The all-new Audi A5 Cabri­o­let – open to new ideas

Malta Independent - - MOTORING ON TUESDAY - Edited by John Peel

The com­ple­ment is now full once again – the all-new suc­ces­sor to the Audi A5 Cabri­o­let re­joins the re­cently launched Coupé and five-door Sport­back mod­els this week to bring the range noted for de­liv­er­ing every­day ver­sa­til­ity with un­al­loyed el­e­gance back to full strength. And on the sub­ject of strength, the S5 Cabri­o­let pow­ered by the same, brand new 3.0litre TFSI engine seen first in the lat­est S5 Coupé and S5 Sport­back also makes its de­but si­mul­ta­ne­ously, bring­ing 354PS, 500Nm of torque and quat­tro-en­hanced agility to the fore.

Strik­ing shoul­der line, clas­sic soft top: the ex­te­rior

The de­sign­ers went with the sleek lines of the Coupé for the styling of the new Audi A5 Cabri­o­let. The rear win­dow is now flat­ter and em­pha­sises the rak­ish stance, as do the short over­hangs and the long wrap­around bon­net with its power dome. With a length of 4,673 mil­lime­tres the new A5 Cabri­o­let is 47 mil­lime­tres longer than its pre­de­ces­sor.

The clas­sic soft top fits per­fectly and de­liv­ers out­stand­ing aeroa­cous­tics thanks to ef­fec­tive in­su­la­tion. The new one-touch open­ing func­tion makes op­er­at­ing the stan­dard acous­tic hood much eas­ier: a flick of the switch is all it takes to open the soft top fully au­to­mat­i­cally in 15 sec­onds or close it in 18 sec­onds at speeds of up to 31mph.

The nose is dom­i­nated by a three-di­men­sional Sin­gle-frame grille which is much flat­ter and wider than be­fore. The wave­shaped shoul­der line – a hall­mark styling fea­ture of the en­tire A5 fam­ily – makes the A5 Cabri­o­let ex­tremely el­e­gant. The pro­nounced flar­ing over the wheel arches ac­cen­tu­ates the quat­tro DNA. Hor­i­zon­tal lines at the rear em­pha­sise the width of the new Audi A5 Cabri­o­let.

The third brake light is el­e­gantly in­te­grated into the sur­round­ing trim strip of the hood com­part­ment cover. LED rear lights and op­tional LED or Ma­trix LED head­lights with dy­namic in­di­ca­tors at the front and rear make high-end tech­nol­ogy vis­i­ble even af­ter dark.

Strong pack­age: the chas­sis

The wide track and the long wheel­base mea­sur­ing 2,765 mil­lime­tres are key fea­tures of the care­fully bal­anced sus­pen­sion tun­ing. The track width is 1,587 mil­lime­tres at the front and 1,568 mil­lime­tres at the rear. An updated five-link sus­pen­sion is used on the front axle. At the rear, a five-link con­fig­u­ra­tion re­places the trape­zoidal-link sus­pen­sion used on the pre­vi­ous model. Adap­tive dampers are avail­able as an op­tion. They are in­cor­po­rated into the stan­dard Audi drive se­lect dy­namic han­dling sys­tem and al­low the driver to choose be­tween a per­for­mance driv­ing bias or a more com­for­to­ri­ented pro­file. The newly de­vel­oped electro­mechan­i­cal power steer­ing of­fers good feed­back from the road and greater steer­ing pre­ci­sion. As an op­tion, dy­namic steer­ing which varies its gear ra­tio de­pend­ing on the speed and steer­ing an­gle is avail­able.

Lighter and tor­sion­ally stiffer: the body

The body of the new Audi A5 Cabri­o­let is the stiffest in its class and yet is among the light­est in the seg­ment. Thanks to a smart mix of ma­te­ri­als and geo­met­ric light­weight de­sign, the en­gi­neers have in­creased tor­sional rigid­ity by a fur­ther 40 per­cent com­pared with the pre­vi­ous car, boosting the Cabri­o­let’s agility fur­ther still. The to­tal weight of the new gen­er­a­tion model has been re­duced by up to 40 kilo­grams. The front-wheel-drive A5 Cabri­o­let with the 190 PS 2.0 TDI weighs 1,690 kilo­grams.

Ad­di­tional struts in the body com­pared with the Coupé and re­in­forced sills make up for the ab­sence of a fixed roof. In the event of a crash and rollover, head-tho­rax side airbags and au­to­mat­i­cally ex­tend­ing alu­minium pro­files en­sure the oc­cu­pants’ safety.

Wide lineup: en­gines and driv­e­train

There is ini­tially a choice of three en­gines for the new Audi A5 Cabri­o­let – a 2.0 TFSI with 252PS, a 2.0 TDI with 190PS and a 3.0 TDI with 218PS. A 2.0 TFSI with 190PS and a 3.0 TDI with 286PS will join the line-up soon af­ter­wards. Com­pared with the pre­vi­ous model, the en­gines of­fer up to 17 per­cent more power while con­sum­ing as much as 22 per­cent less fuel. All the en­gines com­bine high ef­fi­ciency

with ex­cel­lent re­sponse and smooth run­ning – es­pe­cially the two 3.0 TDI six-cylin­der en­gines.

Six-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion, seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch trans­mis­sion or eight-speed tip­tronic – tai­lor-made driv­e­train tech­nol­ogy is avail­able for ev­ery engine ver­sion. The drive is pro­vided as stan­dard via the front wheels; quat­tro drive with ul­tra tech­nol­ogy and per­ma­nent all­wheel drive are avail­able as op­tions. The lat­ter will be a stan­dard fea­ture of the 3.0 TDI with 286PS.

The Audi S5 Cabri­o­let is mov­ing into a whole new league with its newly de­vel­oped 3.0 TFSI. From its 2,995 cc of dis­place­ment, the boosted six-cylin­der engine pro­duces 354PS of power – 21PS more than the engine in the pre­vi­ous model. The top model ac­cel­er­ates from 0 to 62mph in 5.1 sec­onds, and on up to an elec­tron­i­cally gov­erned top speed of 155mph. It fea­tures quat­tro per­ma­nent all-wheel drive and the eight-speed tip­tronic trans­mis­sion as stan­dard.

Spa­cious and func­tional: the in­te­rior

The in­creased di­men­sions, the wheel­base ex­tended by 14 mil­lime­tres and more com­pact seats in­crease the space for the driver and pas­sen­gers. The shoul­der room in the front row of seats has been in­creased by 26 mil­lime­tres and the knee­room in the rear by 18 mil­lime­tres.

The hor­i­zon­tal ar­chi­tec­ture of the in­stru­ment panel and the con­tin­u­ous air vent strip cre­ate a gen­er­ous sense of space. High­grade ma­te­ri­als, dif­fer­ent colours and ex­cel­lent work­man­ship en­sure a very spe­cial feel-good at­mos­phere and un­der­score the pre­mium char­ac­ter. As an op­tion the am­bi­ent light­ing with 30 ad­justable colours cre­ates a fit­ting mood for the in­te­rior.

With the hood closed the lug­gage com­part­ment has a ca­pac­ity of 380 litres. The soft top com­part­ment in the lug­gage com­part­ment au­to­mat­i­cally moves down when open­ing the soft top and up again when the soft top is closed, thus pro­vid­ing the largest pos­si­ble lug­gage space at all times. The rear seat has a 50:50 split and can be eas­ily folded for­ward us­ing levers in the lug­gage com­part­ment. As stan­dard the tail­gate on the A5 Cabri­o­let now opens au­to­mat­i­cally – us­ing the re­mote con­trol key or the but­ton in the driver’s door. Gesture con­trol is also avail­able for the tail­gate as an op­tion: A prox­im­ity sen­sor in the bumper re­sponds to a kick­ing move­ment with the foot – the tail­gate opens au­to­mat­i­cally once the op­tional con­ve­nience key is de­tected.

Seat belt mi­cro­phones as stan­dard: op­er­a­tion made easy

Thanks to the all-new op­er­at­ing and dis­play con­cept in­clud­ing nat­u­ral lan­guage voice con­trol and free-text search, the driver can con­trol all func­tions ef­fort­lessly and in­tu­itively. Stan­dard seat belt mi­cro­phones for driver and front pas­sen­ger im­prove voice qual­ity even with the hood open. As an al­ter­na­tive to the ana­logue in­stru­ment di­als, there is the Audi vir­tual cock­pit with var­i­ous dis­play op­tions. The large, high-res­o­lu­tion TFT mon­i­tor mea­sur­ing 12.3 inches presents richly de­tailed graph­ics. The op­tional head-up dis­play projects all rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion onto the wind­shield in the driver’s di­rect field of vi­sion as eas­ily com­pre­hen­si­ble sym­bols and dig­its, thus en­abling the driver to keep their eyes on the road.

Top-class con­nec­tiv­ity: in­fo­tain­ment and Audi con­nect

MMI nav­i­ga­tion plus with MMI touch tops the in­fo­tain­ment range. Its 8.3-inch mon­i­tor has a res­o­lu­tion of 1,024 x 480 pix­els. In ad­di­tion to a DVD drive and a 10 GB flash mem­ory, the high­end sys­tem also fea­tures two card read­ers, an AUX-IN con­nec­tion and a USB con­nec­tion with charg­ing func­tion.

As part of the Tech­nol­ogy Pack, an LTE mod­ule pro­vides ac­cess to Audi con­nect on­line ser­vices – free of charge for three years. The first five map up­dates for the nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem are also free of charge. The me­dia hub also comes with a Wi-Fi hotspot which con­nects pas­sen­gers’ mo­bile de­vices to the World Wide Web.

The Audi smart­phone in­ter­face in­te­grates iOS and An­droid mo­bile phones in an en­vi­ron­ment spe­cially de­vel­oped for them in the MMI. The Audi phone box con­nects smart­phones to the on­board an­tenna to pro­vide su­pe­rior re­cep­tion qual­ity. It also charges the smart­phone in­duc­tively, with­out any wires, us­ing the Qi stan­dard. The Bang & Olufsen Sound Sys­tem fea­tures in­no­va­tive 3D sound and fur­ther im­proved bass thanks to a sec­ond woofer. It opens up the spa­tial di­men­sion of height and gives the driver the sense of sit­ting in a con­cert hall. Its am­pli­fier sup­plies 755 watts of power in to­tal to 19 loud­speak­ers.

Abun­dant sup­port: the driver as­sis­tance sys­tems

With up to 30 driver as­sis­tance sys­tems, the new Audi A5 Cabri­o­let of­fers a broad range of sup­port. An in­tel­li­gent com­bi­na­tion of dif­fer­ent tech­nolo­gies en­hances safety, com­fort and ef­fi­ciency. Mean­while Audi is also tak­ing the next step to­ward pi­loted driv­ing.

Play­ing a cen­tral role here is the adap­tive cruise con­trol (ACC) Stop&Go sys­tem in­clud­ing traf­fic jam as­sist. It re­lieves driv­ers in slow-mov­ing traf­fic up to speeds of 40mph by as­sum­ing the tasks of brak­ing and ac­cel­er­at­ing the car, and it also tem­po­rar­ily takes charge of steer­ing on bet­ter roads. The pre­dic­tive ef­fi­ciency as­sis­tant eval­u­ates GPS in­for­ma­tion from the car’s im­me­di­ate sur­round­ings and helps to save fuel by giv­ing spe­cific driv­ing ad­vice – a unique fea­ture in this seg­ment.

Col­li­sion avoid­ance as­sist in­ter­venes if the car needs to drive around an ob­sta­cle to avoid an ac­ci­dent. Based on data from the front cam­era, ACC and radar sen­sors, it com­putes a rec­om­mended driv­ing line within a frac­tion of a sec­ond. The lineup is rounded out by other as­sis­tance sys­tems such as turn as­sist, park as­sist, rear cross traf­fic as­sist, exit warn­ing, cam­era-based recog­ni­tion of traf­fic signs, Audi ac­tive lane as­sist and Audi side as­sist.

Pam­per­ing pro­gramme: the equip­ment

The spec­i­fi­ca­tion struc­ture for UK A5 Cabri­o­let mod­els will fol­low the same SE, Sport and S line pat­tern used by the Coupé, bring­ing fea­tures such as al­loy wheels in 17 or 18-inch di­am­e­ters, xenon or LED head­lamps, the Audi Smart­phone In­ter­face, leather up­hol­stery, front seat heat­ing, acous­tic park­ing and three-zone cli­mate con­trol.

Sport mod­els and above add ap­pro­pri­ate up­grades such as front sport seats with elec­tric ad­just­ment (Sport and S line) and sports sus­pen­sion (S line only – op­tional for Sport), plus ex­tra com­forts in­clud­ing SD card­based MMI Nav­i­ga­tion and all the fea­tures de­liv­ered by Audi Con­nect on an ex­tend­able three­month trial ba­sis.

The S5 Cabri­o­let takes on board its own ex­clu­sive spec­i­fi­ca­tion in­clud­ing 19-inch al­loy wheels, S spe­cific styling, front Su­per Sports seats in Fine Nappa leather and chas­sis set­tings and hard disc-based MMI Nav­i­ga­tion Plus in­clud­ing a three-year sub­scrip­tion to Audi Con­nect.

• Pop­u­lar open-air A5 re­turns to the fold lighter, more rigid, more com­fort­able and even more el­e­gant • El­e­gant de­sign, larger in­te­rior, more com­fort and con­ve­nience • 40 per cent in­crease in tor­sional rigid­ity – now best in class • Weight re­duced by up to 40kg • Three en­gines ini­tially – 2.0 TDI 190PS, 3.0 TDI 218PS, 2.0 TFSI 252PS – 2.0 TFSI 190PS and 3.0 TDI 286PS to fol­low • Front-wheel-drive, new quat­tro with ul­tra tech­nol­ogy or fa­mil­iar cen­tre dif­fer­en­tial-based quat­tro drive de­pend­ing on ver­sion • Seat belt mi­cro­phones and fully au­to­matic acous­tic hood with new one-touch op­er­a­tion as stan­dard, Audi Vir­tual Cock­pit op­tional • Audi S5 Cabri­o­let with 354 hp V6 tur­bocharged engine and quat­tro drive

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