In Paris, Audi Pulls the Wraps Off the U.S.-Bound, 450 hp RS5 Cabriolet

  • Audi’s RS5 Cabriolet
  • Audi’s RS5 Cabriolet
  • Audi’s RS5 Cabriolet
  • Audi’s RS5 Cabriolet
  • Audi’s RS5 Cabriolet
  • Audi’s RS5 Cabriolet
  • Audi’s RS5 Cabriolet
  • Audi’s RS5 Cabriolet
  • Audi’s RS5 Cabriolet
  • Audi’s RS5 Cabriolet
  • Audi’s RS5 Cabriolet
  • Audi’s RS5 Cabriolet
  • Matthew Phenix

Even among Audi’s famously beguiling automobiles, the A5 is a serious looker. As a coupe or convertible, the A5 and the sportier S5 have the sort of fine proportions and sumptuous accommodations that call to mind their corporate cousins, the Bentley Continental GT coupe and GTC convertible. And with the debut of the fearsome 2013 RS5—the coupe, which went on sale here in July, and the forthcoming cabriolet, which debuted at this year’s Paris Motor Show—Audi’s artful two-door gets a Continental GT-size helping of performance (or at least nine-tenths of one).

As it does in the much-lauded RS5 coupe, Audi’s normally aspirated 4.2-liter V-8 engine motivates the RS5 cabriolet. It delivers 450 hp and 317 ft lbs of torque through a 7-speed S tronic dual-clutch gearbox and, of course, Quattro all-wheel drive. The body of the RS5 cabriolet sits three-quarters of an inch lower than that of the standard A5 cabriolet, and the suspension mounts and antiroll bars are appropriately stiffer. Options include carbon ceramic disc brakes ($6,000), a sport exhaust ($1,000), and Audi’s dazzling MMI navigation package ($3,550), which includes the superb Bang & Olufsen audio system.

Like the A5/S5 cabriolet, the RS5 wears a thoroughly insulated fabric-covered soft top that opens in 15 seconds and closes in 17 seconds—and will do either at speeds as high as 31 mph. No surprise, the cabriolet is a bit portlier than its closed-roof stablemate, and this extra weight (some 300 pounds) adds three-tenths of a second to the coupe’s 4.6-second zero-to-60 mph sprint. It’s still plenty swift and will effortlessly cruise to an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph—or, for a bit more coin, an ungoverned 174 mph. 

Audi has confirmed North American availability for the RS5 cabriolet; look for the fearsome droptop to grace U.S. showrooms during the first quarter of 2013. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but as the RS5 coupe commands $68,500, it’s safe to expect the cabriolet will flirt with $80,000. And that’s not bad at all for nine-tenths of a Bentley. (audiusa.com)

From Around the Web...
 Photo by Darin Schnabel ©RM Sotheby's
A 1939 Alfa Romeo Touring Spider and a 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta are priced in the millions…
Jaguar joins the luxury crossover frenzy with the all-new 2017 F-Pace, and we take it for a spin…
Independent designer Paul Breshke reveals his vision for the marque’s next star vehicle…
A 600 hp river monster, the latest themed SUV from Bentley is no fish story…
Photo by Jun Song
The luxury marque and hotel brand team up to offer exclusive driving experiences around the world…
The $244,500 SUV displays design elements inspired by the British gun maker's bespoke firearms...
Collectively, these cars comprise the legacy and legend of the master marque…
Able to travel 19 mph, the cutting-edge cart features touchscreen controls and a refrigerator…
The meticulously maintained roadster is one of only 25 released that year...
One of only four examples built, it was the first to hit 186.4 mph at Le Mans’ Mulsanne Straight…