Audi A5 Cabriolet
So Audi just showed us their newest incarnation of the A5 and S5 luxury sports coupe – a soft-top convertible, which will replace the A4/S5 Cabriolet. So let’s get to the point – what’s the difference between the standard coupe and the new A5 and S5 Cabriolet? Quite a bit, actually…
Styling updates include new rear LED lighting, sport seats with unique color interior, and the S5 Aluminum-optic exterior accents include front and rear diffuser blades, mirror housings, and four exhaust pipes. Oh, and they’ve taken away the roof and replaced it with cloth, in case you didn’t notice.
The A5/S5 Cabriolet uses new high-strength steel to decrease weight and increase body rigidity, which is a common problem with coupe-to-convertible sports cars. The wheelbase has been increased to help with handling and ride comfort by moving some drivetrain and steering parts around, which also allows for a lower center of gravity, further helping with the handling.
The biggest changes for the A5 and S5 Cabriolet (other than the soft-top,) are the engines. You can still get the 3.2-liter V6 in the A5, but now you can also opt for the same 2.0-turbo engine available in the 2009 A4 which produces 211 horsepower (54 hp less than the 3.2 V6, but 15 more ft-lbs of torque.) Unfortunately, you can no longer get the awesome 4.2-liter V8 for the S5 Cabriolet after the 2010 model, but in its place for 2011 is a 3.0-liter Supercharged V6 producing 333 horsepower – 19 hp less than the V8 it replaces.
The A5 Cabriolet will receive a 6-speed Tiptronic transmission for the quattro AWD model, a CVT for the FWD version, and the S5 will keep the 6-speed Tiptronic until 2011 when the Supercharged V6 replaces the V8, then it gets a 7-speed S tronic transmission. A manual transmission will be available for the S5.
Hint: There will only be one model year (2010) where the S5 Cabriolet will be made with the 354 horsepower 4.2-liter V8. After that, the Supercharged V6 takes over. This means that V8 S5 Cabriolets will be a limited edition. Buy it if you can afford it, as you’ll have one of the few.
More info and images after the jump:
Audi S5 Cabriolet
Various other changes and additions round out the A5/S5 Cabriolet, which will debut at the Geneva Auto Show in March 2009. Expect to see them in showrooms in Fall 2009 as a 2010 model. Prices have yet to be announced.
I fell in love when we did the Audi S5 Review, and at the time couldn’t imagine a convertible version being any good. Being a performance enthusiast, I generally scoff at the thought of turning a high-performance coupe into a convertible, such as the Audi R8 Spider which should be damned to hell. But I’ve come to a realization that the S5 Cabriolet (convertible) might not be such a bad idea. It’s a superbly fantastic cruising car, and isn’t just about the performance. I’d still prefer the coupe personally, but I could see the A5 Cabriolet becoming a deservingly popular convertible.
So what Audi has done is taken a great sports coupe, and turned it into a convertible. This is done all the time, of course, but what differentiates Audi from the rest of the pack is that they’ve made the convertible sportier and better handling than the coupe, which is rare. And this is why Audi is one of the only manufacturers thriving, even during the economic crisis.