444bhp Audi RS 5 Cabriolet launches online

If you missed Audi’s live premiere of the new RS 5 Cabriolet online, then fear not, there was nothing unexpected in the broadcast which was presented by motorsports commentator Martin Haven, together with Audi DTM drivers Rahel Frey and Edoardo Mortara.

We’ve embedded a copy of the broadcast above, but as you can see the RS 5 Cabriolet is a four-seat convertible version of the RS 5 Coupe, with a cloth soft top. It’s powered by a high-revving 4.2-litre V8 engine producing 444bhp and 317lb-ft (430 Nm) of torque, mated to Audi’s standard seven-speed dual clutch gearbox and all-wheel drive Quattro drive train.

Audi quote a zero to 62mph acceleration time of 4.9 seconds, with a top speed limited to 155 mph – as an option, customers can request a higher top speed of 174 mph. The RS 5 Cabriolet achieves a combined fuel consumption figure of 25.92 mpg.

As you’ll notice in the video, the RS 5 Cabriolet’s party trick is its sound – flaps in the exhaust tailpipes vary the acoustic bellow of the direct-injection V8, while as an option, a sport exhaust can be selected for even greater volume. The sports exhaust can be distinguished from standard by its black tailpipe trim.

While the RS 5 Cabriolet comes as standard with quattro permanent all-wheel drive, this can be enhanced with the optional sport differential which actively distributes power between the rear wheels via two superposition gears. In normal driving, the torque-vectoring centre differential distributes the engine’s torque between the front and rear axles at a 40:60 ratio, but can if necessary direct up to 70 percent to the front or a maximum of 85 percent to the rear.

The RS 5 sits 20mm lower than an A5 Cabriolet and uses stiffer suspension mounts and larger anti-roll bars. Much of the five-link front suspension and the self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension are made of aluminum, while the RS 5 Cabriolet sits on forged ten-spoke aluminum wheels in a standard size of 9 J x 19 with 265/35 tyres. 20″ wheels are available as an option, in three designs, fitted with 275/30 tyres all round.

Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) is selected in the sport suspension plus setting of Audi drive select. It’s a purely mechanical system that is controlled by a pair of diagonally opposing shock absorbers, interconnected via hydraulic oil lines and a central valve. When cornering at speed, the system increases support of the spring-deflected front wheel at the outside of the curve. The shock absorber characteristic can be adjusted over three levels (Sport, Comfort and Normal).

A subtle matt carbon spoiler lip features at the rear of the RS 5 Cabriolet.

The lightweight textile roof of the RS 5 Cabriolet can be raised and lowered in 15 seconds and 17 seconds respectively – at speeds of up to 31.07 mph. When open, it takes up just 60 litres of the Cabriolet’s 380 litre rear boot.

The split rear seat backs can be folded individually, which include a load-through hatch for skis and other oversized luggage. Special reinforcements have been added to strengthen the convertible body’s rigidity, while aluminium front wings have been fitted to compensate for some of the added weight.

Weight is one thing this RS 5 Cabriolet has in abundance, tipping the scales at around 1920kg – some 195kg heavier than the RS 5 Coupé.

At the rear of the RS 5 Cabriolet is a subtle matt carbon spoiler lip for added down force, which can be painted in the exterior colour of the car as an option.

Inside the RS 5 Cabriolet

Inside the Cabriolet you’ll find the familiar RS design highlights including, three-spoke steering wheel with flat-bottomed rim trimmed in perforated leather, white numerals on black dials, leather and Alcantara covered sports seats and RS logos on the backs of the seats, the aluminium inlays in the door sill plates, the steering wheel, the tachometer and the gear selector grip of the seven-speed S tronic.

The interior door handles consist of two slender ribs, and the pedals and many other controls feature a familiar aluminium look.

In addition to the Alcantara/Leather material covering the standard sports seats, customers can also opt for the optional black or lunar silver Fine Nappa leather trim. All leather is pigmented to inhibit their heating (and discolouring) by sunlight, while two alternative seat styles are available – the manually adjustable bucket seats or climate-controlled comfort seats with a ventilation feature.

Deliveries of the RS 5 Cabriolet begin in early 2013 (in Germany), at a base price of 88,500 euros (10,300 euros or +13% more than the RS 5 Coupe) or £70,154. We expect to confirm UK availability and actual pricing nearer to the start of customer ordering later in the year.