On Location: 4 Days at the Audi Forum Ingolstadt (Part 4), Including the Audi RS 5 Cabriolet!
by, 11-03-2011 at 01:35 PM (16138 Views)
Thus far this week, we've posted galleries from three recent visits to the Audi Forum Ingolstadt on October 18 , October 20 and October 21 . Hitting the same place in just such a short amount of time, we'd expected to begin to see the same old same old... and were quite surprised when we were wrong. Our fourth and final visit (for now), came about a week later on October 27 when we visited the Audi Forum to celebrate the 10 millionth B-segment Audi (think 80 and A4). We've already posted some shots of the new facelifted Audi A4 that we got a sneak peek of that day but that was just one of the highlights from this particular visit.
Making our usual stroll through the underground visitor parking garage, we were surprised to see first one then a second of those "RS 5 Cabriolets" that have been spotted. These cars, seemingly an S5 Cabriolet with RS 5 chin, have been spotted before and we recently published some spy photos. It seems every time we do though that we are met with a bunch of skeptics. Yes, the cars have the RS 5 chin (which looks really good BTW and something we'd consider if we owned an S5), but are they really RS 5 mules?
Given the skepticism, encountering two of them in the garage gave us the opportunity to take a closer look. And on the surface of it, that chin was the only telltale clue. Even the exhausts are quad - decidedly S5 spec and not that of an RS 5.
Then we looked closer. Underneath the 20-inch wheels (optional kit for the S5), we did notice "RS 5" badging on the car's brakes. While that doesn't prove much, this indicates larger brakes and hubs... critical as the new supercharged S5s won't share any of that.
Remembering the Audi S1 mule we spotted the previous week, we also took a look inside the cabin.
Consistent with the S1 mule, these cars both had RS 5 instrument clusters. RS 5 watchers may note that the piano black trim doesn't surround (not that this is critical), but you'll see in our gallery that the second black RS 5 Cabriolet prototype even had this piano black dash trim. For the record, these cars also had a "quattro GmbH" license plate frame even though it sported IN (Ingolstadt) plates.
While we never had a chance to pop the hood and look underneath, we're positive these were early semi-disguised RS 5 Cabriolet mules. Expect a full production one with details by 2012.
Another interesting car in the garage was this early Type 8J (Mk2) TT parked in a dark corner of the garage. Painted pearl white and sporting red Audi Ceramic Brakes and an interesting recessed TT graphic on the lower valance (closeup of these in in the gallery), we're wondering if this was one of Rupert Stadler's cars. Stadler likes metallic whites and we've never encountered this car in the past though we have encountered similarly kitted TTs that were attributed to Stadler.
Though it's not coming to the States before a planned facelift, the Q5 hybrid is already on sale in Europe. We spotted a few of these in and around the forum on multiple days but this particular one from a local Audi Zentrum grabbed our attention beyond the big graphics. This is the first S-line spec Q5 hybrid we've seen and we like the overall package, especially with optional Black Optic appearance package.
Speaking of S5 Cabriolets, we also encountered this candy-coated example from Audi Exclusive. We're guessing the color isn't for everyone.
Also, in case you're wondering about how the old and the new S5 designs look, we found two Cabriolets parked next to each other and fired off a couple of shots. What might sometimes seem like a subtle refreshening really is quite different when you look at them side by side. Again, more pics are in the gallery.
Meanwhile in the Audi Collection store, we also noticed a new addition to the 1:43 scale model display in the form of the new Audi S7. This is a resin model as is often the case with the S-car offerings, meaning it's just a bit more expensive (109 Euros) than the Minichamps based regular and RS cars. We also spotted it already in stock and for sale at the Audi Forum in the Munich airport as well.
Check out the full gallery from our fourth visit after the jump.