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Audi RS5 Coupe

Bottom line: The Audi RS5 coupe is an amazingly beautiful automobile — to look at, to sit in and to drive. Fully equipped at nearly $80,000, it is a car for the precious few. But it’s nobody’s bauble. It is every inch a well-engineered, brilliantly thought-out car that begs to be driven.

Ride, acceleration and handling: It gets top marks in all three.

Body style/layout: The Audi RS5 is a front-engine, all-wheel-drive luxury model available as a two-door coupe (driven for this column) or convertible. It shares a platform with the Audi A5 and S5 sedans. For this column, I drove the 2014 model, which is practically unchanged from the 2013 version first sold in the United States, and which will be similar to the 2015 car.

Head-turning quotient: It has a stately exterior with a hint of aggression. The interior — a work of carbon-fiber accents and well-stitched Napa leather—is unmatched by anything in its class.

Engine/transmission: The Audi RS5 Quattro coupe comes standard with a 4.2-liter, 32-valve V-8 gasoline engine with variable valve timing linked to a seven-speed automatic transmission that also can be operated manually.

Capacities: Seating is for four people, with the rear seats best reserved for shorter folks. Cargo capacity with all seats in place is 12.4 cubic feet. The fuel tank holds 16.1 gallons — premium grade is required.

Mileage: Under perfect road conditions, you get 16 miles per gallon in the city and 23 on the highway. Road conditions are very seldom perfect, which means you usually get less in this one.

Safety: Standard equipment includes front and rear ventilated disc brakes, four-wheel anti-lock brake protection, emergency braking assistance, electronic brake-force distribution and electronic stability control.

Recommended optional safety features: Get the MMI Navigation Plus package, which includes onboard navigation, rearview backup camera, and blind-side monitoring and lane-departure warning systems.

Price: The base price on the tested 2014 RS5 Quattro coupe is $69,600, with a dealer’s invoice price of $64,728. Price as tested is $80,390, including $9,895 in options (onboard navigation with rear backup camera, advanced electronic safety equipment, optional 20-inch diameter wheels and other items).

— Warren Brown