Audi’s all-new A5 now in rag­top guise

Con­vert­ible comes with three en­gine choices, in­clud­ing an S5 range-top­per

The Star Early Edition - - MOTORING - MO­TOR­ING STAFF

THE TRAN­SI­TION from Audi’s pre­vi­ous A5 range to the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion ver­sion is near­ing com­ple­tion with the in­tro­duc­tion of the all­new Cabri­o­let model in South Africa.

The A5 Cab fol­lows the re­cent launches of the new Coupe and Sport­back de­riv­a­tives, with only some added en­gine op­tions (in­clud­ing Porsche-pow­ered RSs) still to come across the three body styles.

The rag­top A5 is avail­able now with three en­gine and driv­e­train choices - a 140kW/320Nm 2-litre turbo with front-wheel drive, a 185kW/370Nm 2-litre turbo with qu­at­tro all-wheel drive, and a range-top­ping (for now) S5 qu­at­tro with a 260kW/500Nm 3-litre turbo V6. Gear­box op­tions in­clude six-speed man­ual or seven-speed S tronic au­to­mat­ics in 2-litre mod­els, while the S5 is sold with an eight-speed tip­tronic only.

No per­for­mance fig­ures have been quoted by Audi for the 2-litre vari­ants, but the S5 comes with a 0-100km/h quote of 5.1 sec­onds and top speed is lim­ited to the usual 250km/h.

Audi South Africa confirms a 2-litre tur­bod­iesel will ar­rive at a later stage, and though it’s yet to be an­nounced, we sus­pect a 330kW/600Nm RS5 Cabri­o­let will ar­rive in due course.

Like the pre­vi­ous ver­sion, the new Cabri­o­let gets a fold­ing fab­ric top which opens in 15 sec­onds and closes in 18 while driv­ing at speeds up to 50km/h. A new fea­ture for this ver­sion is a one-touch func­tion, al­low­ing the roof to raise or lower with­out the need to hold the switch un­til the op­er­a­tion is com­plete.

The A5 Cab uses the same five-link front and rear sus­pen­sion sys­tems as the Coupe and Sport­back, and be­cause it shares the same larger plat­form front shoul­der room in­creases by 26mm and rear leg room grows by 18mm. Cargo space is de­cent for a drop-top at a max­i­mum 380 litres, or 320 with the roof re­tracted.

Audi also says this model’s chas­sis is 40 per­cent more tor­sion­ally rigid than the out­go­ing one, and is also the stiffest in its class. This class, by the way, in­cludes BMW’s 4 Se­ries and Merc’s C-Class con­vert­ibles.

Most of the Cabri­o­let’s op­tional fea­tures are also shared with Coupe and Sport­back sib­lings, and in­clude a new Stop&Go Traf­fic Jam As­sist (adap­tive cruise con­trol) with radar fol­low­ing ca­pa­bil­ity, At­ten­tion As­sist to mon­i­tor a driver’s drowsi­ness lev­els, and Pre Sense City which au­to­mat­i­cally brakes if it de­tects a col­li­sion with other ve­hi­cles or pedes­tri­ans.

Of course Audi’s Vir­tual Cock­pit dig­i­tal in­stru­ment clus­ter is avail­able here too, and when specced with MMI nav­i­ga­tion plus a wifi hotspot for up to eight de­vices, Google Earth Nav­i­ga­tion and Google Street View are un­locked. The A5 Cabri­o­let is also com­pat­i­ble with Ap­ple Carplay and An­droid Auto smart­phone pair­ing.

Base mod­els come with 17” al­loys, Xenon head­lights, rain-sens­ing wipers, cruise con­trol, Dy­namic sus­pen­sion, Drive Se­lect and a ba­sic MMI Plus in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem among oth­ers, while Sport trim adds 18” wheels, Sport seats, a different front grille and bumper, and chrome tailpipes. The 185kW qu­at­tro gets fur­ther elec­tric front seats and rear park­ing sen­sors.

Stan­dard fare on the S5 qu­at­tro in­cludes 19” al­loys, LED head­lights, dy­namic (swoosh­ing) in­di­ca­tors, Nappa leather up­hol­stery, S Sport seats, S Sport sus­pen­sion and a flat-bot­tomed leather steer­ing wheel among other things. PRICES: A5 Cabri­o­let 2.0T FSI S tronic - R689 000 A5 Cabri­o­let 2.0T FSI S tronic Sport - R723 000 A5 Cabri­o­let 2.0T FSI qu­at­tro S tronic - R823 500 A5 Cabri­o­let 2.0T FSI qu­at­tro S tronic Sport - R857 500 S5 Cabri­o­let 3.0T FSI qu­at­tro Tip­tronic - R1 028 000

Prices in­clude Audi’s fiveyear/150 000km Free­way Plan.

The flag­ship S5 ver­sion scoots from 0-100 in just 5.1 sec­onds and tops out at a hair-ruf­fling 250km/h.

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