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2019 Audi R8 Spyder

2019 Audi R8 Spyder

Could it be a new RS or GT model?

The second-generation Audi R8 was launched in 2015 and, despite rumors that it may be discontinued, the supercar will live on for at least a few more years. The facelifted version of the R8 coupe was spotted on public roads back in March, and now the Spyder model surfaced with similar updates.

While notable changes make sense for a mid-cycle refresh, word has it that the Spyder in out latest shots could be more than just a facelift. Audi may be working on a beefed-up version of the supercar that could carry an "RS" or "GT" badge. With the nameplate likely to go into the history books in a few years, the Germans might be looking to give it a proper send-off with a more aerodynamic and powerful version. Unfortunately, Audi is still mum on the details, so we won’t know for sure until the company spills the beans or the camo comes off. Meanwhile, let’s have a closer look at what the updated R8 Spyder might bring to the table.

Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Audi R8 Spyder.

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2018 Audi A5 Cabriolet – Driven

2018 Audi A5 Cabriolet – Driven

The new generation brings vast improvements

Audi has been hard at work revamping its A5 and S5 lineup over the last few years. The two-door coupes and four-door Sportback versions debuted in the U.S. for 2017, bringing the new MLB Evo architecture, big updated in active safety features, and Audi’s widely praised Virtual Cockpit. Now for 2018, the drop-top version gets its go, completing the A5 lineup. But rather than taking Audi’s word on these improvements, I needed the wind through my hair.

A 2018 Audi A5 Cabriolet 2.0T with the Prestige package arrived for the week fitted with nearly every option. While that inflated the price slightly past $65,000, the A5 proved its competence at being an all-rounder, working both as an everyday luxury coupe and as an open-top weekend toy. All it takes is 15 seconds to lower the top and the car changes its demeanor. Much of that can be credited to the multi-layer “acoustic” soft top and generous amounts of insulation. Even passing a semi truck on the interstate is hushed. The new interior pushes the bar for Audi, yet again. Soft-touch materials are paired well with high-end trimmings and in-dash technology that feels cutting-edge. Heck, there’s even microphones embedded into the front seatbelts for taking calls with the top down. It’s this attention to detail that makes the 2018 A5 Cabriolet so interesting. But what’s it like to live with? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading for the full driven review.

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2018 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Plus

2018 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Plus

Audi’s most powerful convertible ever!

The second-generation Audi R8 came to life in 2015, when the German firm unveiled an evolutionary design with sharper styling cues and a more aggressive approach. Audi also revamped the engine lineup, adopting an upgraded 5.2-liter V-10 and dropping the base V-8. Instead, it introduced an all-electric version of the R8, which was discontinued only a year on the market. Just like its predecessor, the second-gen R8 also gained Plus and Spyder variants. But for the first time in history, Audi brought the two badges under the same umbrella, creating the R8 Spyder Plus.

Essentially a convertible version of the more extreme R8 Plus, the Spyder Plus finally gives drop-top enthusiasts the option of driving a beefed-up version of the V-10 engine with infinite headroom. Not only a first for the nameplate, the Spyder Plus also gives the company a suitable competitor for the Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet, as well as the new-for-2018 McLaren 570S Spider. How does it stack up against the opposition? Find out in my review below.

Updated 06/19/2017: Audi dropped a first promo video for the new R8 Spyder V10 Plus. Continue reading to watch it!

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2017 Audi S5 Cabriolet

2017 Audi S5 Cabriolet

Compact luxury sportiness with unlimited headroom

The Audi S5 first appeared on the scene in 2007, initially dropping cover as a coupe alongside its more pedestrian sibling, the A5. Two years later, at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, Audi introduced the S5 Sportback, a five-door model promising greater practicality in a still-sporty package, plus the open-air S5 Cabriolet, both of which went on sale for the 2010 model year. A mid-cycle refresh arrived in 2013, including new technology, styling, and powertrain updates. Now, it’s time for a new generation to take the reins, and as such, Audi has unveiled the 2017 S5 Cabriolet, rounding out the new A5 lineup with a sportier soft-top iteration of the compact luxury two-door. The next gen brings with it slightly larger dimensions, tweaked styling, a sleek interior packed with gadgets, a more powerful turbo six-cylinder, an updated rear suspension, and new systems for safety and convenience.

Being the best in this segment takes style and attitude, mixing the fun of unlimited headroom with a decent punch when you press on the loud pedal. Keeping up with the technological Jonses is also critical, with competition from Europe and Japan vying to impress in the cabin as well. Does the new S5 have what it takes to compete?

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Audi S5 Cabriolet.

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2017 Audi A5 Convertible

2017 Audi A5 Convertible

Audi’s new compact coupe loses its top to go against the 4 Series and C-Class convertibles

The second-generation Audi A5 was unveiled in 2016, nearly ten years after the sporty coupe arrived on the market to replace the 90 model. Designed around the A4 sedan, which broke cover in 2015, the new A5 gained more angular body lines, a "Singleframe" grille that’s wider and flatter than before, a modern interior with Audi’s new "continuous air vent strip" design, and a revised engine lineup.

2015 was quite a busy year for Audi, with the Germans launching the Q7, A4 and R8, and 2016 turned out to be just as crowded, with at least as many new vehicles from the Ingolstadt-based company. One such model is the A5 Convertible, which broke cover in early November after many months of testing with camouflaged bodies. Overhauled in order to give the BMW 4 Series Convertible and the brand-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Convertible a run for their money, the A5 drop-top is almost identical to the coupe aside from the soft-top and additional chassis and body reinforcement.

Audi’s new design language, classy interiors, and updated drivetrains should at least make the new A5 a strong competitor in this crowded niche, while the lighter weight and underpinnings make the convertible quicker and more nimble than the previous model. Find out more about all that in my detailed review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Audi A5 Convertible.

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2016 Audi TT Black Edition

2016 Audi TT Black Edition

It’s a UK-exclusive, but that doesn’t mean we can’t admire it from afar

There was a once a time when the Audi TT was in desperate need of a makeover after the previous generation model was running on fumes, having carried the name for Audi for eight years. Everything changed, though, when the third- and current-generation TT finally arrived in 2014. Not only did it bring some much-needed life back to the TT name, it also reinvigorated Audi’s entire sports car lineup. Fast forward to today and the TT remains a relevant force for Audi, so much so that it received the special edition treatment in the form of the TT Black Edition.

Before any of you get excited, it must be noted that the TT Black Edition, together with the other Audi models receiving similar treatment, is only available in the UK. I know, right? Is it too much to ask for American customers to get some special edition love too? Frustrations notwithstanding, the TT is joined in the Black Edition series by the A3 and S3, as well as the S6 and S7 Sportback models, the Q3 SUV, and of course, the TT Roadster.

Most of the upgrades in the TT Black Edition are of the cosmetic variety, but there are some upgrades that are exclusive to the coupe and roadster versions of the TT and TTS. There are no engine modifications, so prospective owners shouldn’t expect anything from the TT’s 2.0-liter turbo engine, which produces 230 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque in standard form. Come to grips with that and the TT Black Edition becomes a lot more desirable.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Audi TT Black Edition.

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2017 - 2018 Audi A3 Convertible

2017 - 2018 Audi A3 Convertible

Audi’s most affordable cabriolet gets a significant facelift

Launched in 2003, the Audi A3 brought new standards to the premium compact market. A step ahead of the competition thanks to its well-equipped interior, state-of-the-art technology, and advanced driving assistance features, the A3 became a popular choice in both Europe and the U.S. Also, the fact that Ingolstadt offered no fewer than four body styles and performance-oriented S models for each of them made the A3 the most complete nameplate in the segment. Almost four years have passed since the third-gen compact went in production and Audi unveiled the facelifted versions of each and every variant of the A3, including the Convertible.

Much like all new vehicles the four-ringed automaker has introduced in 2015, the A3 Convertible received sharper and sportier styling features. Inspired by the design language seen on the new A4, the new A3 Convertible is by far the most aggressive looking compact drop-top Audi has released to date, especially when equipped with the S Line package. But, while the exterior gained updates worthy of a redesign, the interior remained pretty much unchanged, with all the noticeable upgrades operated in the technology department.

More changes occurred under the hood, with two brand-new engines and a dual-clutch transmission on offer. Among them, there’s a 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine, available for the first time on the compact. Audi also developed a more powerful and fuel-efficient 2.0-liter four-banger, which unlike the three-pot, will cross the pond to the U.S. to replace the previous range-topping unit. It won’t get here until 2017, but that gives us enough time to have a in-depth look at Audi’s most affordable cabriolet.

Updated 08/11/2016: Audi announced U.S. prices for the 2017 A3 Convertible which will be put on sale later this year in three trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige. Details on the "Prices" section below.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Audi A3 Convertible.

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2017 - 2018 Audi R8 Spyder

2017 - 2018 Audi R8 Spyder

Audi’s V-10-powered supercar loses its top

Launched in 2007, the first-generation Audi R8 was so successful that the German brand decided to keep it around for no fewer than eight model years. The Spyder, on the other hand, is a bit younger than that, having been unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show for the 2010 model year.

At first only available with the 5.2-liter V-10, the convertible also received the 4.2-liter V-8 for 2011, and a limited-edition GT model for 2012. With the second-generation R8 already in dealerships, Audi introduced the redesigned Spyder version at the 2016 New York Auto Show.

Much like its predecessor, the second-generation R8 Spyder is essentially a topless version of the R8 Coupe,using a soft-top instead of metal roof. Specs are obviously identical, meaning there’s no longer a V-8 engine and a manual transmission. Audi has yet to confirm whether the R8 Spyder will also get an e-tron version, but an all-electric drop-top is very likely to arrive by the end of 2016.

Audi’s new angular design works well with the R8 Spyder’s convertible layout and the performance is definitely strong, but does it have what it takes to compete against the bonkers Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet and McLaren’s upcoming 570S Spider? Keep reading to find out.

Update 12/12/2018: We’ve updated this review with pictures taken at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Check them out in the gallery at the bottom of the page!

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2018 Audi RS5 Cabriolet

2018 Audi RS5 Cabriolet

No top for sun and a speed dose for fun

Back in 2007, Audi made its return to the high-end compact coupe segment with the A5, offering a hardtop, cabriolet, and four-door “Sportback” bodystyle. Bearing many similarities to the A4 sedan, the A5 stood apart thanks to its significantly sportier feel, making it a prime candidate for a go-faster S5 variant. But as Audi’s chief rivals upped the ante with ever-increasing performance levels, the Four Ring brand was compelled to create the top dog RS5. Boasting more aggressive styling, snappier suspension, and of course, more power, the RS5 had all the trimmings to meet its AMG and M division challengers. Initially offered as a coupe, the RS5 went topless in 2012 following a mid-cycle facelift, hitting U.S. dealers in April of 2013. Unfortunately, production ended in 2015, but now, a next-gen RS5 Cabriolet looks like it’s just over the horizon. Official details are still forthcoming, but we’re expecting a massaged exterior, new interior tech, and a turbo V-6.

While nothing at this point is official, the new RS5 Cabriolet is expected to drop cover after a reveal of the next-gen RS5 Coupe, which was recently spotted testing following the debut of the new A5 and S5.

Audi aficionados with a penchant for adrenaline-boosted open-air motoring have no doubt been clamoring to catch a glimpse of the new model, but without anything official to go on, we drew up a rendering, did a little digging, and came up with the following speculative review. Read on for the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Audi RS5 Cabriolet.

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2018 Audi TT-RS Roadster

2018 Audi TT-RS Roadster

Audi unveils the TT-RS Coupe and Roadster at the Beijing Auto Show

In March of 2016 we were looking at the most recent spy shots of the upcoming Audi TT-RS Roadster, and with the kickoff of the Beijing Auto Show, we’re finally getting to see the car in the metal. The Roadster is a pretty big departure from its predecessor. Highlights include new styling up front, new Matric OLED lights available in the rear, a cockpit that is focused on the driver, and – more importantly – an updated 2.5-liter that promises to bring a 60-horsepower improvement over the previous model. The new TT-RS Roadster hits showrooms in Europe as early as fall of 2016 and will have a starting price of €69,200 – $77,873 at current exchange rates.

Originally, we expected to see the TT-RS Coupe debut at the New York Auto Show and the TT-RS Roadster to come later on at the Paris Auto Show in October. Audi threw us all for a loop, however, and decided to pull the sheet off both at the Beijing Auto Show. Since we’ve been itching to see the Roadster like there is no tomorrow, join me on a stroll down the page as we talk about the new TT-RS Roadster in detail. There are some exciting things to talk about, if you’re an Audi fan, that is.

Updated 04/25/2016: Audi unveiled the new TT RS at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Audi TT-RS Roadster.

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2017 Audi S3 Cabriolet

2017 Audi S3 Cabriolet

Audi put some serious work into the S3’s facelift.

Here in the U.S., we would love to get our hands on the Audi RS3, but for one reason or another, we just aren’t worthy of such greatness. Instead, we have to settle for lesser compact models from Audi. Sure there is the A3, but that’s a little too bland for some of us, which is why we were so excited when the S3 came to the States for 2015. The S3 entered its third generation in 2013, which means the 2017 model year is about the right time for a mid-cycle update and update Audi did.

That last sentence may influence you to think there are some radical changes to talk about, and in some ways there are, but for the most part, the updates were pretty mild. We do have some new technology to talk about, some new safety features, and even some drivetrain upgrades that will keep us happy until Audi can enlighten us with a fourth-generation model. Furthermore, most of the front end has been updated to bring a sleeker and sexier looking cabriolet to the masses.

For now, we’ve only seen the European specifications for the updated S3, but it should give us a good idea of what will be coming to U.S. shores, if the cabriolet actually makes it here. With competition like the BMW M235i lurking in the waters, Audi has some pretty stiff competition to keep up with. Do this new updates bring enough to the table to satisfy consumers enough to draw them toward the four rings? Well, let’s take a look and see.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Audi S3 Cabriolet.

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2016 Audi TT Roadster

2016 Audi TT Roadster

The Audi TT hit the market initially as a coupe in 1998, but a convertible model followed the next year. The original TT featured a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that laid down 180 horsepower. In 2001, a 225-horsepower TT quattro debuted, and a 250-horsepower version with a 3.2-liter V-6 arrived in 2004.

The model hit its second generation in 2006, and it featured a more aggressive body language and a weight loss of up to 200 pounds. With the second generation coming to a close, we are now starting to see the 2016 Audi TT make a slow debut around the globe. The European market will see the third-generation TT in time for the 2014 model year, but the U.S. may not see it until the 2016 model year. And the convertible version rolled out even later. On September 24, 2014, Audi finally unveiled the TT Roadster in time for its long-awaited debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.

Updated 05/06/2015: Audi announces U.S. prices for the new generation TT which will be put on sale later this summer. As expected, the Roadster version will be a little bit more expensive than the coupe, with prices starting from $46,400.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Audi TT Roadster

Model year note: The TT Roadster is a 2015 model year in Germany, but for the U.S. it will be a 2016 model year.

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2014 Audi S3 2.0 TFSI quattro By MTM

2014 Audi S3 2.0 TFSI quattro By MTM

I had once the privilege of driving a buddy’s Audi S3. It was a few years ago and while my memory’s admittedly hazy of the circumstances behind it, I do remember feeling a little woozy after that encounter. The S3’s a powerful little sucker that much I can tell you. I can only imagine how the S3 would feel like with this aftermarket program from MTM on the table.

The German tuner has a history of bringing out the best in Audis. Whether its the A1 or the R8, there’s probably an MTM program for it. This time, though, it’s the S3 that takes the spotlight, thanks to a measured tuning upgrade that doesn’t pull any punches.

Don’t expect any aesthetic improvements here. MTM built the program with power and efficiency in mind so it’s all meat, bones, and all that dirty stuff under the hood. The good news is that the tuner’s kit will be available across all variants of the S3. Whether it’s the saloon, cabriolet, sportback, there’s enough MTM love to go around.

All together, an MTM-tuned Audi S3 will cost €62,000, which is about $83,000 based on the exchange rates on 8/4/2014. The kit itself retails for €13,000 ($17,400) so you can have the choice of paying just for that, or for the entire thing, S3 included.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi S3 2.0 TFSI quattro By MTM.

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2014 Audi R8 V-8 by K.MAN

2014 Audi R8 V-8 by K.MAN

The industry is full of so many aftermarket companies that it’s hard to keep track of all of them. I admittedly don’t know all of them, including, at least up to this point, German tuning company K.MAN. The company used to call itself Chiptrick, which is actually a more memorable name than K.MAN, but that’s besides the point. What’s important is that K.MAN has developed a three-stage program for the Audi R8 V-8 that affords customers the opportunity to enjoy the speed and power of the R8 V-8’s big brother — the R8 V-10 — without having to actually bump up to the V-10-powered supercar.

K.Man’s three-stage program offers incredible increases in power that transforms the R8 V-8 into a fire-breathing monster that can go toe-to-toe with some of the most powerful exotics on the market. That’s an impressive achievement for an aftermarket company that doesn’t carry a household name.

Apart from the obvious performance upgrades, K.MAN’s program for the R8 also comes with some carbon-fiber bodywork and an exclusive set of wheels. These modifications will only be offered at the request of buyers and are still subject to availability.

That’s not an issue for me, especially when there’s a chance to score any one of these engine upgrades that can improve the R8 V-8’s output to as much as 750 horsepower.

Welcome to my life, K.MAN. Hell of a way to introduce yourself.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi R8 By K.MAN.

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2014 Audi A3 1.4 TFSI Cabriolet Ultra

2014 Audi A3 1.4 TFSI Cabriolet Ultra

Audi is adding to the number of A3 models that are available with the very efficient 1.4-liter, I-4, TFSI engine currently sipping gasoline in Europe. The impressive powertrain is now available in the four-door sedan, three-door hatch, five-door Sportback, and of course, the Cabriolet pictured above.

Audi is offering the engine with a choice of transmissions: standard six-speed manual or seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch. The highly engineered mechanics inside the engine allow for outstanding fuel efficiency to the tune of nearly 50 mpg on the European combined cycle. The engine’s carbon footprint is equally impressive, emitting only 175.4 grams of C02 per mile.

Though the engine does well at sipping fuel, it lacks somewhat on power. Its horsepower rating is listed at 150 and it propels the car to 62 mph in an underwhelming 8.1 seconds. Then again, 50 mpg is a pretty solid trade off for losing nearly every light-to-light drag race.

If torque is what’s needed, Audi also offers the 1.6-liter, TDI engine in the A3 Ultra. Making 110 horsepower, the turbo diesel consumes fuel at the sparse rate of 71.3 mpg. Its clean-diesel technology also keeps it from cutting holes in the atmosphere, emitting only 141.6 grams per mile. The TDI is available in both the four-door sedan and three-door hatchback versions.

Sadly, it seems Audi will be keeping these fuel-efficient models away from these United States, likely due to regulations and red tape.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi A3 1.4 TFSI Cabriolet Ultra.

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