Audi keeps it in the family
22 February 2006

Audi’s storming RS4 has been unleashed in Cabriolet and Avant forms. The RS brand started life with the formidable RS2 Avant, but there has never been a convertible version of Audi’s hottest model.

The two new models will be on sale in the summer. The Avant’s load area is variable, with under-floor storage, lashing points, nets and no wheelarch intrusion – allowing loads up to a metre in length to be fitted in. In a final neat touch, the luggage cover can be folded away with the split-fold rear seats.

The Cabriolet should afford listeners and drivers an even finer audition of the RS4’s 414bhp V8. The engine passes unchanged into the convertible and estate models, which is no bad thing given its remarkable performance and sophistication in the RS4 saloon. The main distinguishing feature of the Cabriolet is that it does not get the bucket seats of the saloon and estate as standard; they can be ordered as options. Clearly, Audi expects the Cabriolet’s owners to be a little more interested in cruising rather than scorching round corners. If they are traveling at less than 18mph, they can open the acoustic hood, which takes 21 seconds and is claimed by Audi to keep noise levels very similar to those in the saloon. Speed has been slightly affected by the extra weight of these versions: they take 0.1 seconds longer to reach 60mph than their saloon sibling, although by 125mph the Cabriolet is 0.9 seconds behind the saloon. There are no details on prices or release dates yet, but both should be here for the summer. We estimate a list price of £52,000 for the soft-top and £55,000 for the Avant; the saloon costs £49,980.

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