Audi went internet with the launch of the RS5 Cabrio; a worldwide launch online for a car that is instantly attention grabbing, in a way that a bikini slipping off Miranda Kerr catches the eyes. Letters and numbers like this: 4.2 litre V8, 331 kW, 8250rpm (what???), 0-100 kilometres in 4,9 seconds, open and close of the convertible top in 15 and 17 seconds…..they do the job.
Lithe, svelte, pretty, the RS5 Cabrio is more than mere numbers, it packs geekspeak that would leave Stephen Hawking reaching for an aspirin, counting eight piston front brakes, dynamic steering that reacts to vehicle speed with a gear ratio varying by nearly 100%, a permanent all wheel drive system with a torque splitting centre diff plus torque vectoring braking, dual clutch auto with launch control…..kinda like Miss Universe with 15 different degrees in astronomy and quantum physics.
The exterior of the RS5 cabrio takes the A5 shape and subtly enhances, massages the look, with a balanced and proportional look to the profile while the front end gets a matt aluminuim frame to the trapezeoidal grille, centred by LED and Xenon lights buried in a wedge shape, while larger air intakes form the lower edges of the front apron.
Subtle extensions to the sills and wheel housings plus a sharply defined line for the shoulder of the RS5 finish the look whilst aluminuim is employed for the surface of the windshield frame.
The folding roof has a special acoustic foam layer to reduce exterior noise and can be opened/closed at speeds up to 50 k’s; size wise it swallows a mere 60 litres of the full 380. The pert rear shows LED taillights to the followers, rising above a redesigned rear diffuser and bumper with a carbon fibre spoiler slotting nicely between the two.
The workspace is, naturally, a quality place to be; the tiller is a leather trimmed, three spoked affair with the seats offering leather or Alcantara and leather, with huge side support bolsters and one can choose from manually operated seats or climate controlled ventilated comfort seats. The typical Audi jet black interior is complemented by chrome highlights, carbon inlays and high gloss black trim. Those carbon inlays can also be specified with stainless mesh, brushed aluminuim and more.
The superb 4.2L V8 gets direct injection, allowing the high revver to twist out 430 Nm at a somewhat scary plateau between 4000 and 6000 rpm. The engine is manually assembled in Hungary and when driven nicely (not normally associated with RS spec…) will sip just over 10 litres of go juice for every 100 kilometres. The grunt is sent wheelwards by a seven speed dual clutch transmission, operated by both lever and paddles, whilst launch control is there for those that fancy themselves part of the German racing fraternity. A torque split system can direct up to 70 percent to the front or 85 percent to the rear via the centre diff as part of the all wheel drive chain of command.
Lightweight aluminuim finds a home in much of the suspension components, including the five link front suspension attached to the speed sensitive steering system. Aerodynamics are aided by a chassis sitting 20mm lower than the standard A5 Cabrio along with stiffer suspension mounts and larger anti roll bars providing a flatter ride. Eight pot calipers at the front slot in behind the five slot 19 inch wheels with vented and drilled brake discs. On the road a mechanical system for flattening the ride comes into play. Diagonally opposite shockers are connected via lines filled with oil and when cornering adds support to the outside cornering suspension.
Although, on paper, an absolute cracker, its viability in the Aussie market is under scrutiny for the time being.