AN OPEN-AND-SHUT CASE FOR AUDI A5

What could be better than a panoramic sunroof? Try no roof at all. Audi seemingly has got this and has added a cabriolet – a coupe-style car with a folding top – to its latest A5 range. The result is the new Audi A5 Cabriolet 45 TFSI quattro S line.

The A5 was once described by legendary Audi designer Walter de Silva as the ‘the most beautiful car I’ve ever designed’ and the new A5 Coupe, Sportback and Cabriolet build on the original’s timeless elegance, incorporating the latest Audi design language.

All models boast the Audi S line exterior package, with prices starting at $71,900, plus on-road costs, for the A5 Sportback 40 TFSI, with the range topping out at $93,400 for the A5 Cabriolet 45 TFSI quattro S line. The test vehicle was the latter with metallic paint, extended upholstery package and inlays in natural grey oak upping the total to $96,690.

The new A5 Sportback, A5 Coupe and A5 Cabriolet are offered with the comprehensive Audi service plan package for $1800 for three years or $2820 for five years.

STYLING
The Audi single frame grille has a thicker frame than the previous model. There is a honeycomb insert, with ventilation slots above that are a nod to the iconic 1984 Sport quattro. A bold blade forms the lower edge of the bumper, which features larger air inlets.

Vertical bars divide the inlets into two zones, the air stream flowing through the outer zone into the wheel arches with little disturbance. A redesigned sill tapering towards the middle makes the car appear slimmer from the side.

The rear has a wider look than previously, the result of a new diffuser insert, enclosing two trapezoidal exhaust tailpipes. A chrome strip above extends over the entire width.

INTERIOR
Luxury with a sporting edge is the byword, with A5 Cabrio cabin surfaces in gloss black and aluminium trim and leather upholstery, sport front seats and multifunction leather steering wheel with shift paddles underlining an athletic character.

Additional comfort is supplied by electric seats with four-way lumbar support, ambient interior lighting, keyless entry and start and three-zone climate control air-conditioning.

Wireless mobile phone charging, two USB outlets in the front with charging and connectivity, stand alongside two rear USB outlets with charging functions. The new A5 range is also fitted with an Audi sound system (10 speakers, 180W with subwoofer) and digital radio DAB+.

INFOTAINMENT
The renowned Audi virtual cockpit provides access to information via the new 10.1-inch high-resolution MMI touch display and voice-activated driving, infotainment and connectivity functions through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Audi Connect Plus seamlessly integrates online traffic, weather conditions, fuel prices, parking information and Google Maps into the A4 driving experience, while the myAudi smartphone app includes remote lock / unlock, destination send-to-car function, service request, emergency call and more, thanks to an embedded SIM card.

ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
The new A5 makes use of two 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines – TFSI petrol engine variants equipped with 12V mild-hybrid technology, reducing official consumption by 0.3 litres per 100 kilometres.

The entry-level variant, the A5 40 TFSI, is powered by a 2.0 TFSI engine, producing 140 kW and 320 Nm, while the A5 45 TFSI quattro is the top performer, producing 183 kW and 370 Nm.

All are served by a seven-speed S tronic automatic transmission, while the A5 45 TFSI puts power to ground via Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system.

Audi drive select with five option modes – efficiency, comfort, auto dynamic and individual – relates the car’s operating systems to the differing conditions.

SAFETY
Park Assist is on hand for easing into difficult spaces, 360-degree cameras provide all-round visibility, adaptive cruise control with stop & go and traffic jam assist, exit warning, rear cross-traffic assist, adjustable speed limiter and lane change warning detections – including side assist, are also included.
Additional standard safety features include hold assist and Audi pre-sense city and Audi pre-sense rear autonomous emergency braking, plus four airbags for the Cabriolet, and tyre pressure loss indicator.

DRIVING
The case for a Cabriolet is open and shut: Top-down driving, cooking under the hot summer sun is one side; the other, with the rag top up, is a cool and calm environment thanks to a well-insulated cloth roof.

However, that’s not the full story. Take the A5 Cabriolet out to the back roads on a nippy clear winter’s night, drop the top, switch the heating on full, directed at the footwell, and luxuriate under the stars. Neck heating is available via a seatback vent, while a wind deflector keeps cabin turbulence to a minimum.

The automatic folding hood can open in 15-seconds at speeds of up to 50 km/h. With the roof open, the boot affords 370 litres of luggage space, extended with the split rear seats folded 50:50. On the downside, rear-seat knee room is sparse, putting the four-seater close to 2+2 territory.

The 2.0-litre engine takes the car from rest to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds. With help from 12V mild hybrid technology this is claimed to result in combined fuel consumption of 7.4 litres per 100 kilometres. The test car fitted the bill with figures of a tad over 10 litres in town and 5.5 on the motorway.

The seven-speed S tronic shifts were so smooth as to be unrecognisable without watching the shift indicator in the instrument panel, while the quattro all-wheel drive and responsive steering kept the car on a steady course under myriad road conditions.

SUMMARY
The A5 Cabriolet is a drop top with the luxuries and specification of one of the company’s most popular premium passenger vehicles. The three-year warranty seems miserly in the present generation of cars.

AT A GLANCE

MODEL LINE-UP
A5 2.0 40 TFSI S-line: $84,800
A5 2.0 45 TFSI quattro S-line: $93,000
S5 3.0 quattro: $120,000
Options:
Metallic paint : $1990
Upholstery package: $780
Inlays in oak, natural grey $520
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Audi dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Audi A5 Cabriolet 2.0L TFSI Turbo 4-cylinder petrol 7sp automatic quattro convertible)

ENGINE:
Capacity: 1.984 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 183 kW @ 5000-6500 rpm
Maximum Torque: 370 Nm @ 1600-4300 rpm
Fuel Type: Petrol 98 RON
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 7.4 L/100km

DRIVELINE: Seven-speed S tronic automatic, Quattro

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4697 mm
Wheelbase: 2770 mm
Width: 1846 mm
Height: 1384 mm
Turning Circle: 11.5 metres
Kerb Mass: 1810 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 58 litres

BRAKES:
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc

STANDARD WARRANTY:
Three years / unlimited kilometres

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