Somebody Call for a Cab? 2014 Audi RS5 Cabriolet Starts at $78,795
Today Audi released pricing for its complete lineup for 2014, and while we’ve already covered this information for the A6, A7, and Q5 TDI models and the R8 supercar, pricing also was announced for the RS5 cabriolet, the topless version of the mighty RS5 coupe. The cost for the no-roof option is $78,795, which is $8300 more than its fixed-roof counterpart.
Introduced at last year’s Paris auto show, the RS5 cabriolet shares all of the high-performance goodness of the coupe—except for the steel roof, of course. Under the hood is the same naturally aspirated 450-hp, 4.2-liter V-8; with the top down, expect the roar of its mechanical exertions to wash over you in unfettered waves of aural delight. That top goes down in 15 seconds and closes in 17 seconds at speeds of up to 30 mph.
The V-8 will match up with Audi’s S tronic seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, driving all four wheels with a front-rear torque split of 40:60. If necessary, the center differential can send up to 70 percent of the power to the front wheels or up to 85 percent to the rears. As on the coupe, Audi’s “wave”-edged brake rotors are on hand for stopping duties; eight-piston calipers are featured up front. With their scalloped design, Audi claims they reduce rotating and unsprung mass by about 2 pounds per corner. Compared with the regular A5 cabriolet, the RS5 cab has a sport-tuned suspension and rides 0.8 inch lower. Special reinforcements help to bolster the cabriolet’s structural rigidity, while aluminum front fenders offset some of the added weight of the reinforcements. For increased usability, there is a pass-through hatch from the trunk to the rear seating area; the rear seatbacks also can be folded over individually. Nineteen-inch forged aluminum wheels are standard, while 20-inchers are optional ($1000).
- Instrumented Test: 2013 Audi RS5
- Comparison Test: 2011 Audi RS5 vs. 2010 BMW M3, 2011 Cadillac CTS-V
- Photos and Info: 2013 Audi RS5 Cabriolet
Other options include the must-have sport exhaust ($1000), ceramic front brakes ($6000), and the secret-ops-cool sounding Black Optic package ($2500), which consists of body-colored side mirrors, a gloss-black grille, gloss-black window surrounds, black-finished exhaust outlets, and black-finished 20-inch wheels shod with 275/30 summer tires.
While we have found the RS5 coupe to be somewhat subdued in spirited driving, taking the top off may help to make the cabriolet’s experience a little more involving. Now if Audi would just include a manual transmission so the engine can get in on the fun, we’d have the perfect all-weather droptop.
By Kirk Seaman