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The Red Mist (An RS5 tale)

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Old 11-12-2017, 01:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rochester View Post
How about you tackle some C&D worthy photos of this stunning interior?

Point by point comparison between the IPL and this Audi... wonderfully done. I swear it reads like the final tally favors the G, but scores be damned because the Audi is awesome. I get that.
Not done with the point by point yet Working on that now.
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Old 11-12-2017, 03:18 PM   #17
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Ok...where was I.

Daily driving. The Audi has three main driving modes. Comfort, dynamic and individual. In each of those modes, you can further customize using the shift lever and put it in sport or drive. Or select manual and use the paddle shifters.

The car feels lazy in any of those modes when in drive. The S-Tronic shifts early and often when in drive at anything less than 3/4 throttle. In sport, it's aggressive, keeping the revs north of 3K rpm with aggressive acceleration to match.

Switching to the paddle shifters and manual mode is downright fun. The shifts, when loafing, are smooth and not super quick. As you accelerate harder the shifts are like rifle shots. Instant but smooth. It's quite a contrast to the G's auto which shifts quick enough on it's own (especially with ECUtek) but is extremely laggy in comparison when using the paddles. The G doesn't encourage the use of the paddle shifters whereas the Audi is just the opposite. I drive with the paddle shifters on the RS about 80% of the time.

Upshifts and downshifts, especially above 3500 rpm, are a lot of fun aurally. There's a quick succession of little snaps as the ignition retards on upshift (very F1) and the downshifts are met with barking rev matches. And all are instant as I said earlier. The paddles themselves move only a few millimeters before the next change is made. They feel very precise and solid and while the G's paddles feel nice, they don't have that same precise feeling.

In terms of paddle shape, the stock G paddles win. They're longer and easier to find on the wheel when making tight turns. I've since added paddle extensions to the Audi.

In pure auto mode, the Audi still has the advantage. The throttle hijack via the EcuTek on the Infiniti makes things a whole lot better but the transmission doesn't always make the right choice and likes to downshift into the lowest possible gear far too frequently. The Audi always seems to get the gear selection right.

The engine characteristics couldn't be more different. With two more cylinders, the Audi revs far more quickly and feels much smoother than the IPL engine. The G feels coarse and slow to rev in comparison while the Audi's 4.2L V-8 snaps to redline almost faster than you can select the next gear. It's actually startling.

Life really begins for both at 3K rpm but the Audi has a top end that keeps on pulling where the IPL felt midrange optimized. I never had that "weightless" feeling in the IPL towards redline but it's there in spades in the RS5.

The engine, at least in sport or in manual mode, never feels down on power and that power is more easily accessible in the RS5. Despite it's top end bias, it never seems caught out. Part of that comes down to the transmission. I always felt caught out in the G and it took more forethought and planning to get the best out of the power band.

Traction. No comparison. Outright traction, despite the cheaper tires, goes to the Audi hands down. Dry, wet, doesn't matter. And while the chassis feels and rotates differently, it doesn't feel AWD or nose heavy. I will say the G seemed to rotate at or just behind the driver and the Audi feels like it's at my knees. I think if I were to push the Audi harder, that would change and I can feel the rear end sport diff and rear bias when exiting corners hard. It's just more stable and unflappable vs. the G. Now the G, with the EcuTek traction control is really controllable and you can snap the tail out and hold it. It's fun, but not always fast. It's why I skipped over the BMW M2. I want to put the power down.

Now I had two years to dial in the IPL and I've only been in the Audi for three weeks or so. Both have similar handling mods. The RS has the Bilstein B16 coil-over kit which also has outboard springs out back like the G. The Bilsteins have progressive rate springs however and along with the Sumitomo tires, it's forcing me to really assess both in an effort to understand their handling traits. I know the car will be better off with the Michelins and I'll swap those in this spring. The Sumitomos are brand new and I'm cheap (sometimes) so I'll get through winter on them. In addition to the Bilsteins, there are H&R sways, camber arms and a rear differential bushing.

The suspension arms are similar on both but the Audi has a two-arm upper camber setup in the front whereas the G is on A-arm. The rest is remarkably similar in front. The rear setup on the Audi is more complex.

Adjustments to the dampers are easier on the G. You'll have to lift the car to make changes on the Audi. It's just not possible to get your hand up in there, especially up front. The G's front dampers have the adjustment ***** right in the engine bay and are easy to access. The rears require you jack the car up. So the G wins there by half a car

NVH is better on the Audi when cruising down the road and it's a little less shaken over the rough stuff. The harsh bumps are felt more on the Audi, most likely due to the 20" wheels and 30 series profile. I don't think the sidewall compliance on the Sumitomos is as good as the Michelins. I drove a few RS5's with stock suspension and they were significantly more harsh over rough bumps than my IPL with the Aragostas. I know the progressive rate springs on the Audi help a bit in that department too. On good asphalt and with both suspensions cranked up, I'd give the edge to the Aragostas. On the really, really rough stuff, the edge goes to the Bilsteins.

Looks. Both cars got looks but the Audi, being a searing red, wins. It has more presence. I typically avoid red cars but this red is just so right. Incognito isn't even a remote possibility and when I find myself hooning it a bit, between the red and the loud exhaust, it has me wishing I'd purchased the car in Suzuka Grey, Daytona Grey or silver.

The daytime LED's on the Audi give it a really menacing look. It's restrained yet muscular and I think the better-looking car overall. The G had some nice lines but there were a few things I thought were unresolved. The Audi looks like it's whittled out of billet.

Size wise, I think the two cars are really close. The interior on the audi seems to have a bit more room. There's a bit more space between you and your passenger, more room in the footwell area and definitely more headroom. The G was lower overall. The Audi is lowered, more so than the Infiniti was, and I definitely have more underbody clearance. I already touched on the trunk and the rear seats.

The Audi has more creature comforts, which do ad to the complexity but IMO, it's worth it. Bluetooth connectivity is better on the Audi but Audi connect requires a subscription to get the best out of it. There's a hack and someone has made an add-on device for Apple Carplay which works on the RS5 now too. I don't have any issues with talking on the phone via Bluetooth and I can stream music just as easily and it sounds a bit better. The Audi media interface has a built-in hard drive and two slots for SD cards. So lots of options.

I know this is really picky, but the Audi's sun visors are chintzy and do not telescope out. The Infiniti visors are more solid and telescope out. They work far better. The Audi does have a powered rear window curtain though and if you park the car in the sun, and use a sun visor up front, the rear is protected. It automatically rolls down when you put the car into reverse. Works when you're driving as well.

The windshield wipers. Again, light and thin on the Audi. They work but don't have that substantial feel of the Infiniti's wipers. They're not as large but sweep away enough of the water to be just fine. The Audi is rain sensing and even has headlight washers that work automatically in bad weather. Kinda cool.

The Audi's rear spoiler deploys automatically or manually which is kind of neat.

The rear brake lights are full LED on the Audi and look higher spec overall than the G.

Damn, I almost forgot the brakes. The Audi has front ceramic brakes. They're huge, 380mm or something stupid like that, with equally large calipers. Out back, they're smaller with normal sliding calipers. They work but don't look nearly as sexy as the G's rear brakes.

Stock to stock, the Audi is far, far better. Compared to my G with the Z1 rotors and Nismo pads, the Audi has better initial bite but stay completely flat in feel from that point on. You press harder and there's no increase in outright stopping power. The G was 100% linear and the harder you pressed, the harder the car stopped up until wheel lockup/ABS engagement. Just great feel but less initial bite. Some of this is tire-limited on the Audi.
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Old 11-12-2017, 03:19 PM   #18
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So the ceramics aren't all that? Not exactly. I find myself not using the brakes nearly as much in the Audi. It's easier to drive fast and just seems smoother overall. I find myself carrying more speed and not using the brakes as often. It takes a stop or two for them to fully come into their own. My first week, the initial bite made them feel touchy. The car stops NOW but does't have that modularity of the G's aftermarket setup until they heat up a bit. Take them to the track and the Audi would win hands down. They have no fade under hard track use. They'll most likely last 100,000 miles but they are $6K to replace so there's that.

Luckily the previous owner spent all the money on the wheels. The Audi has Klaassen iD M10 wheels, 20x10, forged, 25 pounds each. The full set is about $7K and have a custom offset specifically for the RS. The G had smaller wheels, cast but just as light, and a full set runs less than one of the Klassens.

Maintenance is off the charts for the Audi in comparison with the Infiniti in both frequency and complexity. Transmission oil changes are every 20K on the RS with TWO sections to the tranny, one uses ATF fluid, one uses gear oil. They aren't always changed at the same time either. Differential fluid every 30K too which is the same as the G but it's still a bit more complex.

I just did my first oil change along with spark plugs. A full set is $80 for plugs, about $110 for oil with filter and o-rings. It takes TEN liters of oil, full synthetic. Has to be 502.00 compliant. It took me a good portion of the day to do both, mostly because I was shooting video too.

The rear under tray on the Audi, no kidding, must have 30 bolts of various types which need removing. You'll be purchasing specialty bits. There are torx, star, hex, quick release, and phillips. It's crazily over engineered but there are integrated NACA ducts and all kinds of cool things underneath the car. You can really geek out on it.

RS5's eat spark plugs. They're 100K on the G and they're supposed to be 60K on the RS. I'll do them every 30K. Honestly, it's less than an hour to do the job correctly. Super easy but requires airbox removal. There are two.

Oil changes are supposed to be every 10k but due to the consensus on carbon buildup, I'll do it every 5K. Since the oil filter is up top in the engine bay, my next change will be through the dipstick tube. I'll alternate every other between bottom pan drain and siphon from the top. This will, of course, require another new tool.

Carbon cleaning. Google "carbon cleaning and Audi (or BMW)" . I'm already prepping for it and it's an all-day job on the V8. The engine is RIGHT THERE and fairly compact so it's not back breaking. I'm not convinced I need it yet and I may add another PVC air/oil separator to the system.

I have to say, despite the exponential increase in complexity, I am really smitten with the RS5. It has that nice bump in outright power and transmission performance I was looking for and they're actually pretty reliable for a German. The engine is the same as the Audi/Lamborghini V10 minus two cylinders. Those engines are pretty reliable as well and handle large jumps in power via forced induction.
R
The most telling thing for me is I've lost interest in reading about other cars. I used to hit up R&T, C&D and many other auto websites and forums. Hell, I'm not even glancing at RS3's any longer. Even though there are some running in the 10's with a flash. That's ok. The RS5 just has so many special things going on. And that engine/transmission combo is truly spectacular. It's like taking my IPL, adding 100hp, traction and 50% greater speed everywhere in an easily accessible package, albeit one with less feeling. It felt brutal and big at first but day after day, I'm becoming more comfortable with how the car responds.

I'll keep updating the thread as I make a few more changes or perform maintenance. I'll also report back on any issues or when things break (hoping never!). I'm really not due for any maintenance until 45K miles and I have one more Audicare left to use for that.
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Old 11-14-2017, 02:24 AM   #19
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I managed to give the RS5 a first full wash and wax today and shot some "soap ****" that I thought might be enjoyable to look at. Also did some interior shots. Also met up with another forum member, Mo, who shot a video of the car accelerating. Was in a parking lot so I didn't redline it. I still had about 3,000 revs left on the tach. Maybe he'll post it here.



























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Old 11-14-2017, 02:27 AM   #20
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See, told you the trunk was big!
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:11 AM   #21
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Those red flappy paddles behind a flat bottom, thick black leather wheel... holy cow, that makes a heck of an emotional statement. Those got to be ruby red extensions, right... that isn't stock, is it? Looks like paddle shifters by Batman.

Wonderful photography, Ape.

Last edited by Rochester; 11-14-2017 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 11-15-2017, 09:36 AM   #22
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Nope the paddle extenders are not OEM. If you look at the paddles, the silver part, that's the OEM paddle. These fit over the back. The OEM paddles do not extend upward or downward very far and can be tough to find while turning. You can use the gear lever to shift as well or just leave it in auto mode.

The extensions just make it easier to shift in a number of different hand positions or while turning. They make all sorts of carbon fiber add on's or full-on carbon replacements (replace the entire paddle/electronic system) but I seem to be over the whole carbon thing right now. Needed some contrast And they were cheap. If I didn't like the way they worked or felt, not much damage done. Silver would have matched the side carbon trim surrounds and door handles but it also works well with the red ringed starter button (also not OEM).
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Old 11-15-2017, 09:49 AM   #23
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So here's a full list of the mods with explanations where needed;

-20x10"Klassen ID M10 Wheels in High Gloss Black Powder Coat-50lbs w/tires each, I think the rims are in the 23 pound range.
-AWE Tuning Track Extreme Exhaust-This is basically the AWE touring but swapping out their resonated downpipes for their non-resonated downpipes. The resonators make a ton of difference in noise suppression surprisingly and they're actually quieter than the OEM downpipes. The Track Extreme is never quiet. Ever.
-Bilstein PSS10 Coil Over Suspension
-H&R Front and Rear Sway Bars, rear is adjustable.
-STERN Upper Control Arms-These are like our camber arms up front but they're two pieces, fore and aft, to make up the "A". So yes, two ball joints. Super easy adjusting too, no need to take them off to adjust like other brands.
-CR-15 front chassis brace-Closest analogy is to our front strut bars but this fits along the firewall and is invisible unless you pull the cowl cover.
-Whiteline Upper Control Arm Bushings (rear), firms things up back there but no NVH increase.
-EBC Red rear brake pads
-ECS Tuning Stainless Steel Brake Lines-They have a clear, red outer sheath.
-Apikol Rear Diff Bushing-Same as our rear diff kits, keeps movement to a minimum and tightens up shifting.
-Euro Tail Lights-Different LED pattern
-Euro Head Lights-Same as the U.S. version but no amber corner markers.
-Black Lip Spoiler-Even with the black optics, the lower splitter is silver. This one is black to match everything better.
-Red Trim Start Button-OEM is all-silver.
-Black front and rear ring emblems. Changing out the rear RS5 badge to black too here shortly.
-Pinalloy anodized red aluminum paddle extensions
-Audi MMi hack in progress for full tethering to my iPhone
-Radar detector hot wire into the fuse box (with a fuse obviously)
-Kenu magnetic phone mount
-Weathertech floor mats
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Old 11-16-2017, 12:22 AM   #24
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