Dynamic, confident and stunning - the Audi A5 Cabriolet 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 Audi 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 Audi 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 Audi 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 Audi 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 open-top Audi S5 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 exterior design
Open-top cars are bought with the heart - they are supposed to express the personality of their drivers: their independence, their individuality, their joie de vivre. Design is a particular important factor in this emotional decision, and Audi underscores its leadership in this area once again with the Audi A5 Cabriolet. It appeals to young, highly educated customers with a good income and sporty lifestyle.
The Audi A5 Cabriolet combines the brand's progressive styling with the fascination of an open-top car. Measuring 4.63 meters (15.19 ft) long and 1.85 meters (6.07 ft) wide, but only 1.38 meters (4.53 ft) tall, the Audi four-seater wraps the sportiest proportions in its class in classic elegance. The stretched hood, the long 2.75 meter (9.02 ft) wheelbase, the sharp lines and muscular sweep of the shoulder contour draw a distinctive silhouette. The broad track of nearly 1.60 meters (5.25 ft) front and rear, the large wheels, the distinctive front end, the expressive tail and the sculptured, curving surfaces interact to create a harmonious whole.
The styling of the front end is dominated by the single-frame grille bordered by a strip of anodized aluminum. The bars are painted Stone Gray; in the two top V6 models - the 3.2 FSI and the 3.0 TDI - these are painted a high-gloss black. Three air intakes - the center one beneath the grille - emphasize the width of the front end.
The exquisite design of the headlights makes them look like technical works of art. A plastic strut vapor-coated with chrome - the "wing" - separates the individual lamp chambers. The high-efficiency daytime running lights of the xenon plus headlights comprise a sickle-shaped strip of eight 1 Watt, high-performance LEDs. Halogen fog lights are standard on all models, and Audi offers adaptive light dynamic cornering lights as an option.
Lines, surfaces and contour edges - an athletic sculpture
Two lateral lines extending beyond the hood underscore the presence of the single-frame grille. An aluminum molding lends high gloss to the windshield frame, and LED blinkers are integrated into the new exterior mirrors. As with every Audi, the flanks are marked by taut surfaces and two light-reflecting edges - the dynamic line above the side sills and the tornado line below the window shoulder. The broad, muscular arched shoulders, the pronounced wheel arches and the large wheels - forged 17-inch wheels are standard - underscore the power of the Audi A5 Cabriolet.
Horizontal lines and a distinctly colored diffuser insert emphasize the wide, sporty appearance of the tail end. The trunk bears an unobtrusive spoiler lip. LEDs in the taillights creative a distinctive, ring-shaped light pattern. All models feature a dual exhaust system, with the larger engine version having a tailpipe on the left and the right. Even the TDI engines come with straight pipes - a subtle indication of zero particulate emissions thanks to the standard diesel particulate filter (DPF).
The Audi A5 Cabriolet is available in 15 colors: Aruba Blue, pearl effect, Brilliant Red, Brilliant Black, Ice Silver, metallic, Garnet Red, pearl effect, Ibis White, Meteor Gray, pearl effect, Quartz Gray, metallic, Phantom Black, pearl effect, Sahara Silver, metallic, Sphere Blue, metallic and Deep Sea Blue, pearl effect. New colors are Amethyst Grey, metallic, Aurum Beige, metallic and Teak Brown, metallic.
The outer skin of the top is available in a choice of four colors, Blue, Brown, Red and Black, which form attractive combinations with the paint shades.
The convertible top
The fabric top with the large, flat glass rear window fits into the elegant design profile of the Audi A5 Cabriolet perfectly and much more harmoniously than a folding steel roof could. It is also much lighter, thus reducing total weight and lowering the center of gravity. A metal top would have brought with it additional disadvantages that Audi fundamentally rejects - wide, obvious body joints in the roof and tail end area and reduced trunk space.
The soft top comprises three layers: top covering, cushioning pad and headliner. In the optional acoustic top, which reduces wind noise almost to the level of a sedan, this is replaced by a foam layer up to 15 mm (0.59 in) in thickness. The acoustic top comes with an LED light for the rear seat - a feature usually found only in the luxury convertible segment.
A high-pressure hydraulic pump and four operating cylinders that move the top are actuated when a pushbutton on the center console or on the optional advanced key is depressed. It takes 15 seconds to open the top, 17 seconds to close it. Both actions can also be performed while driving at speeds of up to 50 km/h (31.07 mph) - a major convenience in city traffic or on country roads.
Large trunk: 320 liters (11.30 cubic ft) with the top open
When opened, the top is retracted under a fixed cover, where it is folded down into an extremely compact, trifold configuration. Its storage compartment, which is made of a robust textile mat and adorned with aluminum trim, takes up just a few centimeters of height and only 60 liters (2.12 cubic ft) of the 380 liters (13.42 cubic ft) of luggage space. The remaining 320 liters (11.30 cubic ft) with the top open are by far best in class. Rivals equipped with a folding steel roof offer at least 100 liters (3.53 cubic ft) less.
A number of clever solutions bring even more convenience to the Audi A5 Cabriolet. The driver does not have to do anything before opening the top - the top compartment lowers itself automatically into the trunk. If there isn't enough room, a sensor annunciates an alarm and the top does not open. A master switch with one-touch function also makes it very easy to actuate the four power windows simultaneously.
The 50:50 split folding rear seat backrests can be easily unlocked by actuating two levers in the trunk. Pretensioned with springs, they drop automatically onto the seat cushions. The standard pass-through is 70 centimeters (27.56 in) wide and 30 centimeters (11.81 in) high. The loading space behind the front seatbacks is thus 1.76 meters (5.77ft) long, providing a total storage volume of 750 liters (26.49 cubic ft). A ski bag is optional; a 12-volt plug in the trunk comes standard.
The rear trunk lid with the electric lock reveals an opening large enough to stow two golf bags. The low loading lip also makes loading and unloading easier. The standard wind deflector, which is stretched over the rear seats, can be stored in the spare-wheel well when not in use, provided that the optional compact temporary spare wheel is not on board.
Like every Audi, the A5 Cabriolet has an extremely rigid body. This is the prime reason for its precise, sporty handling, superior ride comfort and high crash safety. Hardly any oscillations or vibrations can be felt in an open A5, not even at the steering wheel or on the seats - the "comfort points."
Several innovative technologies are used in the construction of the body-in-white. A prime example are the ultra-high-strength steels, which Audi largely fabricates in-house using hot forming. Combining low weight with extremely high tensile strength, they are used in the side sills, the longitudinal members, the center tunnel, the B-pillars and the front cross members.
A whole array of additional reinforcement parts compensates for the absence of a solid roof. In the front section, diagonal struts run from the side sills to the auxiliary frame for the suspension mounts. In the rear section, similar components are integrated beneath the floor of the trunk. The side sills have particularly thick walls. The hydroformed tubes that reinforce the A-pillars from the inside are particularly high-strength and capable of bearing extremely high loads.
Another important component is a solid aluminum frame with integrated roll-over protection located between the cabin and the trunk. When a rollover threatens, electric actuators release aluminum braces pretensioned with powerful springs, which shoot up fast as lightning behind the rear headrests and lock into place, thus expanding the passenger survival space.
Seat-mounted head and thorax side airbags with a volume of 18 liters (0.64 cubic ft) each provide protection in the event of a side impact; full-size airbags protect the driver and front-seat passenger in the event of a frontal collision. Because the control unit knows the seating position, it can adaptively trigger the belts and airbags to provide the best possible protection for passengers large and small in all types of collisions. In a rear-end collision, the integral head restraint system averts the danger of whiplash injuries.
The front fenders of the Audi A5 Cabriolet are made of lightweight aluminum to reduce weight and optimize the axle load distribution. Sophisticated details such as a fully-enclosed underbody improve the airflow and thus the acoustics and also fuel efficiency. With the top closed, the four-seater has a drag coefficient of 0.31 and a frontal surface area of 2.17 mÂ² (23.36 sq ft).
The Audi A5 comes with an impressive array of standard equipment. This includes a fully automatic convertible top, a wind deflector, 17-inch alloy wheels, individually folding rear seatbacks with a large pass-through, an automatic climate control system and the chorus audio system with CD player. Automatic seatbelt extenders, an electromechanical parking brake and - starting with 140 kW (190 hp) models and above - xenon plus headlights including daytime running light strip and LED rear lamps are also standard.
Attractive options bring premium-class luxury to the open-top four-seater. The adaptive light option combines xenon plus headlights with dynamic cornering lights; the high-beam assistant changes automatically between low beam and high beam. The advanced key provides keyless entry, pushbutton starting and opening and closing the top remotely. The Audi hold assist adds numerous functions to the electromechanical parking brake.
The automatic climate control system regulates the temperature separately in three zones in the vehicle; the acoustic top further reduces wind noise; and the climate-controlled comfort seat in combination with neck-level heating creates a perfectly tempered environment. The optional LED lighting for the vanity mirrors is an unusual touch. When it comes to the chassis, the program is complemented by the Audi drive select system, quattro with sport differential and two conventional sport suspensions.
Innovative driver aids make driving in the Audi A5 Cabriolet even more relaxed, composed and safe. These include the adaptive cruise control with the Audi braking guard functions, Audi side assist and Audi lane assist. They keep the open-top four-seater a safe distance from the vehicle to the front and help the driver to change lanes or to stay in lane. The Audi parking system advanced with acoustic and optical parking aids uses a rearview camera to display the area behind the vehicle on the Audi MMI monitor.
For sports fans: the S line package
Audi has put together two S line packages for customers with particularly dynamic tastes. The S line sport package plus combines the taut setup and lowered body with 18-inch wheels. Fine details abound in the interior - sport seats covered in cloth and leather, a special leather sport steering wheel, a leather shift lever knob, inlays in brushed aluminum and color-coordinated floor mats. S line logos are found on the fenders, the steering wheel, the seats and the door sill trims. The exterior colors Misano Red, pearl effect and Monza Silver, metallic are offered exclusively for the S line sport package plus.
Audi also offers as an alternative or as a supplement the S line exterior package, which imparts the body with a particularly dynamic look. Independent bumpers and distinctive features on the side air intakes, on the diffuser and on the tailpipes are the primary elements. Side sill trims painted in the body color and S line badges on the door sill trims and the front fenders round out the program.
Audi also offers an attractive range of multimedia components. The concert radio with CD has a memory card reader for MP3 and WMA music files and an AUX-in port for connecting an MP3 player. A 6.5-inch color monitor and eight speakers round out the package. The symphony radio adds a six-disk CD changer.
The next-generation MMI navigation and MMI navigation plus infotainment systems offer even more capabilities. The former includes a color display, a memory card reader and a six-speaker sound system. It can be expanded to include a digital radio receiver, a CD changer, a high-performance Bluetooth cell phone interface and an interface for full iPod integration.
Deluxe multimedia: MMI navigation plus
The top-of-the-line MMI navigation plus has exclusive technologies on board. The seven-inch, high-resolution color monitor shows the navigation maps as either conventional 2D graphics or in 3D. Map data are stored on a 40 GB hard drive. Places of interest and city models are shown in 3D for better orientation. Music files and the user's contacts are also stored on the hard drive. The radio module features a dual tuner, and there is a player for audio and video DVDs that can be controlled easily via a special joystick function for the MMI control unit.
Optional features enable the MMI navigation plus system to be expanded into a high-end media center. Audi offers solutions such as an analog/digital TV tuner and a luxury sound system from Bang & Olufsen that treats passengers to hi-fi quality sound.