SKY IS THE LIMIT FOR NEW AUDI RS 5 CABRIOLET
Intoxicating RS 5 driving experience is amplified by new open-top
Audi range expands yet again to include potent new V8 convertible
One of the stars of this month's Paris Motor Show (Sep 29 to Oct 14
4.2 FSI engine with 450PS, zero to 62mph in 4.9 seconds, 25.9mpg
Elegant and spacious body with lightweight cloth soft top
As the UK basks in Indian summer sunshine Audi has just very
appropriately removed the wraps from its most exhilarating RS
convertible to date – the new 450PS RS 5 Cabriolet. Complementing the
beauty and brawn of the RS 5 silhouette with a fast-acting lightweight
fabric roof the new open-top will arguably offer the very best
environment in which to savour the red-blooded 4.2-litre V8 shared
with the RS 4 Avant. The new RS 5 Cabriolet opens for UK ordering in
late 2012, and deliveries are expected to begin here next spring.
The lightweight 'acoustic hood' of the RS 5 Cabriolet offers a degree
of sound absorption that runs its fixed head counterpart remarkably
close, and at the press of a button opens and closes fully
automatically in 15 seconds and 17 seconds respectively – even when
driving at speeds of up to 31mph.
When open, it hardly affects the size of the spacious luggage
compartment – it only requires 60 litres of its 380-litre total
volume. The split rear seatbacks can be folded down individually, and
a through-load facility from the boot to the rear seating area
maximises versatility. Special reinforcements contribute to the
convertible body's high rigidity, and aluminium front wings compensate
for some of the added weight of the reinforcements.
Not surprisingly the body benefits from the same subtle revisions that
brought the RS 5 Coupe into line with new generation A5 models earlier
this year. Styling updates include a slight revision to the single
frame grille design, sharper and more pronounced bonnet contours, new
'solid band' wraparound LED daytime running lights and LED rear
lights, new look front and rear bumpers and 19-inch wheels in a new
'10-spoke' design. In the Cabriolet, a subtle matt carbon fixed
spoiler lip on the boot lid boosts downforce – this can be
body-coloured if required.
Inside, the cabin also features the latest RS 5 detail enhancements,
including a new flat-bottomed RS three-spoke steering wheel, along
with the new generation Coupe's equipment upgrade, which brings
Bluetooth mobile phone preparation, cruise control, satellite
navigation and Audi Music Interface iPod connection to the already
lengthy standard equipment list.
Cabriolet-specific standard features include automatic front seatbelt
feeders, a wind deflector, the lighting package including LED interior
lights and a rollover protection system incorporating aluminium plates
which deploy upwards behind the rear head restraints. Key options
include three-stage head-level heating and front seat heating for
top-down comfort on slightly cooler days.
All assistance systems offered in the A5 model line-up are available
as options in the RS 5 Cabriolet as well, including adaptive cruise
control which is capable of initiating full brake application in an
emergency situation, Audi side assist blind spot monitoring and the
Audi active lane assist lane departure warning system. The standard
parking system plus with front and rear sensors can also be extended
to include a reversing camera.
In the multimedia field, the headline news is the Mobile Phone
Preparation – High with Audi connect option, which lets passengers
surf the web with their mobile devices via an integrated WLAN hotspot
and also offers everything from Audi traffic information online to
navigation with Google Earth images and Street View.
High-revving V8 power
As in the Coupe, the high-revving, naturally-aspirated 4.2-litre V8
that is hand built for the RS 5 delivers 450PS at 8,250 rpm and peak
torque of 430 Nm at between 4,000 and 6,000 rpm. It powers the
Cabriolet from rest to 62mph in 4.9 seconds, and where possible can
take it to an electronically-limited 155mph top speed, which at extra
cost can be elevated to 174mph if desired. Thanks to a combination of
technologies from the Audi modular efficiency platform, including a
recuperation system, the high-tech V8 can also deliver real world fuel
economy, with up to 25.9mpg possible according to the combined cycle
New electromechanical power steering which demands no input from the
alternator while in the 'straight-ahead' position works in favour of
efficiency, as does the familiar seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch
transmission with its long top gear, lightning-fast shifts and
steering wheel paddle control.
Permanent quattro all-wheel-drive smoothes out power delivery, and is
backed up here by torque vectoring, the crown-gear centre differential
and the rear sport differential for even more stringent protection
against traction losses and split-second allocation of torque between
the front and rear axles and the rear wheels. Up to 70 per cent can
flow to the front or as much as 85 per cent to the rear, as necessary.
The default 40:60 ratio of the rear-biased configuration ensures
RS chassis modifications
The body is 20 mm lower than that of the Audi A5 Cabriolet; its mounts
are stiffer, and its anti-roll bars are larger and firmer. Five-link
front and self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension with very
high lightweight aluminium content imparts great agility, and large,
internally-ventilated wave brake discs with eight-piston callipers
instil complete confidence.
Carbon fibre-ceramic brake discs are also available at extra cost, as
is the Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) system, which uses diagonally
opposed pairs of shock absorbers linked by hydraulic lines and a
central valve. During fast cornering, the system intensifies the
stabilisation of the front outside wheel for optimum stability and
composure. Its response can be varied across three settings at the
touch of a button.
A dynamic steering option is also available for integration into the
standard Audi drive select adaptive dynamics system, enabling the
actual ratio of the steering to be varied according to the four Audi
drive select settings comfort, auto, dynamic and individual. When the
dynamic steering option isn't specified, the system can apply these
same four settings to the steering weighting, along with the S tronic
transmission's shift points and the throttle's response. It can also
modulate the distinctive, bass-heavy sound of the exhaust system. A
sports exhaust system, identifiable by its black-coloured tailpipes,
can be specified at extra cost to deliver even richer sound.
Customer deliveries of the Audi RS 5 Cabriolet will begin in early
2013 in Germany, where its base price will be 88,500 euros (£70,154 as
at 6.9.12). UK-specific pricing has yet to be confirmed and will be
announced nearer to the start of customer ordering later this year.
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