2010 Audi A5 Cabriolet Road Test Review

Arv Voss - CAP staff
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With the introduction of the A5 and S5 Cabriolet, Audi replaces both the A4 and S4 Cabriolet models. The 2010 A5 Cabriolet will be offered in two distinctive levels: the A5 Cabriolet 2.0T Tiptronic quattro that begins at $56,300 and the S5 that leaves the gate starting at $68,300. Both models feature an innovative cloth acoustic roof that stows in a class-leading 15 seconds at speeds of up to 50 kilometers per hour.  The top is lighter than a retractable hard top and not only improves driving dynamics, but lowers the centre of gravity and increases fuel efficiency. 

The A5 and S5 Cabriolet feature the latest safety features expected from a modern German luxury four-seat convertible, including active roll bars, front airbags, knee airbags, seat-mounted side head/chest airbags, and electronic stability control.  Several innovations are featured, including rear passenger reading lights built into the cloth roof and 50/50 flat-folding rear seats.  The new Cabriolets also come with available neck-level heating built into the front seats, enabling a longer top-down motoring season.  Front seatbelt presenters put the belts well within reach as a convenience and safety feature, while ensuring effortless entry or exit. 

Power for the A5 Cabriolet comes from a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. In the US there are two transmission variants when equipped with the 2.0-litre four cylinder: a continuously variable transmission (Multitronic) that drives the front wheels or a six-speed Tiptronic automatic with manual shift capability that transfers motive force to all four wheels via Audi's quattro permanent all-wheel drive system; in Canada only the latter is offered. The S5 draws its power from a potent 333 horsepower, 3.0-litre supercharged V6, which is coupled to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission transferring energy to all four wheels via quattro. Top speed for the four-banger is limited to 210 km/h (130 mph), while the V6 can reach a limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). 

The Cabriolet's exterior displays a low and muscular persona, featuring an extended roofline and sharply carved contours that guide the eye along its aerodynamic form. Capitalizing on the styling elements that define a sports coupe, the A5 exudes performance and elegance with a tall shoulder line and steeply raked windshield. The instantly identifiable Audi single-frame grille dominates the front of the car, while purposeful LED taillights illuminate the rear. The hood is long and sloping, with bold and muscular fender lines defining the profile. The look immediately hints at the performance capability of the chassis, as well as the stability of the quattro all-wheel drive system.  The look of the S5 Cabriolet is even sportier. 

Moving inside (which is really part of the outside with the top down), the ergonomics are aimed at the comfort of both the driver and passengers, with attractive shapes and forms executed in rich quality materials, with infinite attention to detail and craftsmanship. Audi's next generation "Multi Media Interface" system is also featured, with a host of innovative informational formats. 

Note that there are several coupe models available as well in the A5 and S5 lineup, but with the added allure of the Cabriolet's fresh air offering, who wants a fixed roof? 

My test Cabriolet was the A5 Premium edition sporting an Ibis White finish with a Brown cloth top, while the interior was done in Cardamom Beige with Almond Beige Ash polished wood accents.  The upgraded Premium sticker read $58,300. 

The A5 Cabriolet is an open-air tourer that doesn't fall short on visual appeal, creature comforts or conveniences. It's also reasonably priced to start with, considering what it comes with in terms of standard equipment and features.  Individual needs and tastes are key, of course, but the A5 is completely satisfying in its base form. 

In terms of performance, the turbo four has plenty of punch to satisfy most motorists. The Tiptronic gearbox also performs admirably and smoothly if one wishes to change gears manually. The ride quality is firm, but not to the point of being uncomfortable.  It is certainly more compliant than the S5.  The A5 is exceptionally nimble, even more so with the Sport Suspension calibration that you may select via a console switch. 

When prodded hard, the A5 Cabriolet's exhaust note is quite pleasing without being raucous. Bottom line, the A5 Cabriolet delivers on all levels: visual appeal, performance capabilities and luxury. 

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Convertible, Audi, 2010, A5 Cabriolet, S5 Cabriolet, $50,000 - $74,999,

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