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Friday 28th September 2012

Paris 2012: Audi

And you thought there weren't any niches left to fill...



To automotive aficionados, an Audi RS should be an estate. Yes, moving into saloons would obviously follow, while coupes and hatchbacks and roadsters was inevitable too. But is an Audi RS four-seat soft-top a step too far?

The least PH-worthy V8 cabrio ever?
The least PH-worthy V8 cabrio ever?
If you think it is, tough: here at Paris is the new RS5 Cabriolet, resplendent in white and with nasty brown leather inside. Perhaps they dared not finish it in RS blue. 450hp is exciting, and listening it to it will be enhanced too, but the RS5 coupe was already a pretty mediocre car. How can cutting the roof off improve things?

The new A3 Sportback is here too, with more of everything but visual distinction over the old one. Usual Audi design, then - but hey, if it works: at least the new 300hp S3 has more visual vim, and feels like an upmarket, classy new fast hatch from inside too. An S3 you'll admire? First signs are good.

Crosslane concept: clever tech, generic looks
Crosslane concept: clever tech, generic looks
The facelifted R8 is as you'd expect: the same, but just different enough in key places to ensure it still has appeal (not least through switching the clunky semi-auto gearbox for a proper DSG). Even so, here's hoping development of the new one is underway.

It was over to Audi's Crosslane concept to provide the real stand intrigue, though. At first glance, this appears yet another new niche Audi's planning: the sub-Q3 coupe-crossover sector. A sort of SUV TT if you like (complete with rear wheelarches that are a match for any RS on the stand...).

But there's more. It's built from an aluminium-carbon fibre spaceframe. Many of the structural components, including the Audi grille, are exposed and form a key part of the design. It's an open-top machine for good reason - to show how strong the new chassis is.

An A3 Sportback, it says here
An A3 Sportback, it says here
Even if it is confirmed, said a spokesman, it's a long way from production (2015 at the earliest, they speculated). But as a showcase for how chassis technology can develop (and a high-tech counterpoint to BMW's carbon fibre i3...), it's perhaps not beyond the realms.

Oh, and wonder why some of the cleverer chassis elements remain on display rather than hidden by bodywork? Well, to show off just what technology's beneath the surface. Audi engineers have apparently grumbled that their hard work and many technical solutions are not recognised.

Here's Audi showcasing them, then...

richardaucock
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Author Discussion

Hellbound

Original Poster:

2,246 posts

62 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
I rather like the Crosslane concept. Although I read someone describing it as an 80's concept car from Yugo!

silly

Mork of Ork

24 posts

61 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
Article said:
But is an Audi RS four-seat soft-top a step too far?
They already made an RS4 cabrio though?

Ex Boy Racer

553 posts

78 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
Mork of Ork said:
Article said:
But is an Audi RS four-seat soft-top a step too far?
They already made an RS4 cabrio though?
I had one. Lovely car, though certainly no sports car

Dave Hedgehog

7,300 posts

90 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
the RS5 looks good a fair bit different to the general standardised audi range, in cabrio form its lost most of its uniqueness


MonkeyMatt

5,319 posts

93 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
Mork of Ork said:
They already made an RS4 cabrio though?
Why would it be too far even if they had not done it before? whats wrong with a high performance 4 seater soft top!
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lankybob

1,103 posts

76 months

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Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
This seems a bit Audi bashing for Audi bashing's sake really.

goron59

394 posts

57 months

[news] 
Saturday 29th September 2012 quote quote all
Well, as has been said above, it's not the first open top 4-seat RS....

Also, are you calling the R8's R-Tronic clunky because you've actually driven it and found it so?

Dave Hedgehog

7,300 posts

90 months

[news] 
Saturday 29th September 2012 quote quote all
goron59 said:
Well, as has been said above, it's not the first open top 4-seat RS....

Also, are you calling the R8's R-Tronic clunky because you've actually driven it and found it so?
the r-tronic lunges like crazy if you WOT gear change, im glad audi have dumped it for a duel clutch system, so much smoother and faster


ILoveMondeo

8,741 posts

112 months

[news] 
Saturday 29th September 2012 quote quote all
Dave Hedgehog said:
the r-tronic lunges like crazy if you WOT gear change, im glad audi have dumped it for a duel clutch system, so much smoother and faster
Sorry what's a WOT change?

I can't comment as I've not driven the R8 but my GF has, only having ever driven a fiesta before, jerky was the opinion. So there you have it, from the expert! smile

Pulse

9,736 posts

104 months

[news] 
Saturday 29th September 2012 quote quote all
ILoveMondeo said:
Dave Hedgehog said:
the r-tronic lunges like crazy if you WOT gear change, im glad audi have dumped it for a duel clutch system, so much smoother and faster
Sorry what's a WOT change?

I can't comment as I've not driven the R8 but my GF has, only having ever driven a fiesta before, jerky was the opinion. So there you have it, from the expert! smile
Wide Open Throttle.

Nano2nd

2,417 posts

142 months

[news] 
Saturday 29th September 2012 quote quote all
lankybob said:
This seems a bit Audi bashing for Audi bashing's sake really.
I thought that too! And what's wrong with brown leather?

Escort Si-130

1,816 posts

66 months

[news] 
Saturday 29th September 2012 quote quote all
I agree, I do like some soft tops. Also BMW do the M3 in cabrio form for years since the E36. No one insults it.

MonkeyMatt said:
Why would it be too far even if they had not done it before? whats wrong with a high performance 4 seater soft top!

ILoveMondeo

8,741 posts

112 months

[news] 
Saturday 29th September 2012 quote quote all
Pulse said:
Wide Open Throttle.
Aha, thank you!

I doubt she did any of that....

Maldini35

903 posts

74 months

[news] 
Saturday 29th September 2012 quote quote all
lankybob said:
This seems a bit Audi bashing for Audi bashing's sake really.
Agreed, getting a little dull now.

Nothing wrong with a v8 powered x4 seat convertible - everybody can enjoy the nascar soundtrack.

Come on PH - change the record









Maldini35

903 posts

74 months

[news] 
Saturday 29th September 2012 quote quote all
lankybob said:
This seems a bit Audi bashing for Audi bashing's sake really.
Agreed, getting a little dull now.

Nothing wrong with a v8 powered x4 seat convertible - everybody can enjoy the nascar soundtrack.

Come on PH - change the record









richardaucock

94 posts

49 months

[news] 
Sunday 30th September 2012 quote quote all
Thanks for the comments, guys. The RS comment was a general musing: the brand started off as a bespoke special aided by Porsche, evolved to tuned editions of models well into their lifecycle... I'm interested in what you think it should stand for today.

Is it authentic for Audi to sell an RS cabrio? Maybe it IS in keeping with the spirit of RS - after all, an estate is hardly a performance car ideal either, but it still worked. An interesting debate to have!

I normally like brown leather, but it didn't work in the ice white show car at Paris: needs a rich Ferrari 456-style maroon or deep blue, I reckon. Audi Individual means everyone can choose their preference, though - albeit for £££...


Alucidnation

2,833 posts

56 months

[news] 
Sunday 30th September 2012 quote quote all
Dave Hedgehog said:
the r-tronic lunges like crazy if you WOT gear change..
Neck snapping i would call it.

hehe

loomx

323 posts

111 months

[news] 
Sunday 30th September 2012 quote quote all
Surely the RS model, is just the most performance orientated version of that model, which it always is.

Its the same with BMW, yes they now have X5Ms and so on, but you can't really argue that they don't have the performance to go with the name, they are incredibly quick and handle well for that genre of car.

Maldini35

903 posts

74 months

[news] 
Sunday 30th September 2012 quote quote all
richardaucock said:
Thanks for the comments, guys. The RS comment was a general musing: the brand started off as a bespoke special aided by Porsche, evolved to tuned editions of models well into their lifecycle... I'm interested in what you think it should stand for today.

Is it authentic for Audi to sell an RS cabrio? Maybe it IS in keeping with the spirit of RS - after all, an estate is hardly a performance car ideal either, but it still worked. An interesting debate to have!

I normally like brown leather, but it didn't work in the ice white show car at Paris: needs a rich Ferrari 456-style maroon or deep blue, I reckon. Audi Individual means everyone can choose their preference, though - albeit for £££...
I think the RS models are quite different from their AMG and M series rivals. Audi have never really claimed their RS cars are designed with track driving in mind, and it's no secret that most M cars (X models aside) are more rewarding on a trcakday. As a result Audi RS has come in for a bit of a kicking from many of the PH crowd. RS models were fast but too efficient, lacking the character of a lairy M series car or AMG Merc.
If I'm honest I used to think the same. However, as I've got older and had more time in various RS models I now 'get it'.
AMG use massive shouty old school V8's to light up the rear tyres and make a glorious noise, M cars are quick, sharp on turn in and born to drift. All good fun....for a while.

In my eyes RS cars deliberately choose a different path - high speed, high tech, high quality for everyday use.

Whilst I conceed an M5 would be more fun to drift around Paddock Hill whilst vapourising £600's worth of tyres (not many journo's have to worry about the tyre bills) there is no car I would rather be in for a long trip with the family, or my 1 hour commute home in filthy winter weather than an RS4.

Just keep an elise/cheap hot hatch in the garage for scratching that trackday itch.




GhepardoGTS

26 posts

25 months

[news] 
Sunday 30th September 2012 quote quote all
I realise Mitsubishi copied Audi's radiator grile design, but that Crosslane concept really does look like a Mitsubishi.

http://www.ics-driveshop.com/wp-content/uploads/20...

Edited by GhepardoGTS on Sunday 30th September 19:54

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