Audi has just confirmed that its ultra-performance RS5 will be heading to the U.S. packing the kind of dynamic capability and refined character that elevates it well beyond the lesser-but-lovely S5 model, the RS5 should be a formidable rival to cars like the BMW M3 and Nissan GT-R. Sadly, this stunning super coupe that was unveiled at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show and is already on sale in Europe won't turn up at Audi dealers here until late next year or early 2012. While initial release on the 2012 Audi RS5 contained only a few details about what wonders the Ameri-spec version of the RS5 will contain, even a brief perusal of its short list makes the waiting game seem worthwhile.

The naturally aspirated 4.2-liter FSI V8 engine in the 2012 Audi RS5 will develop 450 horsepower and be teamed with a seven-speed dual-clutch S-tronic sequential automatic transmission. Like its Euro counterpart, our car will come with the latest iteration of Audi's Quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system. While that pretty much covers the verified specifics, there's a good chance that most of the performance capabilities and features found on the Euro RS5 will transfer over to our version. If so, expect the RS5 to streak from 0-60 mph in about 4.5 seconds and onto an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph, which can be upped to 174 mph upon request.

Other fast facts about this 2+2 Teutonic road rager include its compact V8 -- a variation of the one used in the R8 - that has a stratospheric 8,250 rpm redline and the S-tronic, which is both ultra-responsive and blindingly quick. It also gets a new, even more capable Quattro setup that incorporates a self-locking center differential and can be fitted with an optional and adjustable torque-vectoring rear sport differential. It's already formidable stopping power can be upgraded by opting for carbon-ceramic brakes. All of the key vehicle settings in the Audi RS5 -- suspension, steering, throttle, shift programming -- are adjustable via its standard multi-mode integrated Drive Select controller system. In addition to three basic programs, Drive Select allows the driver to mix/match individual functions.

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