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The open-top RS 5 is making waves all around the internet.
The Audi RS 5 first appeared exclusively as a two-door coupe back at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show and has served as one of the Ingolstadt-based firm's most popular models in the current lineup of high-performance cars. Today marked the release of the open-top version of Audi's sports car and needless to say, it has had quite the impact already in terms of strengthening the brand's influence on the convertible market.
Set for its official debut at the 2012 Paris Motor Show later this month, the RS 5 Cabriolet makes use of Audi's dynamic and free-flowing design language along with a high-revving naturally aspirated V8 for a truly unique and respectable ride. The RS 5 Coupe has been described by VW Group design chief Walter de'Seliva as one of his favorite designs and the new cabriolet is sure to follow in a similar vein. Equipped with Audi's hexagonal single-frame grille that we have come to know and love, its elegant design incorporates wedge-shaped headlights which utilize xenon-plus lamps along with LED daytime running lights.
An aluminum appearance has been used for the cabrio's grille, side mirror housings and decorative trim strips around the windows while a lightweight cloth roof complete with a special foam layer keeps outside noise to a minimum. The soft top covering is controlled automatically with the push of a button, opening and closing in 15 and 17 seconds respectively and can be operated at speeds of up to 31mph. The RS 5 Cabriolet's rear-end design features LED light strips integrated on a redesigned bumper, while the diffuser has been raised above its current position on the RS 5 Coupe. It is available with 19- or 20-inch forged aluminum wheels.
In addition, a honeycomb screen insert houses two large tailpipes while the trunk-lid sees a matte carbon spoiler lip increase downforce on the open-top performance car. The German convertible measures 4.65m long, 1.86m wide and 1.38m tall. The RS 5 Cabriolet is powered by the same 4.2-liter normally aspirated V8 found in the RS 5 Coupe, with 450 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. It travels from 0-62mph in 0.4 seconds slower than its coupe counterpart, clocking a time of 4.9 seconds. Top speed has been electronically-limited to 155mph, however an optional ECU tune can be had at the customer's request.
The revamp boosts the top-end number up to a coupe-matching 174mph. A stiffer suspension helps out in terms of handling while power is transmitted to the wheels exclusively via a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch gearbox. In terms of fuel economy, the RS 5 Cabrio returns a combined 21.58mpg. As for the RS 5 Cabrio's interior, Audi has equipped a useful three-spoke flat-bottom sports steering wheel complete with multifunctional keys. Wrapped in perforated leather, the wheel alludes to the new model's high-quality Nappa leather and Alcantara covered seats and surrounds, while chrome touches and stainless-steel are found throughout.
A seven-inch screen with MMI navigation plus, large hard drive and DVD drive are all included as well. The four-seater has typical RS badging found everywhere from the seats to the aluminum inlays on the door sills. The new RS 5 Cabriolet can be had in eight exterior colors, while the soft-top roof can be had in black, gray, red or brown. The cloth top cuts 2.12 cubic feet of storage space from the trunk when the roof is lowered, however when raised total trunk space measures 13.42 cubic feet. Thanks to a clever split rear seat design, both can be folded down for additional storage space.
Audi has also made available an optional matte aluminum styling trim along with an engine compartment design package, made out of lightweight and ultra-stable carbon fiber-reinforced polymer. The 2013 Audi RS 5 Cabriolet will begin pricing in Germany at €88,500 which is roughly €10,300 more than the RS 5 Coupe. Deliveries around Europe are scheduled to begin in early 2013. It is still unclear whether or not Audi will offer the RS 5 Cabriolet for the US market, however we do expect to learn more when the model makes its live debut later this month in France.