Just about a week ago, we learned that Audi Sport has shot down the idea of an RS5 convertible, citing the lack of market and need for such a car. However, if you were holding out hope for an RS5 convertible and your dreams are now crushed, you might want to take a look at this B7 Audi RS4 Cabriolet.
This specific 2008 RS4 Cab just listed on Bring-A-Trailer today (at the time of writing this) and it offers all of the thrills you’d want from a modern RS5 convertible, just with a better noise, a more engaging drive and all for a lot less money.
The B7 Audi RS4 Cabriolet came with a 4.2 liter naturally-aspirated V8 that made 420 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque back in 2008. That isn’t as much as the 444 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque of the current RS5 but the B7’s engine itself is far more enjoyable to use. The old-school 4.2 liter free-breathing V8 is a glorious engine to use, with its nearly 8,000 rpm redline and spine-tingling noise.
To tip the enjoyment scale even further toward the B7, this specific RS4 Cabriolet is equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox. Rather than the eight-speed torque-converter auto in the new RS5, this old car gets a proper row-your-own unit that will make you completely forget about the new car’s added power.
Admittedly, there are a couple of bugaboos with this B7 Audi RS4 Cabriolet. One is minor; it’s looks. The B7 cabriolet was never a handsome convertible and always sort of looked cheap. Even the RS4’s cooler wheels, lower stance and added aggression doesn’t change that. The other is major; that engine has a tendency to chew through timing chain tensioners, killing itself, and it’s a costly preventative repair. However, that typically doesn’t happen until about 100,000 miles and this car only has 52,000 miles on it. So you have time to save up and fix it.
However, there are some things about this specific car that make it desirable. For instance, its Misano Red exterior paint over black leather interior with a black convertible top makes it just one of nine RS4 Cabs sold as such in the US. So it’s not only a great color spec but it’s a rare one at that. Oh and did I mention it’s a naturally-aspirated V8 Audi RS4 with a six-speed manual, all-wheel drive and infinite head room?
This is a very cool car and one that anyone in the market for a sporty convertible should take a look at. It might not be a brand-new Audi RS5 but it’s actually probably more fun to drive. At the time of writing this, the B7 Audi RS4 Cabriolet is sitting at $5,500 but there are still seven days left on the bid. So it’s bound to go up. Still, probably a better deal than an RS5 Convertible would be.