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Cabriolet completes Audi A5 trio

Roaring 40s: With revised construction methods, the next-gen topless A5 is 40kg lighter and 40 per cent stiffer.

Audi A5 Cabriolet follows siblings with improved economy, performance, kit


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7 Nov 2016

AUDI has revealed a third body style for its elegant new A5 and S5 range, with a two-door convertible completing the three-model line-up alongside the hard-top coupe and five-door Sportback.

Set to make its debut at the Los Angeles motor show later this month, the new-generation A5/S5 Cabriolet has emerged, as expected, with styling and technology shared with its tin-topped coupe sibling including the flatter and wider ‘single frame’ grille, sculpted bonnet, piercing headlights and flurry of driver assistance, luxury and safety features.

Audi Australia has not yet confirmed an exact arrival date for the third A5 body style, but has confirmed it will touch down locally before 2017 is out, following the A5 Coupe and Sportback that land in the middle of the year.

Like its predecessor, the second-generation A5 Cabriolet has a power-operated folding fabric roof that opens in 15 seconds and closes in 18 seconds at speeds of up to 50km/h, and has been engineered to offer better noise and heat insulation.

Despite the removal of the roof panel, Audi says it has maintained good chassis stiffness and driveability with the addition of extra struts and reinforced sills.

With its additional bracing, the new convertible is 40 per cent more rigid than the outgoing A5 Cabriolet and is the stiffest in its class, according to the car-maker.

Continued development of lightweight aluminium alloy blends and construction techniques have scrubbed up to 40kg from the convertible’s weight, with the 2.0 TDI version tipping the scales at 1690kg.

Australian specification, timing and pricing is not yet finalised, but in Germany the cabrio will be launched with a choice of four engines headlined by the supercharged 3.0-litre V6 under the bonnet of the S5 flagship.

Entry-level drop-tops use a 2.0-litre TFSI petrol four-cylinder with 185kW, a mid-range TDI diesel of the same displacement and induction has 140kW, while a six-cylinder diesel rounds out the A5 Cabriolet line-up with 160kW.

S5 versions carry over the same engine that powered the previous fruity drop-top albeit with an extra dose of 15kW, taking power up to 260kW and torque to 500Nm.

Unlike the A5 Sportback, no mention is made of a g-tron dual-fuel or e-tron hybrid powertrain option for the convertible, although it is possible the yet-to-be-confirmed RS5 will get an electrified drivetrain in place of the high-revving 4.2-litre V8.

Performance and fuel economy figures for Australian vehicles are largely under wraps for now but the German car-maker reports that the range is up to 22 per cent more frugal than the previous A5, up to 17 per cent more powerful, and that the S5 Cabriolet will accelerate from 0-100km/h in 5.1 seconds.

Following the initial line-up, Audi will introduce a beefier V6 diesel with 210kW as well as a more accessible 140kW version of the 2.0-litre TFSI, which is likely to replace the current 1.8-litre base A5.

In Europe, Audi will offer a six-speed manual gearbox and seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch or eight-speed automatic transmission for all variants except the S5, which has the latter as standard.

Depending on the variant, the model will be offered with either front-wheel drive or with power sent to all four corners courtesy of the company’s trademark quattro system.

An updated five-link front suspension set-up is standard fare while a new five-link system replaces the rear trapezoidal-link design of the previous A5.

Adaptive dampers and variable-ratio ‘dynamic steering’ are optional.

Audi’s proliferating Virtual Cockpit has now also found its way into the A5 Cabriolet, bringing the centrepiece 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster, which is complemented by a second 7.0-inch dash-mounted screen and optional head-up display.

Up to 30 driver assistance systems are available for the A5 Cabriolet, which Audi says paves the way for ‘piloted driving’, including adaptive cruise control with operation in stop-start traffic, collision avoidance with steering assistance, parking assistance, lane monitoring, road sign recognition and rear cross-traffic assistance.

Microphones woven into the front seatbelts allow occupants to communicate via a connected smartphone and use voice controls even with the roof open, with the close-proximity devices reducing the amount of wind noise compared to roof-mounted receivers.

Top-of-the-range MMI Navigation Plus brings a bigger 8.3-inch central screen, DVD drive, 10GB hard drive, internet access and web-based applications and Wi-Fi hot spot. The new A5 Cabriolet also introduces wireless phone charging and an optional Bang & Olufsen sound system with 19 speakers and a beefy 755W.

With the top in place, all versions get a 380-litre boot which can be expanded into the interior via a 50:50 folding second-row seat. The boot can be optioned with gesture control which allows owners to pop the automatic hatch with a kicking action.

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