There's a story today originating from an Italian automotive blog called InfoMotori.com. It's been picked up by AutoUnleashed.com and Autoblog.com. The story goes that InfoMotori and other select journalists were invited to Valencia Spain to test drive a new 420hp (think B7-gen RS4 engine) S5 Stronic. The story is that this would make for an S5 EVO (Mitsubishi might take issue with this) - a stop gap to fill in before a twin turbo V10 from the RS6 comes to market in an RS5.
Now, we haven't called contacts at Audi to verify (and trust us, we will), but I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's totally bogus. Why? Read on.
For one, this engine is very expensive. Second, and more important, I'm pretty sure this engine will NOT fit in the RS5. We've heard from the highest level that there will be a high-rev application that will be shared with RS4 and RS5. We've also been told that there are a few S5 prototypes out there with RS4 engines, but we HIGHLY doubt that's what was driven for this article. Why?
Check out the tag numbers of the cars on hand at the Valencia test of the "EVO", and also check the photo above. The rear shot from AutoMotori shows IN:S5 052 sitting next to an identical IN:S5 051 that's also in the shots pulled by AutoUnleashed and Autoblog. Now check out the photo at the top of my post. That's my ugly mug at the wheel of IN:S5 052.
The cars are certainly prototype S5s built by Audi and they did feature the new 7-speed DSG. However, I can tell you that the car was otherwise straight up Euro spec S5 and power identical to US spec S5s as I took it around the tight Valencia cone course enough to know.
We'll be publishing a report on the car likely late this week, and no it's not an S5 EVO. For the record, '051 was not in any of my photos from that day, but '053 and '048 were. They had several other S5s on hand in case of breakdown or for rotation and I suspect that's what '051 was. Given the way in which they build a series of these prototypes, I'm next to certain they didn't just slip an RS4 engine into '051, but... as mentioned... I will check with Audi to verify all of this.
Full Story - AutoMotori
Full Story - Auto Unleashed
Full Story - Auto Blog