If top-down motoring is your thing, you'd best take note. Audi has pulled the wraps off its 2009 model A5 and S5 Cabriolet and, in preparation for the European launch in the second quarter of this year, the German powerhouse has delivered up a bevy of images and a few choice details on both models.
Price-wise, it starts with the A5 Cabriolet (shown here in white), which will offer buyers the choice of five different engines. The S5, on the other hand (presented in blue in the gallery), is only offered with one engine, but it's a cracker and the most powerful of the bunch.
Audi will offer three petrol and two diesel engines for the A5, starting with a 120kW (160hp) 1.8 litre TSI and moving up to the 2.0 litre TSFI unit (offered in 134kW (179hp) and 157kW (210hp) forms). Audi's 3.2 litre FSI V6 engine producing 197kW (264hp) rounds out the petrol choices.
If the plan is to take the A5 on long jaunts into the countryside, then the frugal diesel engines may be the better choice. Buyers can select from either the 180kW (241hp) 3.0 litre TDI engine or a 140kW (187hp) 2.7 litre TDI unit.
While the A5 Cabriolet is desirable, The S5 Cabriolet is the pick of the pair. Utilising Audi's supercharged 3.0 litre V6 engine, the S5 has a healthy 250kW (335hp) and 440Nm (325lb-ft) on tap while adding a few subtle exterior changes to portray its more athletic persona.
As far as swapping cogs goes, Audi will offer a six-speed manual, a continuously variable multitronic auto and a seven-speed S-tronic unit as well. Audi's quattro AWD system is available for the higher powered models, as is a sports differential which allows greater torque split between the rears, while lesser-powered siblings will make do with a front-wheel drive layout.
Prices start at a touch over AUD $73,000 for the 1.8 litre A5 and continue climbing steadily from there.
Full Australian pricing and availability should be known closer to our local launch so we'll bring you all the specifics as soon as we can. For now, cast your eyes over that glorious body work in the gallery below and check out all the details in the press release.
Audi A5 and S5 Cabriolet ? the joy of open-top driving
Dynamic, confident and stunning ? the new A5 Cabriolet from Audi is emotionally evocative. The four-seater with the fabric top combines a distinctly sporty character with the fascination of open-top driving, refined comfort and a great everyday utility. Five efficient engines, an agile suspension and a wide range of high-end options make the new Audi the most attractive convertible in the mid-sized segment.
Delivery will begin in the second quarter of 2009. Prices start at 37,300 euros for the entry-level 1.8 TFSI model with 118 kW (160 hp), which will follow somewhat later.
Crowning the new model series is the S5 Cabriolet. The letter "S" traditionally stands for supreme sportiness ? for dynamics, performance and power, but also for amazing efficiency. Powering the S5 Cabriolet is a newly developed, supercharged three-liter V6 that pumps out 245 kW (333 hp) for superior performance.
Like all Audi convertibles, the open-top A5 also has a lightweight fabric top that endows it with a silhouette of dynamic elegance. The fully automatic top opens in just 15 seconds. Audi also offers an optional acoustic top with an intermediate layer of insulating foam that reduces wind noise almost to the sedan level.
When opened, the Audi A5 Cabriolet top folds down so effectively that very little trunk space is used up ? leaving 320 liters (11.30 cubic ft) of unused storage volume, clearly the best value in its field of competitors. The soft top compartment lowers automatically when the top is opened. Equally useful is the fold-down rear seat backrest and the large pass-through between the luggage compartment and the interior, which increases the storage volume to a generous 750 liters (26.49 cubic ft).
Rounding out the comfortable character of the four-seater's interior are automatic seatbelt extenders for the front seats and the optionally available head-level heating. A special coating on the optional leather seats reduces solar heating. The A5 Cabriolet seats four comfortably. The refined ambience combines with perfect ergonomics to convey an atmosphere of sporty elegance. Ultra-high-strength steels and selective reinforcements of the body ensure high rigidity and crash safety.
The A5 Cabriolet is being launched with three gasoline engines and two diesel engines ranging between 132 kW (180 hp) and 195 kW (265 hp). All five power plants are fueled via direct fuel injection; four of them use turbocharging. Available powertrains include a six-speed manual, the continuously variable multitronic and the new, lightning-fast seven-speed S tronic. In addition to front-wheel drive, Audi also offers quattro permanent all-wheel drive for the higher-power engines. The innovative sport differential, which variably distributes power between the rear wheels, is optionally available for even greater dynamics and driving pleasure.
Fascinating dynamics: Audi drive select
The perfect addition to this technology package is the Audi drive select vehicle dynamics system, which enables the driver to chose among three different engine maps controlling the characteristics of the fuel feed, the shifting points of the seven-speed S tronic or the multitronic, and the boost provided by the servotronic steering system. If the car is equipped with the MMI operating interface, a fourth, freely programmable map is available. Additional technologies available include adaptive control of the shock absorbers and variable-ratio dynamic steering.
The new Audi A5 Cabriolet features a rich array of equipment in addition to the fully automatic top, including an automatic climate-control system and a CD audio system. Highlights from the long list of options include the innovative driver assist systems and the latest generation MMI operating interface, which offers many attractive navigation and entertainment features.
As the dynamic top-of-the-line model of the new production series, the S5 Cabriolet occupies a very special position. Its three-liter TFSI ? a V6 with mechanical supercharger ? unfolds its 245 kW (333 hp) and 440 Nm (324.53 lb-ft) of torque with impressive results: It responds tenaciously to the throttle and delivers excellent driving performance. The quattro drivetrain, a sport suspension with 18-inch wheels and a number of special equipment details underscore the athletic character of the Audi S5 Cabriolet.
The equipment, specifications, and prices stated herein refer to the model range offered for sale in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.