While many luxury manufacturers are concentrating on fuel economy and pulling back on power and performance, the 2013 Audi RS 5 is bucking that trend. The RS 5 is a great-looking premium sports coupe that has more than enough performance to back up its sculptured body lines and aggressive front end.

On the outside, the xenon headlights up front and LED taillights in the rear are similar to those on the regular-badged A5 model; however, the wider fenders and quarter panels offer a sportier look, while the automatic rear spoiler gives the RS 5 that bring-it-on attitude.

The inside is full of high-quality materials such as perfectly contoured front seats and a race-car-inspired flat-bottomed steering wheel. We recommend the MMI Navigation Plus Package. Along with a joystick placed exactly where it should be, this package includes a powerful Bang and Olufsen sound system, a rearview camera and voice control.

However, like many low-slung performance coupes, the rear seats are not ideal. The rear bench might look nice wrapped in leather, but it certainly won't be comfortable for many full-size adults.

The 2013 RS 5 comes standard with a powerful 4.2-liter V8 engine, a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic manual transmission with paddle shifters and Audi's proprietary Quattro all-wheel-drive system. When all these parts are brought together, the RS 5 sounds great at any rpm level and pulls hard as soon as you depress the throttle. While the dual-clutch transmission is great, a vehicle like this would be even better with a true manual transmission.

To control the power, the suspension in the Audi RS 5 is firm, to say the least. With no adjustable suspension such as you might find on more luxurious Audi models, you will certainly feel every bump.

Fuel economy is actually impressive in spite of the V8 engine and all-wheel drive. The 2013 RS 5 tops out at 23 miles per gallon on the highway. Keep in mind that the RS 5, just like many other Audis, requires premium fuel.

The base price for the 2013 RS 5 coupe is just under $69,000. The cabriolet, or convertible, stickers around $78,000, but a fully loaded one will be just shy of $100,000.

Other choices in this vehicle class include two European rivals, the BMW M3 and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, and one American, the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.

The 2013 Audi RS 5 doesn't overlook much in the luxury and performance equation, with power, style and a choice of coupe or convertible. The interior may have a few shortcomings, and the ride isn't all that smooth, but the RS 5 is a blast to drive, and that's what performance cars are all about.

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