Audi has introduced two versions of the 4,3-litre V8-engined S4 Cabriolet in South Africa. With 253 kW on tap and the hood down, the S4 ragtop could blast toupeés from the endangered- to extinct species list!

Audi has introduced two versions of the 4,3-litre V8-engined S4 Cabriolet in South Africa. With 253 kW on tap and the hood down, the S4 ragtop could blast toupeés from the endangered- to extinct species list.


The introduction of the models were right on schedule. In March, Audi SA spokesman Rudi Venter told CARtoday.com: "The S4 cabriolet is likely to be launched in South Africa by the third quarter of the year." Venter’s suggested prices for the S4 ragtop of between R550 000 and R600 000 was right on the, um, money too… The six-speed manual S4 Cabriolet costs R588 000 and the six-speed tiptronic automatic version R599 500. Both prices include a five-year or 100 000 km Freeway maintenance plan.


The S4 Cabriolet can be distinguished from other A4 cabriolet models by the large air inlets in the bumper, titanium-coloured surrounds for the xenon headlights, aluminium-finish outside mirror housings, a pair of enlarged tailpipes (one on each side) and S design 18-inch cast aluminium wheels.


Inside, the instrument cluster has grey dials and three-spoke leather-covered sports steering wheel with S emblem. There is a choice of carbon fibre, piano finish, brushed aluminium and birch wood for the inlays. The Alcantara/leather sports seats are electrically adjustable (including thigh support).


An automatic electro-hydraulic hood, consisting three layers of cloth, closes in under 30 seconds and the side windows move down and up again to aid the process. No locking handle needs to be to be released manually or tonneau cover to be detached.


But the biggest difference between the S4 ragtop and its A4 siblings lies under the bonnet: The Audi S4 Cabriolet's 4,3-litre V8 engine develops 253 kW at 7 000 r/min and 410 N.m of torque at 3 500 r/min. And according to Audi, the sporty cabriolet will sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 5,9 seconds and reach an electronically-governed top speed of 250 km/h.


A six-speed tiptronic transmission with dynamic shift, additional Sport program and shift paddles on the steering wheel will be offered as an optional extra.


Under the skin, the S4 Cabriolet's chassis is made from lightweight aluminium and carries four-link front and trapezoidal-link rear suspension. The Ingolstadt firm's famed premanent four-wheel drive (quattro) system is standard.


The steering column mounting has an additional support, with the module cross-member linked to the cross-beam below the windscreen and high-strength and ultra-high-strength panels account for more than fifty per cent of the body's weight. A bolted-on subframe at the front, with additional diagonal struts at the front and rear, further reinforces the body, Audi said.


By virtue of structural reinforcements in the sills, a strengthening cross-member below the rear seat and special impact absorbing beams in the doors, the S4 cabriolet is said to have the same level of crash resistance as the S4 saloon.


In terms of safety, the S4 Cabriolet’s seat belts have belt-force limiter and tensioners. There are full-size front and side airbags, the latter integrated into the front seats for head and thorax protection.


In the event of a rollover, an active protection system in the double rear bulkhead will be activated. Two protective bars, controlled by sensors, are triggered behind the rear passengers within milliseconds. The electronic stabilisation program ESP and ABS with hydraulic brake assist is standard.

Original article from Car