The Audi RS 5 has just gone on sale, and we’ve even had a chance to drive one, but now the covers have come off a new convertible version, which will be presented to the public for the first time at the 2012 Paris Auto Show later this month. Combining brute performance with an elegant convertible body, the new Audi RS 5 Cabriolet is sure to be one of the most sought after drop-tops around when it arrives next year.

The drivetrain package is identical to that of the RS 5 coupe, with power coming from a naturally-aspirated 4.2-liter V-8 rated at 450 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. Drive is sent to a standard quattro all-wheel drive system via a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission, the only gearbox available on the RS 5 line, and in its most potent setting the new RS 5 Cabrio will rocket from 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds.

That’s slightly off the pace of the coupe’s 4.5 seconds, though this is understandable given the convertible’s slightly heavier mass, due to extra strengthening of the body required by the missing roof. According to Audi, each of the car’s 450 horses has around 9.41 pounds to lug around. Top speed is 174 mph, which is the same as the in coupe.

Like its more mundane A5 and S5 Cabrio siblings, the RS 5 Cabrio makes do with an automated folding soft-top. This spans a well-appointed four-seat cabin and can be lowered in just 15 seconds, even when driving at speeds of up to 31 mph.

By going with a conventional soft-top design, the RS 5 Cabrio only loses around 2.12 cubic feet of trunk space with the roof down. Raise this, and trunk space measures in at 13.42 cubic feet. Additionally, the split rear seatbacks can be folded for extra storage, and a load-through opening is available for those longer items.

First sales of the 2013 Audi RS 5 Cabriolet begin in Europe early next year, and with any luck the cars will be on sale in local showrooms in time for summer.

(c) 2012, High Gear Media.