Up to 10,000 people a day are known to visit, which is wonderful if you are the beneficiary of the money collected at the tollgate (€35.50 for a car), but not so swell if you’re searching for alpine solitude. Luckily, in the height of summer, the road opens at 5am, giving early risers a more rarefied experience of this most incredible collection of hairpins.
Besides driving pleasure, there is another good reason for our visit. In 1935, ’38 and ’39, several of the RS 5’s Auto Union ancestors competed in a series of hillclimb events held on the road, and this new RS 5 has something of its forebear’s imposing demeanour. Certainly, performance is not an issue and, in full cry, the RS 5 will reach 62mph from a standstill in just 3.9 seconds and hit 155mph flat out. This performance comes courtesy of a new, super-smooth 2.9-litre turbocharged V6 delivering 450PS. This power is put to the road via quattro all-wheel drive and a slick eight-speed tiptronic gearbox.