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.
Audi RS 5 Cabriolet: Specs
TOP SPEED 174MPH
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
Audi RS 5 Cabriolet review: Hands-on
Audi RS 5 Cabriolet review: Hands-onT3
The Audi RS 5 Cabriolet is a gas-guzzling piece of art that will have eco-warriors quaking in their boots. T3 went hands-on...
Best Smartphones: Reviews
HTC One M8 review
The new HTC One (M8) is the brand's new flagship Android KitKat smartphone
Samsung Galaxy S5 review
Can the new Samsung Galaxy S5 flagship smartphone blow away the competition?
iPhone 5s review
Google Nexus 5 review
Can the Google Nexus 5 trump the excellent Nexus 4?
LG G2 review
Is the G2 the best Android smartphone around?
HTC One Mini review
The HTC One Mini is a scaled down version of the popular HTC One Android phone
LG G Flex review
The LG G Flex is the maker's very first curved Android smartphone
Motorola Moto E review: Hands-on
Is the Motorola Moto E the best budget smartphone around?