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Audi raises roof with super RS 5 Cabriolet 


BRITAIN is one of the top markets in Europe for convertibles which does seem a bit strange when you consider the UK climate.

But it’s been a boom summer so far for motorists who love their open-air driving.

Classic models have come rolling out from under cover and some new shining soft-top models have been turning heads.

I was lucky enough to get a chance to sample a stunning newcomer – and enjoy the experience with the top up and down.

Audi’s RS 5 Cabriolet ticks all the boxes for an open-top sports car with its looks, quality and performance.

The Misano Red test car was a real head-turner and a super model to enjoy some fast, exciting driving in.

This is Audi’s most powerful RS convertible to date with its V8 4.2 FSI 444bhp engine rocketing it from standstill to 62mph in just 4.9 seconds.

It is electronically limited to a top speed of 155mph which can be raised to 174mph at an extra cost.

Audi also says the RS5 Cabrio is capable of achieving almost 26mpg on the combined cycle but I doubt it very much if any drivers will get anything near this.

The engine roars into life when you push the start button but that’s nothing like the sound you get when you hit the open road.

The power comes through an excellent seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission or you can shift up and down using the steering wheel paddles.

I was more than happy driving in auto mode most of the time with the throaty rasps coming from the twin exhausts as you gather speed.

Push your foot a little bit harder on the accelerator pedal and you can make passengers almost jump the first time they hear the lovely boom – the power is immense and instant.

Unlike some smaller cabriolets, the RS 5 offers adequate rear seating for two adults and my passengers were quite comfortable during a journey with the roof closed.

Press a button and the lightweight acoustic hood opens in just 15 seconds and if conditions change it can be closed, in 17 seconds, at speeds of up to 31mph.

With its quattro all-wheel drive, this cabriolet clung to the tarmac during some fast, exhilarating driving on some lovely winding, country roads.

The roof takes up just 60 litres of the 380-litre boot and split rear seat backs with through-load facility brings flexible loading space.

The interior is five-star quality with its Luna Silver fine Nappa leather. It features RS 5 detail enhan-cements, including a new flat-bottomed RS three-spoke steering wheel, along with the new gene-ration Coupe’s equipment upgrade, which brings Bluetooth, cruise control, satellite navigation and Audi Music Interface iPod connection to a lengthy staddard equipment list.

The RS5 Cabriolet isn’t cheap at £67,500 with options on the test model, which included £1,250 20-inch 5-arm rotar-design alloys, delivery charges and £840 road tax, hiking the price up to a whopping £77,755.