Audi expands its gorgeous A5 lineup to include a brand new model for 2010, the A5 cabriolet. It’s a powerful, elegant subcompact soft top that’s as much fun to drive in winter as it will be come the summertime.
The four-passenger cabrio really stands out in the A5 lineup (also offered in a coupe version) for its exceptional execution of the convertible operation. The A5 cabriolet soft top is quietly lowered and neatly tucked away automatically in 15 seconds. And it can do this feat at speeds up to 31 mph.
Unlike other soft-top vehicles where the integrated roof bars show like panty lines under ill-fitting, tight slacks, the Audi A5 cabriolet’s soft roof top is truly seemless, almost looking like a hard top coupe. So, when I lowered the powered-operated soft top, the A5 cabriolet went from looking like a coupe sitting in my driveway to a true convertible — a transformatively different vehicle.
I drove the A5 cabriolet in the dead of winter — a very cold January to be exact — and noticed how quiet the interior of the car was when driving on highways; no whooshing sounds, no vibrations, no road noise, no icy winter drafts penetrating the top’s soft surfaces.
Audi design people engineered a unique soft top with their own Audi Acoustic Technology to come up with interior noise levels on par with its coupe sibling. The interior lining of the cabin’s snug, pillowy soft top is tautly stretched overhead. And even though an Arctic chill had settled over the region I took the tester out for a drive with the top down — my version of taking a New Year’s Day polar bear jump in the ocean.
Audi, being the consummate luxury brand that it is, warmed my ride with a neck scarf heating system.
A heating ventilation feature was integrated into the headrest to blow warm air all around the back of the head. It was part of a $2,400 Comfort package that included perforated genuine Milano leather, plus ventilated and heated front sport seats.
The 2010 A5 cabriolet has two separate engine offerings. It begins with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic. The turbocharged 2.0-liter engine has a horsepower delivery of 211 at 6,000 rpm and torque rating of 258 lb.-ft. from 1,500 to 4,200 rpm.
The second engine option on the new A5 cabriolet is the 3.2-liter supercharged V-6 that generates 265 horsepower and 245 lb.-ft. of torque. This model returns 17/26 mpg. I drove the 2.0 turbocharged all-wheel drive variant that came with a base price of $44,100.
Assisting my tester’s six-speed automatic with fuel efficiency is the engine’s Direct Injection fuel management. The subcompact’s turbo engine has EPA mileage ratings of 20 miles per gallon city and 26 mpg highway. Oh, and by the way, Audi points out that it is the first auto brand to market all of its U.S. vehicles in the 2010 model year with Direct Injection.
DI is the newest trend in state-of-the-art engine/fuel sciences — and automakers are loving it because it’s helping them boost fuel economy ratings, especially when mated to an advanced automatic transmission; something more sophisticated four- or five-speed automatic.
A 333-horsepower V-6 2010 S6 cabriolet also joins the 2010 A5 cabriolet. Pricing for the Audi cabriolets range from $42,000 to $58,250. — Connie Keane, Motor Matters
Next Bonus Wheels: 2010 Mazda5
2010 AUDI A5
VEHICLE TYPE_________________ 4-passenger subcompact AWD cabriolet
BASE PRICE___________________ $44,100 (as tested: $56,525)
ENGINE TYPE__________________ DOHC turbocharged 4-cylinder w/DI
HORSEPOWER (net)_____________ 211 at 6000 rpm
TORQUE (lb.-ft.)_____________ 258 at 1500-4200 rpm
TRANSMISSION_________________ 6-speed automatic
WHEELBASE____________________ 108.3 in.
OVERALL LENGTH_______________ 182.1 in.
CURB WEIGHT__________________ 4,034 lbs.
FUEL CAPACITY________________ 17.2 gal.
EPA MILEAGE RATING___________ 20 mpg city, 26 mpg highway
Copyright, Motor Matters, 2010