Audi’s Cabriolet models will reach Australia in late 2017, following the coupe and Sportback variants that arrive in the first half and middle of the year, respectively.
The A5 drop-top gains 47mm in length, though sheds up to 40kg in weight to be one of the lightest in a class that also features key rivals including the BMW 4 Series Convertible and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet, and the Infiniti Q60 Convertible.
Audi claims the A5 has the stiffest body in its class, with its construction, reinforced sills and extra struts in the body increasing rigidity by 40 per cent over the previous Cabriolet.
The stronger body will assist ride and handling, as should a revised suspension that replaces the old model’s rear trapezoidal set-up with a more sophisticated multi-link arrangement to match the front end.
A fabric roof is employed again, opening in 15 seconds and closing in 18 seconds automatically via a one-touch operation. It matches the C-Class’s ability to operate at up to 50km/h, where the 4 Series with its folding metal roof is limited to 18km/h.
Boot space is 380 litres when the roof is raised – 100 litres down on the most practical A5 variant, the five-door Sportback. The rear seat is divided into two foldable sections, and the boot opens electrically (or via a kick if the gesture control option is ticked).
Audi says there’s more space up front, with shoulder room increased by 26mm and knee space by 18mm.
The Audi A5 Cabriolet borrows seatbelt microphones from the latest Audi TT Roadster to improve phone conversations with the roof down – while an Audi ‘phone box’ pairs smartphones to the car’s on-board antenna to improve reception.
Multiple options will include Audi’s clever, 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit digital instrument display and head-up display.
Petrol engines will eventually comprise 140kW and 185kW 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinders, plus the 260kW 3.0-litre turbo six-cylinder powering the sportier S5 Cabriolet. It has a quoted 0-100km/h acceleration time of 5.1 seconds, four-tenths slower than the S5 coupe and Sportback.
On the diesel front there will a 2.0-litre four-cylinder with 140kW and two 3.0 TDI models with either 160kW or 210kW. The more powerful turbo diesel is the only engine to be mated as standard with Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system, where it’s an optional alternative on the front-wheel-drive models.
The current Audi A5 Cabriolet range is priced from $81,155.