With summer just around the corner, Audi has timed the release of the A5 and S5 Cabriolet range perfectly, at least in this hemisphere. The four-seater convertibles, feature a folding fabric top, a choice of seven engines and a range of high-end options.
The S5 Cabriolet sees the introduction of Audi?s new supercharged 3.0-litre V6 with direct injection. Replacing the 4.2-litre V8 found in the previous S5. No word from Audi yet on the outputs.
The A5 Cabriolet range offers a choice of three petrol engines and two diesel engines, with power outputs ranging from 132kW to 195kW. All five engines feature direct injection, with four using turbo charging to boost outputs and efficiency. Transmission choices include a six-speed manual transmission, the continuously variable multitronic, or a seven-speed S tronic.
In addition to front-wheel drive, there is the famous Audi quattro permanent all-wheel drive available with the higher-power engines. Buyers choosing the Quattro drivetrain can also option Audi?s ?sport differential?, which variably distributes power between the rear wheels.
The cabriolet?s lightweight fabric soft-top opens in 15 seconds ? and closes in 17 seconds. The fully automatic open/close drive comes as standard, while Audi has also make available an ?acoustic top? option, which it says reduces wind noise almost to hardtop levels.
You may be questioning Audi?s decision to persist with a fabric top, when most manufacturers are moving to folding hard tops? Well there is one distinct benefit, and that?s space. When opened, the Audi A5 Cabriolet top folds down so effectively that very little boot space is used up ? leaving 320 litres of unused storage volume, a best in class achievement. Storage volume is further increased by folding down the rear seat backrest, effectively increasing the storage volume to 750 litres.
Unique cabriolet features include optional neck-level heating for the front seats, while the optional leather seats are coated with a special layer to reduce solar heating and protect the leather. Ultra-high-strength steels and selective reinforcements of the body ensure maximal rigidity and crash safety.
Delivery of the first A5 Cabriolet models will begin in the second quarter of 2009.
2009 Audi A5 Image Gallery
2009 Audi S5 Image Gallery