Packing all of the high-performance character of the Audi RS5 Coupe in an open-air configuration, the new 2013 Audi RS5 Cabriolet made its debut online before heading on to an appearance at the Paris Auto Show. On sale in Europe early next year, Audi has now officially confirmed that the car also will be coming to America. However, specific timing - at some point next spring - and whether it will arrive as a 2013 or 2014 have yet to be determined, as does pricing.
While maintaining a strong family resemblance with the RS5 Coupe, the new RS5 Cabrio does get its own subtle exterior tweaks. Up front, the changes are confined to minor grille and lower fascia detailing as well as the undetectable addition of aluminum front fenders that help compensate for some of the car's approximate 300 pounds of extra curb weight. The rear changes are more extensive, and include revamped quarter panels to accommodate its new soft top as well as revised full LED taillamps that set off a revamped bumper, new diffuser element and a redesigned fixed-position rear decklid spoiler in place of the retractable unit on the Coupe. Crowning the RS5 Cabriolet is a multi-layer one-button power fabric top that can be deployed in 15-17 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph.
Like its RS5 Coupe sibling, the new Audi RS5 Cabriolet features the same interior trimout, matching black basic with a variety of chrome, carbon fiber and aluminum accents. Deeply bolstered power front sport buckets fitted in black Nappa leather and Alcantara, a flat-bottom multifunction steering wheel and alloy-enhanced sport pedals complete the look, which can be personalized with loads of optional elements.
This stunning drop-top shares its 450-horsepower/4.2-liter FSI naturally aspirated V8 engine and 7-speed paddle-shiftable S-tronic dual-clutch automatic with the RS5 Coupe. Audi says that combo will take the Euro version of the car from 0-62 mph in 4.9 seconds (roughly 4.7 ticks from 0-60 mph) and still let it deliver a 21.6 mpg combined fuel economy rating. While the RS5 Cabriolet's top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph, Audi can bump that max velocity figure to 174 mpg should the buyer feel the need for additional speed.
Although the RS5 Cabriolet does gain some supplemental reinforcing elements to ensure outstanding structural rigidity, its chassis bits and remaining driveline elements also are common with the RS5 Coupe. That includes a stiffer, lower suspension, custom stability control mapping with Sport/Off modes, Audi Drive Select function configurability, the primo version of Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system with a crown-gear center differential and torque-vectoring capabilities plus an optional sport differential for the rear axle. Standard wheels are 19-inch forged alloys wrapped in 265/35 high-performance rubber but 275/30 boots on 20-inch rims are available. The car's bigger and more capable anti-lock disc brakes can be further upgraded to carbon ceramic units, and Audi's sport suspension with Dynamic Ride Control also is on the option list.
Beyond a long list of standards that includes a full range of power assists, parking system plus and auto-deploying pop-up rollover protection elements behind the rear-seat headrests, the new Audi RS5 Cabriolet will offer upline touches like adaptive cruise control, tri-zone climate control, Audi Connect WLAN Wi-Fi, and the MMI Navigation system with a DVD drive and real-time traffic information.