The RS4 Cabriolet rockets from zero to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds and tramples the quarter-mile in 13.3 seconds at a sweet 104.4 mph. Its 4.2-liter V8 is capable of 420 hp at 7,800 rpm, but it's more remarkable for its broad spread of torque that peaks at 317 pound-feet between 4,500 and 5,500 rpm.
With technology inherited directly from motor sports, the RS 4 Cabriolet achieves new levels of driveability. The V8 engine uses FSI direct injection and high-revving technology to produce 309 kW (420 hp), to propel the most powerful open Audi from zero to 100 km/h (0 – 62.14 mph) in 4.9 seconds. An especially dynamic version of the quattro drive system readily transfers all this power onto the road. The RS 4 Cabriolet is a high-performance premium sports car with uncompromised everyday driveability.
Design und interior
The visual identification begins with the single-frame grill, which has a distinct diamond pattern and is bordered by large air inlets underneath the xenon plus headlights. The hood and front fenders are made of steel. Flared wheel wells, special outside mirrors and extended door sills provide a distinct appearance from the side. This is echoed in the rear apron where two large exhaust tailpipes indicate the car's dynamic driving potential.
The convertible comes standard with the self-opening acoustic top which is especially quiet and features excellent thermal insulation. It opens at the push of a button, even while driving at speeds of up to 30 km/h (18.64 mph). Reinforcements to the body, roll-over protection and head/thorax side airbags provide all-round rigidity in the open-top RS 4 and ensure maximum passive safety.
On the inside, this high-performance convertible combines the functionality of a sports car with the elegant ambience characteristic of all Audi models. Generous application of leather, aluminum and carbon dominates the impression. The steering wheel is of the flat-bottomed type as found in racing cars; the on-board computer incorporates an oil temperature gauge and a lap timer for the race track.
The V8 starts at the touch of a button. By pressing a further button on the steering wheel the driver can enhance throttle response and the sound of the exhaust as well as the lateral position of the high side sections of the bucket seats which are covered in leather. The more comfortable sports seats come standard.
The 4.2-liter V8 in the RS 4 Cabriolet operates on a high-revving basis. The direct-injection unit reaches a speed of 8,250 rpm and develops 309 kW (420 hp) at 7,800 rpm – breaking through the magical 100 hp per liter barrier. Its 430 Nm (317.15 lb-ft) of torque is available at 5,500 rpm, with 90 percent of it already at a mere 2,250 rpm. This means that each horsepower has only 4.4 kg (9.70 lb) to carry, a figure straight from the top sports car league. The RS 4 sprints from a standstill to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 4.9 seconds and passes the 200 km/h (124.27 mph) mark after no more than 12.6 additional seconds.
The FSI technology, which provides for a homogeneous combustion of the fuel mixture, cools the combustion chambers, which allows for the high compression ratio of 12.5:1. The 4.2 FSI is a high-revving unit with a forceful response and develops an engine sound strongly reminiscent of motor racing. Its technical highlights also include chain-driven camshafts, a special crankshaft, modified pistons and connecting rods and the especially developed cylinder heads.
The high engine forces pass through a manual six-speed transmission with reduced gear lever travel to the quattro drivetrain. In normal operation, 40 percent of the forces are routed to the front axle and 60 percent to the rear. The rear axle differential has been fitted with additional cooling fins to be well equipped for any load.
The chassis of the RS 4, largely composed of aluminum components, featuring four-link front suspension and a trapezoidal-link construction at the rear, reflects the highly sophisticated design. The track was increased by 37 mm (1.46 in) at the front axle and by 51 mm (2.01 in) at the rear. Spring and damper settings are firm and the body sits 30 mm (1.18 in) lower than the standard A4. The servotronic steering as well was set up to meet the dynamic handling requirements.
Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) is a high-performance technology which connects diagonally opposed shock absorbers via a central valve – thus to a large extent eliminating pitching and rolling movements. The ESP stabilization system was designed specifically for a dynamic driving style and can be partially or fully disabled. The dynamic steering behavior of the RS 4, its precise feedback, sporty agility and excellent stability represent the perfect marriage between motor sports and everyday driving.
The Audi RS 4 Cabriolet comes standard with 18-inch cast aluminum wheels, with 19-inch wheels available as an option. For the brakes, Audi employs the finest high-performance components. The ventilated and perforated discs measure 365 mm (14.37 in) in front and 324 mm (12.76 in) at the rear and feature a floating arrangement. Eight-piston calipers, from the world of motor sports, are used at the front.
The standard equipment delivered in the RS 4 includes parking assistance at front and rear, an anti-theft warning system, deluxe climate control with different settings for driver and passenger sides, xenon plus headlights, and the concert audio system including Bose sound system. Optionally, the RS 4 may be equipped with Audi specialties like a brake system with ceramics disks, two different navigation systems, and the cornering light adaptive light.
The Audi RS 4 Cabriolet at a glance:
Engine: displacement 4,163 cc, power output 309 kW (420 hp) at 7,800 rpm, maximum torque 430 Nm (317.15 lb-ft) at 5,500 rpm. Performance and fuel consumption: 0 – 100 km/h (0 – 62.14 mph) in 4.9 s, top speed 250 km/h (155.34 mph, governed), consumption (combined) 13.9 liters/100 km (16.92 mpg) with Super Plus gasoline. Drivetrain combination: quattro drive with six-speed transmission.