Audi drops the top on its supercoupe RS 5 for summer and beyond.
How times have changed. It wasn’t so long ago that driving a convertible year-round was, simply, a bad idea. From leaky and drafty fabric tops to the plastic rear windows, taking a drop-top out in the cold months was more of a punishment than a cure for the winter blues. Fast-forward to today and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Exhibit A? Audi’s dashing new 2013 RS 5 Cabriolet, a true four-season, high-performance convertible. And, like few other cars on Earth, the RS 5 feeds your inner racer with a dose of adrenaline while satisfying the demands of daily life.
In the looks department, the face of the RS 5 is pure Audi. Crisp LED daytime running lights flank a distinctive trapezoidal front grille. Huge front lower inlets, meanwhile, sit just below the lights to keep plenty of cool air flowing into the RS 5’s 4.2-liter V-8. The rear is dominated by two large oval exhaust pipes integrated into the bumper, which owners can choose to have finished in either bright chrome or matte black. And a deployable spoiler automatically pops up at speeds greater than 75 mph—a clear sign you’re making the most of your new toy’s innate prowess.
The thrills of the RS 5 go well beyond its stellar exterior, though. The high-revving engine churns out 450 horsepower and 317 lb.-ft. of raw torque mated to a super quick automatic transmission with paddle shifters. In most high-performance vehicles, all of this power is sent to the rear wheels—which is great when you want to make a scene burning rubber, but not so helpful when you’re trying to accelerate into traffic from a gravel side street. This is where Audi’s advanced Quattro all-wheel drive system shines, catapulting the RS 5 from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 4.9 seconds no matter the road conditions. Sure, some sports cars are faster on paper, but in the less-than-perfect driving environments most of us face every day, the RS 5 is in its element.
Inside, the RS 5 boasts a roomy yet sporty cabin that’s equipped with all of the latest technological gadgets to keep you connected and entertained. Audi’s optional MMI Navigation Plus uses Google Earth 3-D satellite imagery for detailed map views, and even displays news headlines. A Bang & Olufsen sound system option with 12 speakers provides an immersive audio experience free of distortion, top down or up. And two rear seats fold down flat, making the RS 5 a surprisingly useful hauler.
We recommend opting for the $1,500 Comfort Package with its heated neck warmers and ventilated sport seats, an option that, with the RS 5’s Quattro, makes this one drop-top that’s sensational, no matter the season.
2013 Audi RS 5 Cabriolet
Base price: $77,900
Engine: 4.2-liter V-8
Transmission: Seven-Speed Dual-Clutch Automatic
Horsepower: 450 hp @ 8,250 rpm
Torque: 317 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm
Maximum cargo capacity: 12.4 cu. ft.
City fuel economy: 16 mpg
Highway fuel economy: 22 mpg
Fuel tank: 16.1 gal.
Weight: 4,420 lbs.
0 to 60 mph: 4.9 seconds
Top Speed: 174 mph