Test Drive: 2015 Audi S5 Cabriolet

Today RFD is driving a new hot new cabriolet from Ingolstadt, the Audi S5, through the streets of Washington, DC.  How does this pretty drop-top fair against the other high end cars in our nations capital?  Take a look at our video review and find out!

The S5 is a true GT car.  It’s not a track car, but it can handle itself through some twisty corners.  Not that our route through the nation’s capital had many.  No, we were blessed with perfect weather and a retractable soft top that can get you started on a good sunburn in around 15 seconds and can be raised or lowered up to 30mph.  Personally I think that’s a great way to scare other motorists.

If you were wondering, the mighty V8 RS5 has 450hp but actually has LESS torque than our S5.  Interesting.  And the RS car starts at damn near $80 grand.  Almost 20K more than the S5.  And don’t forget, you can tune this one to give you better performance.  Companies like AWE, MTM, APR and other acronym’d companies will sell you pullies, chips, and other bits to bump you well past the 400hp mark.

But you’re really going to cross shop this with a BMW aren’t you?  Yes, you are.  Admit it.  And last year it meant a 3-series convertible, this year it means a 4 series convertible.  Confusing, but that’s BMW’s new naming scheme.  Even numbers for 2-door, odd numbers for 4-door.  Unless it has “gran coupe” in it, in which case you can get both a 4 and 6 series with 4 doors.  What?  Oh right, the comparison.

The 435i convertible is the obvious match for our Audi.  I’ll skip right to the important bit, the engine.  The BMW sports a 300-hp, turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder.  So same displacement, turbo instead of supercharger, and 33 less horses.  Ah, but it’s lighter you think!  Yes, but the power to weight ration is about the same, perhaps with an edge to the Audi. On to pricing, the 4-series is a bit cheaper from an MSRP perspective but once you add in similar options to both cars, they’re about the same.

So how does the new S5 stack up to its main rival from Bavaria?  Pretty good, at least on paper.  But we’ll need BMW to lend us a new 435i to tell for sure. *ahem*

Regardless, I very much enjoyed my time in the S5 and would recommend it to anyone with $60K or so looking for a great looking GT convertible.  It’s fast, handles well, looks incredible, and has a great interior.  Long live the cabriolet.


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