The RS4 Cabriolet does not have the structural rigidity of the saloon, but you can listen more easily to that V8. So whilst it lacks the hard-edged competence of the saloon, the Cabriolet is still extremely desirable

Our Verdict

Audi RS4 Avant

Audi’s rapid estate returns. We know it’s fast, but can it engage us?

  • First Drive

    Audi RS4 Avant review

    The Audi RS4 Avant gets better the faster you drive, and as such makes an excellent RS model
  • First Drive

    Audi RS4 Cabriolet

    The RS4 Cabriolet does not have the structural rigidity of the saloon, but you can listen more easily to that V8.
26 July 2006

What’s new? Audi has lopped the roof off its RS4 wonder-saloon to create a seriously fast four seat convertible. The engine stays the same - which is a very good thing - but the kerbweight goes up by 195kg thanks to strengthening of the body. The suspension has been retuned to cope.What’s it like? Still bombastic, although the extra weight blunts the performance a little lower down the rev range. Once that V8 is singing though, it powers round to the 8250rpm limiter with stunning smoothness. And what a voice: not having a tin roof over you ups the volume control considerably to the point where flexing your right foot at every oppurtunity becomes compulsory.As you might expect, it doesn’t offer the same driving experience as the saloon, or the Avant for that matter. You can feel the weight through corners, and the steering lacks the precision of the closed car.Nevertheless, it’s still an acceptable compromise given the huge loss in torsional rigidity, and apart from some A-pillar shimmy the structure feels remarkably together.Inside the cabin is typical Audi fare, with quality materials and excellent standard Nappa leather chairs - more hardcore buckets are optional.Should I buy one? It’s easy to argue against spending £59,625 on an A4 cabriolet, and most people looking for a roofless saloon will find themselves well catered for at a lot less money. Nevertheless, once you’ve felt and heard the RS4 cariolet at work, it’s easy to see its appeal.Adam Towler

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