Audi has figuratively pulled the wraps off their second generation Audi A5 Cabriolet ahead of its official premiere slated for the Los Angeles Auto Show in mid-November. And as expected, the drop top version is identically evolutionary - at least visually - from the previous version.
Under that familiar skin, though, Audi insists that much has changed. And to their point, a lot has, though it’s easy to dismiss it reserved approach as uninspiring, the Ingolstadt automaker has put a lot of effort to bring a renewed fight to the BMW 4 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class convertible.
What they have shown here are the standard A5 Cabriolet as well as the sportier and more powerful S5 Cabriolet, completing the staggered reveal of the two-door Coupe and the four-door Sportback before the hot RS versions arrive.
The roof itself, like those two other German rivals, is a folding soft top. Audi touts its ability to open and retract in 15 and 18 seconds, respectively, at speeds of up to 50km/h. Once folded, the storage area also takes up less space, and paired with the overall larger dimensions, offers approximately 380-litres total or 60-litres of additional boot space over its predecessor.
Speaking of dimensions, the A5 Cabriolet sits on the same longer wheelbase MLB evolution platform as the coupe, measuring 2,765mm axle to axle.It’s also marginally longer overall by 47mm compared to the older model, leading to a more commodious interior that manifests in an added 18mm of knee room and 26mm more shoulder space for front passengers. Rear occupants, though, will still be in for a squeeze.
Another trait inherited by the entire range is lighter construction afforded by the more extensive use of aluminium. In the A5 Cabriolet, the new car weighs roughly 40kg less on average than the equivalent first-generation model.
The engine range seen in the Cabriolet are identical to the ones used in the new A5 Coupe and Sportback, and the driveline sending power to either the front wheels or all four via the Quattro permanent all-wheel drive system.
There should naturally be some variation according to region, but all should receive at least two TFSI petrol motors and an equal spread of TDI turbodiesels that produce between 140kW and 210kW while delivering an average of 20 percent improved fuel consumption and a 15 percent power gain over the outgoing model.
For the S5 Cabriolet, a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 engine will be handling propulsion duties, generating 260kW and 500Nm that’s sufficient for a 5.1-second dash to 100km/h. A revised 3.0-litre V6 diesel should also be making an appearance in the range shortly after its initial launch, reported to produce 213kW and a 550Nm.
As usual, Audi’s excellent S tronic dual-clutch transmission will be mated to A5 Cabriolets, just as it will be for the Coupe and Sportback, with 7 forward ratios and super sharp shifts. A six-speed manual transmission will also be made available as a no-cost option and an 8-speed automatic might also be on the cards for some markets.