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How much? £68,960
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 4163cc 32v V8 444bhp @8250rpm, 317lb ft @ 4000-6800rpm
Transmission: Seven speed dual-clutch, four-wheel drive
Performance: 4.9sec 0-62mph, 155mpg, 26.4mpg, 249g/km
How heavy / made of? 1920kg/steel
How big (length/width/height in mm)? 4649/1860/1366
Need to know

CAR's rating

Rated 3 out of 53

Handling

Rated 3 out of 53

Performance

Rated 4 out of 54

Usability

Rated 4 out of 54

Feelgood factor

Rated 3 out of 53

Readers' rating

Rated 4 out of 54

Audi RS5 Cabriolet (2013) CAR review

By Ben Pulman

First Drives

30 January 2013 09:40

The weight of expectation hung heavy over the RS5 when it was launched in 2010. After the RS4 saloon had come oh-so-close to beating the M3, Quattro GmbH’s first RS coupe had all the potential to finally best the BMW.

But despite a cracking naturally aspirated 4.2-litre V8, a quick-shifting dual-clutch gearbox and UK-friendly four-wheel drive, the RS5 took a step backwards, its numb steering, harsh ride and nose-led chassis dampening its appeal. What, then, of the new (and mechanically identical) RS5 Cabriolet?

So the V8 engine is still the headline act in the Audi RS5?

The 444bhp V8 – a cut-down version of the R8 supercar’s V10 – rumbles more deeply than an M3, but bellows a more cultured symphony than AMG’s barking 6.2, and despite a useful torque plateau still manages to rev out to a nutty, Ferrari-esque 8500rpm. Of course it’s louder with the roof down, but it’s actually a clearer and crisper noise with the triple-layer folding fabric hood in place. Bit boomy at idle, mind.

I bet that makes the RS5 Cabriolet pretty fast...

Surprisigly, it isn't, really. Blame the automotive equivalent of a portly Hollywood actress’s Spanx pants: 205kg of gusseting designed to stop the wobble. So although the RS5 Cabriolet exhibits little of the rigidity woes that afflicted the RS4 Cabriolet, it doesn’t punch out of hairpins or hammer quite so searingly towards the redline as the editor’s old long-term RS5 coupe.

What about the rest of the Audi RS5 Cabriolet's dynamic package?

No issues with traction, though, as the Quattro system (with one diff apportioning torque between the axles, and another taking care of shuffling duties across the rear wheels) means the RS5 just grips and goes. And while we’d prefer larger gearshift paddles, the S-tronic transmission snaps through the changes too, enabling us to drive hard and fast along our Alpine test route with little drama.

But… all the test cars came with the £2250 Sports package that bundles together bigger 20in wheels, a switchable sports exhaust, Dynamic Steering (with Comfort, Auto and Dynamic modes) and Dynamic Ride Control (ditto, governing diagonally linked dampers). No matter what mode you pick, the (secondary) ride is severe – in Audi’s own words the suspension set-up is ‘decidedly firm’ – but if you stick with Comfort to compensate, all that weight can’t be contained over sharp crests and bumps. And while the heftier Dynamic steering setting is fine for hard driving, in day-to-day ambling the RS5’s wheel weights up oddly and inconsistently.

Verdict

M3 or RS5? We’d take the BMW, which is sharper at the limit and a more comfortable everyday proposition, only losing out to the Audi on all-weather traction. If you want four seats and four-wheel drive (and the 911 Carrera 4 and Bentley Conti GTC are too costly) we’d opt for the torquier and cheaper S5 Cabriolet. And if you just want a great convertible, buy a Boxster S.

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Audi RS5 Cabriolet (2013) CAR review

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antonyr

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antonyr says

RE: Audi RS5 Cabriolet (2013) CAR review

 Brand0 not sure your right when you say all sport cars  have hard rides . Jaguar seem to be able to produce sporty cars  without  the ride shaking your head off. Some of the Japanese  sporty  cars are able to balance spring rates with dampers to give sports car handling with out subjecting the driner to vibro massage. Ford also  are able to get ride comfort and sports car handling spot on . Its just the German 3 seem only to test their cars on billard table surfaces they have in Germany.

05 February 2013 10:18

 

Brand0

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Brand0 says

RE: Audi RS5 Cabriolet (2013) CAR review

The ride of an Audi or equivalent sporty Merc is no better than the BMWs, and BMW still uses run-flats. The snipers don't really mention this anymore, especially when you consider BMW parades itself as the sporty, rather than comfort oriented brand. All sporting cars have hard rides.  If you want a soft ride, get a soft car. Anyone had a go in a Citroen C6? No sporty pretensions and all teh better for it.  Ther ARE choices out there - especially if you don't mind being slapped across the face by a wet fish which goes by the name 'Depreciation'!

04 February 2013 18:13

 

antonyr

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antonyr says

RE: Audi RS5 Cabriolet (2013) CAR review

 @Sam the Eagle  I agree   with you  my best mate has just had a   new new  BMW 3 wind noise and road noise is not good I have to say  and interior after all I have read is not brilliant  either just shows how our car magazine a bought !.  Its ride is so so to My sons Renault t Megan estate is  Luxury when compared with the BM in the rear  just shows hey

04 February 2013 10:52

 

Sam the Eagle

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Sam the Eagle says

RE: Audi RS5 Cabriolet (2013) CAR review

@antonyr

 

It's not just an Audi thing and suspension in an equivalent MB or BMW is likely just as bad, unsurpringly on 20in wheels...

 

 

04 February 2013 10:32

 

antonyr

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antonyr says

RE: Audi RS5 Cabriolet (2013) CAR review

 So  £70.000  well almost within  £60 for a another Audi which has less able handling than a garden wheelbarrow. MIke Cross you could make a fortune if  you left Jaguar to take the rains of Audi,s suspension/ handling department.  Do Audi actually fit suspension to their cars I ask. who  is their top man in this department ? he needs a kick up the preferbials a bit like whenever  ever I travel in an Audi hard noisy unforgiveing & no wheel travel. Next time you travel behind an A4 /5/6 just look how they travel along our roads talk about rear end bounce !  its know as AUdi bounce in the trade. One day Audi will get the message  spring and damper rates do matter.

04 February 2013 09:57

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