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  1. #1
    Active Member Two Rings
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    Potential buyer: B8 RS5 vs S5 insight needed.

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    Hi guys, I'm looking at buying a new to me car... Currently I drive a 2011 Audi S4 M6 with full bolt-ons.

    In my search I've been ideally looking for a 2016 S4/S5 MANUAL transmission, low mileage etc etc. Anyway, I have the opportunity to buy a 2015 RS5 with 65000kms off lease, great shape inside and out - however I don't know much about the cars.

    The reason why I have always stuck with the S4/S5 is because I truly love the 3.0L supercharged motor, and having a boosted car in general. Why? Easy power, sounds great and has been extraordinarily reliable. Also the other big factor was the fact that the S4/S5 comes in a MANUAL and the RS doesn't.

    So my questions are, how reliable is an RS? I have heard horror stories about the 4.2 having to be basically removed to do any sort of work to it.

    Power potential? I've heard (as when I bought this S4), that you can get the same power from the 3.0 SC as the 4.2 with the bolt-ons I currently have.. The only big power increase I've seen is those who've slapped a supercharger on it and that is $$$ and more extensive than I typically like to go.

    Transmission? those of you who drive the manual will probably understand my reluctancy.. However I've heard fantastic things about the auto transmission, lightening quick.

    I'd really like to hear from someone whose driven both, what does the power band feel like? My main thing is I don't want to go backwards in power! (I can't drive the car before I buy it, I'd be shipping it a considerable ways).

    Any other input would be fantastic!

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Established Member Three Rings
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    I test drove both back-to-back and bought the RS5 but based on what you said, you will def want to go with the S5. You prefer a Manual, you like the instant boost of a supercharged engine, you want tuning potential so all 3 of those major factors scream S5.

    I actually felt the stock S5 was faster than the RS due to the supercharging/instant boost. It almost felt like it was running away from me like a freight train. The RS is much more controllable power with a more flexible power band. The fastest RS5 is running about 12sec flat while there are loads of S5's running low 11's with only minor ecu/pulley tuning.

    Based on what you said, the RS will disappoint you - a LOT of people are disappointed by it as they think its a way faster version of the S5 while its not - its really a DIFFERENT version of the S5 with upgraded body work/active rear spoiler, better sounding more flexible engine (yet not more powerful engine once tuning is considered), better handling for sure, more rare and exotic, and generally comes fully loaded from the factory in terms of options. It has low torque/high rpm, is same weight as S5, has almost the exact same transmission, has a better differential, comes with VERY heavy oem wheels, is hard to and expensive to tune and is much more expensive if something goes wrong as the engine alone costs $22k to replace.

    I only chose the RS because I happen to love high rpm naturally-aspirated/linear motors. After the back-to-back test drive, I thought for sure Id go with the S5 but a day later all I could remember was the sound of the RS engine at 8000rpm and I wanted that sound. I've invested a ton in aftermarket on my RS to get lightweight wheels, eventuri cold-air intake, awe exotic-sounding exhaust and wont be happy with power until the JHM Stage 2 ECU/TCU tune comes out this summer. Still then, lightly modded S5's will blow by me but I like the complete package the RS provides once you do enough work to it.

  3. #3
    Established Member Two Rings
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    On lease I've always assumed a sports/performance car has been pushed to its limits more so than someone who bought it and owned it. just my .02

  4. #4
    Active Member Two Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by AsherAudi View Post
    I test drove both back-to-back and bought the RS5 but based on what you said, you will def want to go with the S5. You prefer a Manual, you like the instant boost of a supercharged engine, you want tuning potential so all 3 of those major factors scream S5.

    I actually felt the stock S5 was faster than the RS due to the supercharging/instant boost. It almost felt like it was running away from me like a freight train. The RS is much more controllable power with a more flexible power band. The fastest RS5 is running about 12sec flat while there are loads of S5's running low 11's with only minor ecu/pulley tuning.

    Based on what you said, the RS will disappoint you - a LOT of people are disappointed by it as they think its a way faster version of the S5 while its not - its really a DIFFERENT version of the S5 with upgraded body work/active rear spoiler, better sounding more flexible engine (yet not more powerful engine once tuning is considered), better handling for sure, more rare and exotic, and generally comes fully loaded from the factory in terms of options. It has low torque/high rpm, is same weight as S5, has almost the exact same transmission, has a better differential, comes with VERY heavy oem wheels, is hard to and expensive to tune and is much more expensive if something goes wrong as the engine alone costs $22k to replace.

    I only chose the RS because I happen to love high rpm naturally-aspirated/linear motors. After the back-to-back test drive, I thought for sure Id go with the S5 but a day later all I could remember was the sound of the RS engine at 8000rpm and I wanted that sound. I've invested a ton in aftermarket on my RS to get lightweight wheels, eventuri cold-air intake, awe exotic-sounding exhaust and wont be happy with power until the JHM Stage 2 ECU/TCU tune comes out this summer. Still then, lightly modded S5's will blow by me but I like the complete package the RS provides once you do enough work to it.
    Exactly what I needed to hear. I love the look of the RS, itís a beautiful machine.. my S4 has been outfitted with a lot of RS4 cosmetic parts (grille, defusers etc).

    The power was what I guess was my thing, the 4.2 sounds amazing, but I also like the whine of a 3.0 SC. Perhaps Iím just growing impatient trying to find the right S4/S5.. and this one popped up, and I was like hey why not !


    In terms of the lease return, entirely depends on the previous owner. Iíve seen plenty of purchased cars bagged on as well. This particular RS5 has a 4.7 auto rating ( out of 5), with little to no flaws. Worth the risk if itís the car I want !

  5. #5
    Established Member Four Rings Ape Factory's Avatar
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    Jun 24 2017
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    RS5/Infiniti QX70S stormtrooper/Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary
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    San Antonio, TX

    The RS5 is faster in the twisty bits. Wider stance, different suspension tuning, more mechanical grip, different gearbox and active rear diff tuning, etc...And it doesn't understeer when driven properly. The feel of both is quite different and the RS is just inspiring on real roads point A to point B. If you're more about straight line performance, go with the S5 unless you want to supercharge the RS5 at considerable cost. The RS5's tend to be very reliable but any German car has the potential for issues due to their complexity as I'm sure you . I would think the RS5 is more reliable overall than the supercharged S5. There can be issues with the S5's manual transmission (master/slave cylinders going out) vs the RS5's S-Tronic which can have mechatronic issues. I'm a manual guy myself and I've only missed having a manual once. And for a very fleeting moment at that.

    I would hope you take a test drive or four. I test drove a few Audi vehicles with more bottom end torque but in the end, the engine/transmission combination absolutely haunted me. I couldn't get it out of my head. So I went home with the RS5. No regrets. It does require a different approach to going fast; keeping the tach above 4 grand.
    Instagram: redmist5 Youtube; https://tinyurl.com/redmistvideos
    2013 Audi RS5 Misano Red-Klassen ID M10/JHM Tune/AWE Exhaust/Eventuri Intake/Bilstein PSS10/H&R Sways/STERN/CR-15//ECS SS Brake Lines/Rear Diff Bushing/ECS rear diff inserts, front end links/034 Motorsports subframe inserts & Rear End Links/Tranny insert/E-code head, tail lights/Maxton splitter/Red Trim Start Button/black emblems/VCDS.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member Four Rings superswiss's Avatar
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    Pretty much agree with what others have said. What I would add is that the B8 RS5 is uniquely different from the B8 S5. As far as driving experience is concerned, it has more in common with the R8 than with the S5. Audi has had 4.2 V8s before, even high revving ones, but this one was newly developed for the RS5 based on the R8's V10. It's actually mostly a smaller, fewer cylinder version of the V10. As @Ape Factory said, the fun starts when the roads get twisty. Anybody can drive fast in a straight line. I personally don't get the 0-60 and 1/4 mile fascination, especially in an AWD car that requires less skill to hook up. The fun for me starts on twisty roads with technical turns, switchbacks, fast sweepers etc. and that's where the RS5 shines. Ripping through a canyon with the revs above 5k and downshifting at 6k is addicting and hard to beat. It's just a very different experience to drive this car, even ripping up an onramp hearing that V8 scream. I drive 90+% in manual mode, so I can enjoy those shouty downshifts.

    But it also has an excellent dual personality. Put it in Auto or Comfort mode and drive normally and it turns into a luxury coupe with plenty of rest comfort. Here's actually where the often complained about low torque at low rpms becomes beneficial and makes the car nice and tame if you just wanna puddle around. I love doing road trips in this thing, too. It has by far been the best all-around car I've owned so far. There are faster cars than the RS5 and there are more comfortable cars than the RS5, but few cars can be a docile luxury coupe by day and screaming beast on weekends as good as the RS5 does it.

    The time for me has come to move on, though. I know I'll miss the RS5 for sure, but I'm pretty sure the new car won't disappoint, either. I'm getting a 2019 C63S Coupe. It's got a different animal of a V8, but continues the same kind of dual personality as the RS5.
    '13 panther blk RS5, Ti pkg, blk leather/alcantara, nav pkg, sport exhaust, driver assist pkg, rear shade, alu kreuz, ECS spacers 15f/10r, ECS tru-float rotors, ECS brake lines, Hawk HPS pads, european delivery
    '07 phantom blk S4, blk leather, 6mt, conv pkg, audio pkg, heated front&rear seats, bluetooth, nav plus, parktronic, DTM pkg, carbon trim, TPMS, rear&side shades (sold)

  7. #7
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by DB_S4 View Post
    Exactly what I needed to hear. I love the look of the RS, itís a beautiful machine.. my S4 has been outfitted with a lot of RS4 cosmetic parts (grille, defusers etc).

    The power was what I guess was my thing, the 4.2 sounds amazing, but I also like the whine of a 3.0 SC. Perhaps Iím just growing impatient trying to find the right S4/S5.. and this one popped up, and I was like hey why not !


    In terms of the lease return, entirely depends on the previous owner. Iíve seen plenty of purchased cars bagged on as well. This particular RS5 has a 4.7 auto rating ( out of 5), with little to no flaws. Worth the risk if itís the car I want !
    True, I've also know guys to trade in cars with persistent issues to dealers, so i guess just buyer awareness. I just know that if I'm leasing a sports car, me personally, would be running the piss out of it for most of its mileage bc well it's not my concern for the future life of the car

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Four Rings bmoreS4's Avatar
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    Just a note:

    I completely understand wanting a manual (I will always own at least one manual) but the V2 DSG in those cars is pretty amazing. You will not be disappointed by that box.

    Either way you will be getting a great car
    2001.5 B5 S4 - Stage 3 on Meth -- Thanks to Brad and Country Dubs
    2014 B8.5 S4 - EPL Stage 2 / EPL TCU
    2018 Atlas SEL Premium - Black on Black - Black Wheel Package
    Cheap/Fast/Reliable - Pick Two

  9. #9
    Senior Member Three Rings HMS's Avatar
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    You don't want the RS 5
    2013 Audi [R]S5 Panther Black - Mods: 034, Capristo, ECS, H&R.

    Instagram: RS5_onthe_Run

  10. #10
    Established Member Three Rings snocat17's Avatar
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    May 12 2017
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    2016 S5 Cab, 2008 GMC Hennessey HPE 450 Sierra
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    Salem, MO, USA

    After reading your criteria for your purchase, here are my thoughts...

    You're looking at a unicorn (RS5). What you want is a thoroughbred (S4/S5). Can you ride a unicorn? Sure. Will you be disappointed with it when you've owned it for 2 years? Most likely. Is it still a unicorn? Yes.

    So, long explanation short: buy the unicorn.



    Also, is it "a" or "an" before "unicorn"?
    -Joe
    2016 S5 Cabriolet Prestige Glacier White Metallic w/ brown comfort seats and piano wire black wood trim. RED Brake calipers holding EBC RedStuff pads, VCDS cable

  11. #11
    Senior Member Three Rings HMS's Avatar
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    INteresting. The S5 guy says get the rs5 and the rs5 guys say get the s5....

    Where is Doug when you need him! @doug97exe

    by the way snocat, it's "a"
    2013 Audi [R]S5 Panther Black - Mods: 034, Capristo, ECS, H&R.

    Instagram: RS5_onthe_Run

  12. #12
    Veteran Member Three Rings mcbuck's Avatar
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    I don't disagree with anything above. The thoughts by Superswiss resonate the most.
    I drove both B8.5 S5 and the RS5 back to back. For me the RS5 just had more soul and more of the oh shit factor.
    And please tell me you didn't just summon Doug.....for the love of God!!
    BUCK
    2013 RS5 Daytona Grey Pearl, X-pipe, 20% tint, Arc Audio/Alpine, interior/backup LED, 034 RSB, H&R sport, 10mm, V-FF 103, 285/30 DWS06, Girodisc, Hawk
    GONE - B7 A4 quatro, 2.0T, 6MT, 250K....dropped, tuned, and everything else

  13. #13
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Oakland, CA

    RS5!!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Established Member Two Rings Mr.Jones18's Avatar
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    Appleton, WI

    Potential buyer: B8 RS5 vs S5 insight needed.

    Coming from a dual pulley, six speed, b8 s4, I was in the same boat trying to decide if it was worth paying extra for the rs5 but in the end I decided to just go for it and couldnít be happier. Yes, the 3.0t is a great motor and mod for mod thereís way more potential in them, however I was just drawn into having something different. The supercharged v6 is torquey and a great highway cruiser but there are plenty of flaws as well. Superchargers known to have failing intercoolers, slave cylinder issues for the six speed guys, granted thatís an easy fix and they are probably one of the worst sounding cars once you start touching the exhaust and donít let anyone tell you different lol.

    Nothing but rasp and just loud noise when you decide to get rid of the cats, which is a must if you want to actually make power or thereís chance of them failing and getting clogged. Honestly if youíre looking for power there are way better options to choose from anyways. Having a v8 that revs to 8200 along with the sounds it makes and just the presence the car has, idk, itís just hard to beat for me personally. Power band is definitely shifted to the higher rpms though so in some cases it will definitely feel like you went backwards in power. Iím still in the honeymoon phase so my views could change later on but I couldnít care less about power, Iíve got a b5 s4 for that and it doesnít even bother me that I donít have a third pedal anymore, the transmission is better than I had imagined.

    Even though the 4.2 in the rs5 isnít designed off the 4.2 that youíre thinking of I guarantee the horror stories youíve heard are literally the stories of the plagued b6 chassis and everyone seems to assume that means every 4.2 v8 since then has stuck with the same parts and issues which is far from true. Revisions since then has led to the 4.2 v8 from the b7 s4 and b8 s5 to be way more reliable than people think.


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  15. #15
    Senior Member Three Rings HMS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcbuck View Post
    I don't disagree with anything above. The thoughts by Superswiss resonate the most.
    I drove both B8.5 S5 and the RS5 back to back. For me the RS5 just had more soul and more of the oh shit factor.
    And please tell me you didn't just summon Doug.....for the love of God!!
    I for one happen to be a big fan of Doug. He's just misunderstood lol.

    OP - drive both. If you can make your peace with no real aftermarket for the rs5, then it's a no brainer. I love mine. It's slow, but I'm a maniac behind the wheel so we balance each other.
    2013 Audi [R]S5 Panther Black - Mods: 034, Capristo, ECS, H&R.

    Instagram: RS5_onthe_Run

  16. #16
    Established Member Two Rings 03TLSinCO's Avatar
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    '16 S5 (Literally in my garage most of the time); '03 Acura 3.2TL Type-S
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    Quote Originally Posted by HMS View Post
    OP - drive both. If you can make your peace with no real aftermarket for the rs5, then it's a no brainer. I love mine. It's slow, but I'm a maniac behind the wheel so we balance each other.
    Also, if it matters to you, keep in mind that the RS5 will be more expensive to maintain. Routine maintenance (brakes, etc.) will cost more.
    2016 S5 Prem+, Moonlight Blue Metallic/Lunar Silver, Sport Diff, Black Optics Plus, B&O, Adaptive Damping Suspension. Carbon Fiber license plate frames & tire valve caps. Mods to follow.

  17. #17
    Active Member Two Rings
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    Hi everyone,

    I really appreciate everyone's thorough answers! It is honestly what I needed to hear, a big reason why I come to this forum for anything Audi related.

    So what I've gathered is this: S4/S5 is faster, has a manual. The RS5 is more of a "drivers car", lack in power, but overall better drive experience?

    Furthermore, I've found that the only real modifications for the RS5 that are feasible are exhaust and intake ( I gagged when I saw the eventuri intake for $2600). Then outside of that it is strictly cosmetic modifications...

    Anyway the RS5 Runs in auction today, I'll see if it goes for a good price.. if not, it wasn't meant to be. I'll let fate decide lol!

  18. #18
    Veteran Member Three Rings mcbuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HMS View Post
    I love mine. It's slow, but I'm a maniac behind the wheel so we balance each other.
    LOL, my brother from another mother....
    BUCK
    2013 RS5 Daytona Grey Pearl, X-pipe, 20% tint, Arc Audio/Alpine, interior/backup LED, 034 RSB, H&R sport, 10mm, V-FF 103, 285/30 DWS06, Girodisc, Hawk
    GONE - B7 A4 quatro, 2.0T, 6MT, 250K....dropped, tuned, and everything else

  19. #19
    Established Member Two Rings
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    2001 Audi TTQC 225, 2003 VW GTI 20thAE, 2013 S5 6MT
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    Quote Originally Posted by HMS View Post
    You don't want the RS 5
    I like the way you talk.

  20. #20
    Active Member Two Rings
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    Well fellas.

    The car gods weren't in my favor today! The RS5 went for insane money (well not really, but with $2500 shipping, it wasn't a great deal), I had to let it go. However, on this same day, a beautiful 2015 Ibis white S4 came up, low mileage, great condition, 6sp manual.. Lots of factory options, sport diff, Nav, back up cam, B&O sound system, only missing blind spot. I paid a little extra for it, but I still have $10k left over for fun stuff ..

    I appreciate all the help, but the RS just wasn't in the cards this time around.. Maybe when I trade this one in two-three years.

  21. #21
    Established Member Two Rings 03TLSinCO's Avatar
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    Feb 02 2018
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    '16 S5 (Literally in my garage most of the time); '03 Acura 3.2TL Type-S
    Location
    CO

    Sounds like you got a great car, and with money left over for mods, you're sure to have fun. Enjoy it!
    2016 S5 Prem+, Moonlight Blue Metallic/Lunar Silver, Sport Diff, Black Optics Plus, B&O, Adaptive Damping Suspension. Carbon Fiber license plate frames & tire valve caps. Mods to follow.

  22. #22
    Established Member Three Rings snocat17's Avatar
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    May 12 2017
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    2016 S5 Cab, 2008 GMC Hennessey HPE 450 Sierra
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    Quote Originally Posted by DB_S4 View Post
    Well fellas.

    The car gods weren't in my favor today! The RS5 went for insane money (well not really, but with $2500 shipping, it wasn't a great deal), I had to let it go. However, on this same day, a beautiful 2015 Ibis white S4 came up, low mileage, great condition, 6sp manual.. Lots of factory options, sport diff, Nav, back up cam, B&O sound system, only missing blind spot. I paid a little extra for it, but I still have $10k left over for fun stuff ..

    I appreciate all the help, but the RS just wasn't in the cards this time around.. Maybe when I trade this one in two-three years.
    Great color choice and +1 for sports diff! Push the car a bit before modding, you will be impressed.
    -Joe
    2016 S5 Cabriolet Prestige Glacier White Metallic w/ brown comfort seats and piano wire black wood trim. RED Brake calipers holding EBC RedStuff pads, VCDS cable

  23. #23
    Senior Member Four Rings HazeMyth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snocat17 View Post
    Only sensible color choice and +1 for sports diff!
    Fixed.

    #teamibis
    2013 Audi S5
    2011 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport
    2003 Evolution VIII (Cammed, etc)
    2004 Subaru STI - Stg. 2 (Sold)
    IG: @MrHazeMyth

  24. #24
    Established Member Three Rings snocat17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HazeMyth View Post
    Fixed.

    #teamibis
    Thanks, I appreciate it!
    -Joe
    2016 S5 Cabriolet Prestige Glacier White Metallic w/ brown comfort seats and piano wire black wood trim. RED Brake calipers holding EBC RedStuff pads, VCDS cable



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