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First drive: Two pots down and Audi S5 loses its head

You sixy thing: The Audi S5 Cabriolet gets a supercharged V6 in place of the Coupe's V8.

Audi’s four-seater S5 Cabriolet ditches the coupe’s V8 for a supercharged V6

15 Dec 2009

AUDI has released a topless version of its S5 performance coupe, with a fabric roof that falls in 15 seconds, erects again in 17s flat, and can do it while travelling up to 50km/h.

But while the hardtop version uses a 260kW/440Nm 4.2-litre FSI V8 petrol engine, the S5 Cabriolet – on sale now from $138,100 – ditches two cylinders for a supercharged TFSI V6 unit. We expect the S5 Coupe to follow suit sometime towards the end of next year when the range receives a midlife makeover.

Driving all four wheels via Audi’s Torsen differential quattro all-wheel drive system, this 2995cc 3.0-litre V6 engine has a power peak of 245kW between 5500 and 7000rpm and 440Nm of torque from 2900 and 5300 rpm.

The only gearbox on offer for the time being is a seven-speed S-tronic dual clutch system with paddle shifters that Audi used to refer to as a DSG transmission. The S5 Cabriolet joins an increasing number of models to marry S-tronic with a longitudinal drivetrain application.

The Ingolstadt company claims the four-seater ragtop races from zero to 100km/h in 5.6 seconds, on its way to an electronically limited 250km/h. Conversely it returns 9.7 litres per 100km and has a carbon dioxide emissions footprint of 227 grams per kilometre.

Central to the S5 Cabriolet’s performance is a new supercharger application, sited in the space between the two banks of cylinders to pressurise the direct-injection V6 to up to 0.8 bar. Audi says that two downstream intercoolers reduce the temperature of the compressed intake air.

7 center imageLike all of Audi’s B8-series based models, this car employs the MLB (Modulare Längsbaukasten) architecture, with the front wheels pushed further forward than in previous longitudinally engined models to create a more favourable front-to-rear weight balance.

Suspension is via a five-link front-end design and a trapezoidal-link rear end set-up, and is in a sports state of tune (lower and stiffer) to differentiate the S5 Cabriolet from the regular A5 Cabriolet introduced in August.

Steering is via a speed sensitive Servotronic rack and pinion device.

Design-wise, the S5 Cabriolet differs from the A5 soft top by its revised bumpers, front spoiler, rear diffuser and sill trims, four exhaust pipes, aluminium exterior mirror casings and unique alloy wheels.

The latter are 18-inch cast aluminium items shod with 245/40 tyres.

Standard features include electric front seats, Alcantara leather trim, Audi’s MMI Navigation Plus, Xenon Plus high intensity discharge headlights, LED daytime driving lights, a keyless entry and start system, electric and heated front seats, cruise control, parking radar and an electrically operated soft top with the company’s ‘acoustic’ sound deadening material (14mm of extra foam).

The S5 Cabriolet serves as a replacement for the B7 A4-based S4 Cabriolet sold in Australia from April 2005 to January 2008.

Also a quattro AWD, that car used a 253kW/410Nm 4.2-litre V8 mated to a six-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox.

Audi A5 S5 Cabriolet pricing
S5 Cabriolet $138,100

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