// PART­NER IN DRIVE

WITH ITS IN­TU­ITIVE DE­SIGN, THE AUDI A5 CABRI­O­LET AL­READY KNOWS ALL THE FUN YOU’RE GO­ING TO HAVE DRIV­ING IT.

Capitol File - - CONTENTS - BY JEFF DUFOUR

With its in­tu­itive de­sign, the Audi A5 Cabri­o­let al­ready knows all the fun you’re go­ing to have driv­ing it.

I first ap­proach the new Audi A5 Cabri­o­let from the front. It’s sneer­ing at me—al­ready, an en­cour­ag­ing sign.

Re­freshed for this year, the Cabrio has lines that are a bit more ag­gres­sive, and the hood and doors are now sleeker and less rounded. Most no­tice­ably, the grille sits lower and wider, and those head­lamps squint men­ac­ingly.

Less men­ac­ing is the tech­nol­ogy in­side, which takes me all of five min­utes to mas­ter—an achieve­ment in an age of end­less con­trols and coun­ter­in­tu­itive in­ter­faces. The dash’s 12-inch dig­i­tal dis­play, some­thing akin to the avion­ics dis­play in a jet, has me tog­gling be­tween fuel-ef­fi­ciency up­dates and Google Earth.

Us­ing the seat belt’s built-in mi­cro­phones, I demon­strate the Cabrio’s voice-recog­ni­tion ca­pa­bil­i­ties for my wife as the han­dling sticks to the tight turns of Rock Creek Park­way. (She’s very im­pressed.) The 2.0-liter, four-cylin­der en­gine doesn’t over­whelm with horse­power, so I switch to the “dy­namic” mode, which makes the throt­tle a lit­tle more re­spon­sive, and drop the gearshift into “sport” to en­gage the pad­dle shifters.

Yes, of course the top is down—it takes only 15 sec­onds to lower. An un­sea­son­able cold snap is no match for the heated steer­ing wheel or the warm air that blows on my neck from the vents be­low the head­rest. Start­ing at $48,600. Ouris­man Audi Fred­er­ick, 6001 Ur­bana Pike, Fred­er­ick, 301-6627600; au­d­ifred­er­ick.com

Pro tip: The top of the con­vert­ible can be raised dur­ing speeds up to 31 mph, which is good to know if you run into an un­ex­pected rain shower. Or a flock of seag­ulls.

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