The latest Audi RS5 Cabriolet might be a controversial choice for an RS model but it certainly doesn’t want for power.
There’s a massive 450PS on tap from its 4.2-litre V8 powerplant. It’s fitted with a fabric roof and will get to 62mph in just 4.9 seconds.
The RS5 coupe surprised some observers by sticking with Audi’s older 4.2-litre naturally aspirated V8 rather than moving to cleaner, more efficiently V6 3.0-litre supercharged power, as has the lesser S5 model. Audi’s justification then was that nothing else sounds quite like a V8, an attitude with some validity.
As you would expect, the RS5 in this Cabriolet guise also uses the 4.2-litre V8 powerplant - and thank goodness it does for,` with the roof down, there’s all the aural enjoyment on offer that Ingolstadt promised.
As in the Coupe, the high-revving, hand-built 450PS V8 makes peak power at a heady 8,250 rpm and peak torque of 430Nm at between 4,000 and 6,000 rpm. It punts this all-wheel drive Cabriolet from rest to 62mph in 4.9 seconds and where possible, can take it to an electronically-limited 155mph top speed, which at extra cost can be elevated to 174mph.
A seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission is fitted as standard with its lightning-fast shifts and steering wheel paddle control.
Permanent quattro all-wheel-drive promises outstanding traction in all weather conditions and is backed up here by torque vectoring. Up to 70 per cent of the available torque can flow to the front or as much as 85 per cent to the rear, as necessary.
The default 40:60 ratio of the rear-biased configuration ensures sporty handling should give great step-off when accelerating from a standstill.
The body rides 20mm lower than that of an ordinary Audi A5 Cabriolet; its mounts are stiffer, and its anti-roll bars are beefier. Most of the suspension parts are aluminium for light weight and you also get big, internally-ventilated wave brake discs with eight-piston calipers.
A sports exhaust system can be specified at extra cost to deliver even richer sound. You will want this once you’ve heard it.
The RS 5 Cabriolet looks slightly less aggressive than the Coupe but there’s still quite a degree of purpose to its styling.
If you want an extremely rapid drop-top that’s beautifully built and has an exhaust note to die for, there aren’t many that can touch the RS5.
The shortcomings in terms of ultimate handling that niggled at the RS5 Coupe are not so much of an issue if you’re shopping for an open car, so this one might well be the best of the RS5s currently for sale.