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Designed to optimise time with the roof down.
More space, practicality and smart features.
Dynamic performance and quattro all-wheel-drive handling.
Keep the top down
Exposure to the elements brought on by open-top cars can be uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have to be. Thanks to some focused engineering and nice design features from the Audi team, the new A5 convertible provides more reasons to open the top. Torsional stiffness is up 40 per cent, it’s lighter by 25 kilograms and yet it’s more accommodating, with 14 millimetres added to the wheelbase.
Visually the new A5 is better proportioned and clearly sleeker than its forebears, with 18 millimetres more rear-seat leg room and a luggage capacity of 320-380 litres (depending on roof position). The 19-millimetre-longer roof, re-engineered to fold neatly into a modest storage space, also accentuates the stretched lines of the cabriolet.
Its fully automated and acoustic K-Fold clamp-down top has a simple one-touch operation, opening in 15 seconds and closing in 18, and retracts into a compartment that automatically adjusts available boot space. The 50/50 split-fold rear seats extend the luggage compartment and the boot lid also features Audi’s auto-sensor opening.
Roof closed, the cabin sealing is first class, thanks to the well-insulated soft-top, acoustic windshield and one-millimetre-thicker side windows. But it’s driving with the top down that sets the new A5 cabriolet apart.
An all-new seat design, including power adjustment, lumbar support and heating, ensures comfort. There’s a powered seatbelt feed for convenience, a wind blocker to reduce buffeting and air vents integrated into the upper section of the front seats providing neck and shoulder warmth. The cabin has three-zone climate control, separate rear-seat adjustment and when the top is opened the air-con automatically switches to energy-saving convertible mode.
Neat Audi design touches include temperature displays integrated into the dials, with the function enlarged on the LCD display screen. There’s even a series of tiny microphones embedded in the driver’s seatbelt allowing normal hands-free phone clarity with the roof down.
A comprehensive list of safety features includes a new structural backbone to improve occupant cell crash protection, deployable roll bars and side airbags that extend to head height. Also standard are Audi’s high-end MMI Navigation Plus, which provides Google Earth imaging and local search functions, along with a DVD drive, 10GB flash memory, two card readers, and AUX and USB connections.
Well and truly gone are the days of open-top cars that twist and wobble over undulations for lack of a load-bearing roof. The A5 feels as tight as a coupe in all normal driving situations, and the ride and handling package is first-class for cross-country touring, despite 19-inch wheels and low-profile tyres.
Audi’s turbo engine is equally impressive in its performance delivery, with balance and traction assured thanks to Audi’s sublime quattro all-wheel-drive.
There are two versions of the new A5 cabriolet, both fitted with the 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine and seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission. The front-wheel-drive model from $83,400 has a 114kW/320Nm output, while our quattro test car ($95,000) delivers 185kW and 370Nm. Five option packages are available, covering sport, style or driver assistance, ranging from $1255 to $7400.
ESC. Driver and passenger front and side airbags. Autonomous emergency braking. Driver attention alert. Rear cross-traffic alert. Tyre pressure monitor. Reversing camera. Front and rear parking sensors. Daytime running lights.
8.3-inch navigation screen. Google Earth navigation. Bluetooth. Digital radio. USB inputs. Audi music interface. Smartphone interface.
Three-zone climate-control air-conditioning. Five drive modes. Keyless entry/start. LED headlights and tail lights. Powered/heated sport front seats. Leather-appointed trim. Neck level heating. 12.3-inch virtual cockpit. Sport steering wheel with paddle shifters. Heated/folding door mirrors.
Written by Ernest Litera November 30, 2017
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