Double-hit torsion tests were performed in order to study the effect of high Al levels (up to 2 wt.%) and Nb microalloying (up to 0.07 wt.%) on the static softening kinetics of 0.2%C-2%Mn steels. The addition of 1%Al leads to a delay in the softening kinetics due to solute-drag effect, equivalent to that exerted by 0.027%Nb. For the 2%Al steels, at temperatures below 1000 degrees C, gamma -> alpha phase transformation occurs after deformation, resulting in a larger retardation of the softening kinetics. At temperatures higher than 1000 degrees C, Nb in solid solution also contributes to the retardation of the static softening kinetics, and at lower temperatures NbC strain-induced precipitation leads to incomplete softening for the 1%Al steel, and to a complex interaction between softening, phase transformation, and NbC strain-induced precipitation for the 2%Al-Nb steels. The effect of Al on the static softening kinetics was quantified and introduced in a model developed in previous works for the prediction of the austenite microstructural evolution. In order to validate the results of the model, multipass torsion tests were carried out at conditions representative of hot strip and plate rolling mills. Model predictions show reasonable agreement with the results obtained at different deformation conditions.