Audi RS 5 Cabriolet
Derestricted it will top 174 mph...
The Audi 5 Cabriolet is a familiar sight on our roads and has been for some years, mainly because Audi haven’t changed the look of it all that much. Why change a winning formula?
The Audi 5 Cab has always been a bit of a posh sophisticated understatement; a subtle expression of quality without either being offensive or OTT.
You kind of warm to the person behind the wheel as ‘he’ in the main (according to the buyer’s profile), but very often ‘she’ is clearly one of subtle tastes, with a bent for quality. In fact I married one such person – yes, my wife owned one, and even Princess Diana gave it her Royal Blessing. In fact, actually, it is the choice of the sophisticated well-to-do.
From strength to strength
Whilst the design of the Audi 5 Cab has moved on in fairy-steps, Audi’s substantial technological development has found its way into the various subtle reiterations of this car, incorporating the latest in both design and engineering technology.
So we threw caution to the wind with our test car choice, and went for the best of the bunch, the RS 5. This one is a four wheel drive with a big V8 engine, churning out 450 PS, and capable of 62 mph in 4.9 seconds. Derestricted it will top 174 mph, whilst most are governed down to the manufacturer consensus 155 mph. The power is delivered seamlessly through a 7 speed S Tronic gearbox with no interruption in power through the gears.
With this one you want for nothing in terms of spec, trim, quality or performance. What you gain is just that extra bit of style, stupendous performance, a sound to die for (albeit muted), and grip and refinement that waves goodbye to any preconceptions anyone ever had about needing the added stiffness of a coupe for hard core grip and cornering.
Top up or down, four people can comfortably share this exhilarating ride in greater comfort in the front, whilst acceptably so in the rear. There’s even 320 litres of boot-space to complete the practical family value appeal. Driver nor passenger will want for nothing once seated, as the infotainment package is as comprehensive as they come, and so pleasant is the sound quality of the music, you can do away with boring conversation about birds, flowers and horse poo in the countryside.
Yet the ultimate pleasure is derived from what remains at this car’s heart; that amazing burbling V8 – funnily enough it’s not the raw power of the engine that hits you the most, rather it is the overall refinement and ride quality that blends so well with this car’s power. It is, of course, the same engine that powers the seductive-looking Audi R8, yet tamed (oh sorry ‘tuned’) appropriately for this high performing cruiser. You’ll smile every time you tickle the throttle and feel that instant push of power, along with this car’s flat, evenly weighted balance on hard cornering. It is fast, safe, and comfortable; combine that with the car’s sleek prestige lines and you have the answer to the 5 Convertible’s longevity.
Usability completes the equation, for the optional acoustic roof satisfies any final doubts about noise, ensuring that your Audi Convertible experience is no different to driving a hard top. The challenge is finding the opportunity to use all that performance. I can assure you, that if you own this car, you will…
Engine: naturally aspirated 4.2-litre V8 FSI engine (450) | 0-62 mph: 4.9 seconds | Combined fuel economy: 26.4 mpg | CO2: 249 g/km | Ins Group 47E
Direct comparative competitor – BMW M3/M4