Audi’s been strutting its green stuff of late, showing off everything from low-carbon, battery-powered supercars to city tours in A3 hatchbacks run on synthetic, “carbonneutral” gas. Get your head round that one.
Well, the RS 5 Cabriolet is nothing like that. It is instead an indulgent, two-fingered salute to sustainable living that's competing with its convertible rival the BMW M3 as well the Jaguar F-type from a different, more practical angle. Thinking of buying one? Why not just chuck polar bears into a bark chipper while you’re at it? This wagon is a monument to engineering
Audi RS 5 Cabriolet: Features
This wagon is a monument to engineering excess. We’re talking 4.2 litres and 444bhp’s worth of V8, zero to 62mph in less than five seconds and a choice of 155mph or 174mph top speeds, electronically limited. What the stats can’t capture is the character of the thing, dominated by that soaring, naturally-aspirated V8.
Turbocharged engines have their place, but if you want a car that hardwires excitement directly into your adrenals, there’s no substitute for kissing 8,000rpm with a high-revving, atmospheric set of cogs. Then there’s the seven-speed, S-tronic gearbox. It’s a dual-clutch item, so the shifts are as crisp and clean as the Alpine passes this soft-top RS 5 was designed to devour.
Audi RS 5 Cabriolet: Tech
Audi’s speed demon has been fitted with enough tech to more-than-satisfy the average tech troll. Traction is nigh perfect thanks to Audi’s four-wheel drive system and the latest dual-clutch gearbox, electromechanical tomfoolery.
Its excellent, Google-connected MMI system allows you to tweak drive parameters and control multimedia with ease and simplicity that will have your friends competing for the passenger set.
A precision choreographed ballet of folding metal is becoming the norm for premium cabriolets. Audi stays old-school with a multilayered fabric roof that works just as well as its adversaries.
Audi RS 5 Cabriolet: Specs
TOP SPEED 174MPH
0-62MPH 4.9 SECONDS
ENGINE 4,163CC NATURALLY
GEARBOX 7-SPEED DUAL-CLUTCH
FUEL CONSUMPTION 26.4MPG
CARBON EMISSIONS 249G/KM
Audi RS 5 Cabriolet: Performance
Granted, the steering is more about accuracy and contrived weighting than feel and involvement, and chopping the roof off a big, heavy coupé like this is never going to improve the dynamics – this cabriolet weighs 205 kilos more than the fixed-head option.
Its fun factor and ability to mould itself to your mood remain undeniable. The latter’s thanks to Drive Select, which gives the RS 5 a mood swing at a flick of your finger. Toggle Dynamic mode and the exhaust note goes a bit ASBO, the throttle pedal all flighty, the steering weights up and the suspension’s sinews stiffen. You can even fine-tune the driving mode to suit you. Want the shouty exhaust but not the suspension thump? Not a problem, sir.
Audi RS 5 Cabriolet: Interior
Then there’s the typical Audi luxury inside and the granite-like density of the materials. It’s not an especially stylish cabin but its Teutonic disdain for flimsier alternatives shines through.
Audi RS 5 Cabriolet: Verdict
The no-frills, reliable sturdiness of the car's interior build sums up the RS 5 nicely: it’s hardly perfect. But it pretty much nails what it’s set itself to do. And to be honest, despite what we said earlier, carbon emissions of 249g/km aren't that bad for polar bears…
Audi RS 5 Cabriolet release date: Out now
Audi RS 5 Cabriolet price: From £67, 500, Car-on-test: £76, 420