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New models - Audi - A4 - S4 cabriolet

Quickfire cabriolet here now

Potent: S4 Cabriolet slams a 253kW V8 into a compact, topless body.

Open-air version of Audi’s blistering 253kW V8-powered S4 arrives Down Under

Audi logo29 Apr 2005

AUDI has confirmed the long-awaited arrival of the fastest ever A4 Cabriolet in Australia.

First shown here at last month’s Melbourne motor show, the S4 Cabriolet follows in the hallowed footsteps of the S4 sedan by packing the same 253kW/410Nm 4.2-litre 40-valve V8.

The first S4-badged convertible sold here, Audi’s newest cabrio will be priced at $143,800. It joins the $81,200 120kW 1.8T and the $101,000 160kW 3.0 V6 in the A4 Cabriolet range that replaced the original Audi 80-based Cabriolet here in June 2003.

Audi’s hottest ever cabriolet also joins the sedan ($124,000 manual, $127,000 auto) and Avant ($127,500 manual, $130,500 auto) in the stove-hot S4 range, which first received V8 firepower in new B6-series guise in December 2003.

The previous S4 sedan and wagon, available between December 1999 and August 2003, featured a comparatively tame 195kW/400Nm twin-turbo 2.7-litre V6.

Like the other A4-based cabriolets, the S4 features an electro-hydraulically operated droptop that can open in less than 30 seconds.

The four-seater, quattro all-wheel drive S4 Cabrio is a direct rival for BMW’s $153,700 M3 convertible and the Mercedes-Benz CLK55 AMG Cabriolet ($208,900) – although entry to the V8-powered CLK cabrio world begins at $159,200 with the CLK500 drop-top.

As expected at this price level, the S4 Cabriolet offers plenty of exterior differentiation from lesser A4 cabrio variants, including titanium-look Xenon headlight bezels, aluminium wing mirror housings, dual exhaust outlets and 18-inch cast aluminium S-design wheels with 235/40 R18 tyres.

Inside, grey instrument faces with unique needles set the S4 Cabrio apart, along with the choice of carbon-fibre, piano-black, brushed aluminium or birch wood inlays.

There is also a three-spoke, leather-clad sports steering wheel with S emblem and shift paddles.

Power-adjustable Alcantara and leather sports seats with lumbar and adjustable thigh support complete the S4 cabin.

7 center image As in the S4 sedan and Avant, the Cabriolet flagship’s five-valve V8 delivers 253kW at a stratospheric 7000rpm, plus 410Nm of torque at 3500rpm – enough for the auto-only cabrio to sprint to 100km/h in a claimed 5.9 seconds on its way to a governed 250km/h top speed.

The standard six-speed Tiptronic auto comprises a dynamic shift program and an additional sport program, while A4’s four-link front and trapezoidal-link rear suspension are also carried over – albeit in firmer guise.

Audi’s road speed-dependent Servotronic variable-assistance steering is also standard.

"The Audi Cabriolet is admired both for its style and the strong performance from both the 1.8-litre turbo and 3.0-litre V6 engines," said Audi Australia managing director Joerg Hofmann.

"The Audi S4 Cabriolet takes this concept one step further, adding supreme ‘S’ model performance to the beautifully designed vehicle body, plus feel-good factors such as its throaty engine note, quattro all-wheel drive and sports derived steering wheel paddles for faster gearchanges and responsiveness."

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