Joining the R8 and the new RS7, the RS5 Cabriolet brings enough horsepower and visual aggression to break glass with just one stare.
The metallic honeycomb grille is gigantic and looks capable of deflecting a whole family of birds at its 174 mph top speed.
The atmospheric V-8 produces 450 horsepower via an optional sports exhaust and Black Optics package hiding the twin coffee-can oval exhaust outlets under the diffuser panel.These cans are so large that they define the lower rear graphic of the RS5, and look really incredible with the sharp bumper corners up top. Dark wheels bring standard steel discs with an interesting fluted edge design, but carbon ceramic brakes are available for ultimate autobahn stopping power.
The tradeoff versus the coupe? Wind in your hair, Audi’s classic aluminum brightwork on the windshield surround, and a flat soft-top that screams luxury. Seating for four is also possible in the RS5 Cab, which loses only two cubic-feet of luggage room with the top down.
A $10,000 premium sees RS5 Cab base prices at $78,000, but the new comfort seats with heat and ventilation look ideal for this beach bruiser.
Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Audi RS5 Cabriolet, the hottest four-seat Audi drop-top ever made.
With three shades of red available, along with a host of normal colors of course, the official images of the 2014 RS5 Cabriolet are outstanding. It looks hot, dramatic, fast and expensive.
The red shade is more California Ferrari than the lipstick hue from the RS5’s press shots, and the difference really helps the Cab look sharp.
The Black Optics package changes the color of the grille and brings dark wheels and exhaust tips, but still keeps some brightwork for the windshield header – long an Audi glam stamp since Princess Diana bought an Audi Cabriolet in 1992. The Black Optics package also brings the sports exhaust, which is well worthwhile to hear this engine sing.
The steel brakes are more interesting because of that special humped edge design, which is said to dissipate heat into calipers more effectively.
Lastly, the RS5 Cab keeps the hard-top’s power rear spoiler, which is a real treat to see and operate for added racing credibility. Automatically deployed at high speeds, it can also be raised via a cabin button for maximum Ocean Drive posing.
2014 Audi RS5 Cabriolet – Exterior Dimensions:-
Wheelbase (in.) – 108.3
Length (in.) – 183
Width (in.) – 73.2
Height (in.) – 53.8
Front Track Width (in.) – 62.3
Rear Track Width (in.) – 62
Curb Weight (Pounds) – 4050, est
Drag Coefficient – 0.32, est
2014 Audi RS5 Cabriolet – Exterior Features:-
— RS5-exclusive honeycomb grille insert
— RS5-exclusive speed-deployed electric rear spoiler, with manual override (deploys at 75 mph, retracts at 50 mph) 2.5 mph
— Redesigned LED taillights
— RS5-exclusive oval exhaust tips
— RS5-exclusive rear-diffuser
— RS5-exclusive lower air inlet without fog lights
— RS5-exclusive wide-body design
— Audi Singleframe grille in high-gloss Anthracite diamond mesh design, with matte alu-optic surround with/without license plate
— Adaptive Audi xenon plus headlights with self-leveling, LED daytime running lights and static cornering lights Automatic self-leveling for xenon plus headlights
— Rain/light sensors for automatic windshield wipers and headlights
— Headlight washing system
— LED taillight technology with rear fog lights
— Daytime running lights, user programmable
— Three blink touch-to-pass lane change feature in turn signal
— Automatic light switch controlled by light sensor, coming home/leaving home function
— Power-adjustable, auto-dimming, heated side mirrors with memory
— Alu-optic side mirrors; heated with LED turn signal repeaters with fiber optic technology
— LED indicator light technology integrated in the side mirrors with fiber optic technology
— Anodized aluminum window surround (or windshield surround on Cabriolet models)
— Heated windshield washer nozzles
— Dual oval exhaust, finished tips (one on each side)
— SiriusXM Satellite Radio antenna, (roof-mounted)
2014 Audi RS5 Exterior Options:
— Metallic/pearl/crystal effect paint (varies: $475 up to $1,075)
— Sport exhaust with retuned acoustics and black oval finishers ($1,000)
— Comfort Seats
— Titanium package with body-color door mirrors, gloss black grille and matte black window surround ($2,500)
— Ceramic front brakes ($6,000)
— Matte finish aluminum trim ($750)
— New-for-2014 Black optics pack (RS5 Cabriolet only)
The soft-top is quite plush when up, with integrated headlining and no sharp points near your head, which is nice. It is also able to hush the cabin to near-coupe levels, while also lined with fleece to keep the car insulated for hot and cold weather. Power operated, of course.
The drop in headroom is on par with the coupe in its ‘sunshade’ setting, and the back seat leg and shoulder room tallies are each down slightly. This is a real four-seat coupe, unlike the Aston Martin DB9 or Jaguar XK, whose 2+2 layout sees the front seatback hit the rear cushions.
In the trunk, also almost no compromise for the convertible layout. The full 12.2 cubic-feet is available with the top up, and 10 cubic-feet with it down. These are both exceptional scores, especially versus the top-down total of the BMW 3 Series Cabriolet.
2014 Audi RS5 Cabriolet – Interior Dimensions:-
Seating Capacity – Front – 2
Seating Capacity – Rear – 2
Headroom (In.) – Front – 37.9, est
Headroom (In.) – Rear – 36, est
Legroom (In.) – Front – 41.3
Legroom (In.) – Rear – 31.0, est
Shoulder room (In.) – Front – 54.3
Shoulder room (In.) – Rear – 50, est|
Hip room (In.) – Front – NA
Hip room (In.) – Rear – NA
Trunk capacity (cubic-feet) – Top Down – 10
Trunk capacity (cubic-feet) – Top Up – 12.2
2014 Audi RS5 Cabriolet – Interior Features:-
— RS-design Carbon Fiber inlays on door panel interior beltline and center console with piano black console and instrument panel surround
— Full Fine Nappa leather interior and armrests
— Twelve-way power front RS5 ‘S sport-contoured seats’ including four-way power lumbar adjustment, thigh support and RS5 embossing
— Two-position driver side memory for seat and mirror adjustments (located on driver’s door)
— Three-step heated front seats
— Front and rear reading lights (two in front / two in rear headliner)
— Red ambient LED lighting in overhead console for front center console illumination
— Illumination for interior door release handles and air vent controls
— Front and rear foot-well lighting using LED technology
— Auto dimming interior mirror with digital compass
— Front sliding sun visors with illuminated vanity mirror for driver and front passenger
— Front and rear floor mats with fastening mechanism for front mats
— Velour carpeting
— Power central locking system with radio-operated key fob remote control for doors, trunk and fuel door
— Power windows with master switch, one-touch up and one-touch down with pinch protection
— Trunk release with soft touch and remote key fob; Coupe only: interior release button on driver’s door
— Panoramic tilting glass sunroof panel
— Retained accessory power – allows use of various electronic features (radio / CD / windows / etc.) after key is removed from ignition.
— Fully automatic tri zone climate control with separate air distribution controls for driver and front passenger, combined pollutant and pollen filter, automatic recirculated-air functions; air quality, humidity and sun angle sensors
— Rear seat HVAC vents in rear of front center console and under each front seat and temperature variation dial Electric rear window defogger with automatic timed shut off feature
— Three 12V power outlets
— Smoker package (ashtray and power outlet in front of shifter)
— One rear ashtray, located in rear of front center console, beneath power outlet
— Four cup holders (two front/two rear)
— Folding and sliding front center armrest with adjustable height and storage underneath
— Illuminated locking glovebox
— Tilt and telescopic manually adjustable steering column
— Three-spoke multifunction flat-bottom steering wheel
— Shift paddles, in alu-optic
— Electromechanical power steering
— Dynamic steering (Audi drive select)
— Anti-theft vehicle alarm system and immobilizer with blinking theft deterrent light in driver’s door
— Audi advanced keyless start, stop and entry
— Homelink with three programmable buttons
— Rain/light sensor for automatic windshield wipers and headlights
— Windshield wipers with four-position adjustable rain sensor rate
— Backlit instrument cluster with automatic brightness control:
— Audi MMI Radio plus system for controlling Infotainment / Climate / Car Setup (with 6.5” color screen)
— Audi music interface with iPod integration includes one cable for iPod connection
— Audi six-channel DSP extended sound system with ten speakers including subwoofer, 180W sound system
— Bluetooth voice calls
— HD radio
— SiriusXM with 90-day free trial subscription
— Audi concert radio with ten speakers and single CD player with MP3 playback capability
— Color driver information system
— Parking system with front and rear sensors
— Audi drive select
2014 Audi RS5 Cabriolet – Interior Options:-
— Driver Assistance pack: Adaptive cruise control, Blind Spot assist and Audi dynamic steering ($3,250)
— Audi Connect with six-month trial subscription
— MMI Nav ($3,550) includes Bang & Olufsen 505-watt audio
— Bluetooth audio streaming (available with MMI Nav only)
— Comfort seats with heating and ventilation
Drivetrain, Suspension and Brakes
Adding about 100 pounds for the RS5 Cab, this is still one of the most intoxicating and addictive power units available. Totally different in character from the turbo V-8’s from BMW and Mercedes, this is from the older school of high-revving racing powerplants. In fact, this engine shares more of its philoshophy with the old BMW M5’s V-10.
This means less initial shove than the RS7 and S8, but far better harmonics as the engine starts to scream. Throttle response is also more pure than a turbo engine, but in-gear performance can feel laggy if in manual transmission mode, thanks to the obedient S-tronic box that will hold gears almost indefinitely.
In automatic mode, this S-tronic twin-clutch box is all business, with multiple settings to tame down the ferocious gear change violence with launch control engaged. Like the Nissan GT-R, the transition from first gear to the pre-loaded second clutch, and second gear, is marked by a moment of carnage. Like slamming a door or dropping a textbook, the shift is complete in a blink and racing back toward the redline and horizon.
Purity of down changes allows engine braking for corners, which is a fun way to drive the RS5 Cab on twisty roads. With any revs on the dial near mid-corner, flooring the throttle creates an explosive rush to that gear’s red line. 60 mph sprint is projected at 4.3 seconds, down just a tenth versus the RS5 coupe.
2014 Audi RS5 Cabriolet – Performance Details:
Engine – 4.2-liter 32-valve V-8 with TFSI Direct Injection and Chain-driven DOHC
Transmission – 7-Speed S-tronic DSG Automatic With Paddle Shift
Power – 450 horsepower
Torque – 317 pound-feet
0-60 mph – 4.3, est
Top Speed – 174 mph
Pricing and Availability: The RS5 Cab is priced $10,000 above its coupe sibling, for a total of $78,000 before options like the vented seats and Black Optics sports exhaust.
More RS Audi models is always a good thing, and the RS5 is set to be one of 2014’s hottest cars at any price. With styling that looks even better than the coupe, minimal cabin/trunk and performance deficits – the RS5 Cab is everything the coupe is and so much more.
A much broader set of shoppers would love this as their dream car, versus he coupe’s more limited appeal in its focused battle with the BMW M4.
Get that deposit in soon!
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.