beautifully proportioned lines and a superb interior Audi is famous for. When it goes on sale, it will go toe-to-toe with the Mercedes-AMG C63, BMW M3, and Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio.
So what is your favorite between those German Sports Cars?