It has taken a bit to put this monstrous press release together but it has been well worth it. The new Audi A5 Cabriolet Audi S5 Cabriolet are two pieces of beauty. Exciting exterior lines, excellent engine offerings like the supercharged V6 found in the S5 and a drop top to kill for. For all these key features and more, read on after the jump and check out the galleries! There’s over 80+ pictures. Earlier we posted the video of the Audi A5 cruising the streets, so give that a look as well.
The new A5 Cabriolet is a real Audi – and a particularly exciting one at that. The four-seater with the elegant soft top combines its sporty character with the joy of top-down driving, superior comfort and great everyday utility. Five engines and a wide range of high-end options will be available at launch. Prices start at 37,300 euros for the entry-level 1.8 TFSI model with 118 kW (160 hp), which will follow somewhat later. The top-of-the-line model is the S5 Cabriolet – its supercharged, three-liter V6 delivers 245 kW (333 hp) for dynamic performance.
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.
At a glance
- Five engines between 132 kW (180 hp) and 195 kW (265) hp for the A5 Cabriolet, 3.0 TFSI with 245 kW (333 hp) in the S5 Cabriolet
- All engines with direct fuel injection
- Turbocharging for the TDI and the four-cylinder gasoline engines
- 3.0 TFSI with supercharging
- Exemplary efficiency combined with superior performance
- Depending on the engine, manual, multitronic or seven-speed S tronic
- quattro all-wheel drive for the more powerful versions, with an optional sport differential for the variable distribution of power to the rear wheel
- Lightweight suspension, balanced axle load distribution
- 17-inch aluminum wheels, large brakes
- Optional Audi drive select dynamic control system, adaptive shock absorber control and dynamic steering available as options
- Lightweight fabric top with very good noise insulation
- Wind deflector standard, can be stored in the spare tire well in the trunk
- Automatic open/close drive standard, acoustic top optional
- Top can be opened/closed at up to 50 km/h (31.07 mph)
- Variable, self-retracting top compartment that lowers automatically when the top is opened.
- Sporty, elegant design with harmonious lines
- Large luggage compartment even with the top open, large pass-through to the interior
- Wide range of convenience equipment, automatic seatbelt extenders standard
- Advanced assistant systems and features such as head-level heating optional
- Latest-generation MMI with innovative navigation and infotainment features
- Bang & Olufsen sound system
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 A5 Cabriolet. It appeals to young, highly educated customers with a good income and sporty lifestyle.
The 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 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 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 m² (23.36 sq ft).
With its long wheelbase of 2.75 meters (9.02 ft), the A5 Cabriolet offers a roomy interior; the open four-seater has plenty of room for longer trips. That’s also true for the sportily sculpted rear seats, which can be optionally supplied with a center console with a beverage holder with two cup holders and roller cover, including a storage compartment beneath the front passenger seat.
The front seats are sportily low and sculpted for perfect ergonomics, offering perfect control and support. Electric seatbelt extenders provide assistance with fastening the belts. Integrated into the B-pillars, they move forward automatically when the ignition is activated. The seatbelt extender returns to its ready position once the tab engages in the buckle.
Audi offers a broad range of optional seats for special requirements – sport seats with extendable thigh rests and electric lumbar support, all-electric adjustment and heating, including heating for the back seats as a separate option. In the high-end climate-controlled comfort seats, small fans and an automatic auxiliary heater ensure luxurious comfort.
Another luxury feature integrated into the climate-controlled comfort seats is the new neck-level heating. A three-level adjustable fan blows warm air through ducts on the topside of the seatback to warm the back of the head and the neck. The neck-level heating, which is also available for sport seats, prolongs the open-air season.
Another special feature is the optional leather upholstery: a special coating inhibits solar heating while the A5 Cabriolet is parked in the sun with the top down. This heat-up resistance function reflects the warming infrared radiation and thus lowers the surface temperature by up to 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit).
Audi offers a choice of several seat coverings for the entire range of seats, from the standard Arcade fabric to a combination of leather and Alcantara to a particularly soft version of Fine Nappa leather. Seven colors are available: black, lunar silver, pale gray, luxor beige, cardamom beige, cinnamon and red. Inlays come standard in Micrometallic platinum; aluminum, burl walnut, ash and laurel are available as options. The headliner is available in three colors: black, star silver and linen beige.
Flowing elegance – the interior design
Elegance in flowing lines, perfect ergonomics, high-grade materials and uncompromising craftsmanship characterize the interior. Like in every Audi, the interior is a treat for the senses – for the ears, nose, fingertips and of course the eyes. The teardrop-shaped surrounds of the instruments have already become modern classics. The central, high-mounted onboard monitor is standard equipment. The sculpted cockpit is oriented toward the driver. Flowing lines link it to the center tunnel and the door linings.
If the customer has ordered either one of the two navigation systems, it comes with the sophisticated MMI operating system. With its intuitive, easy-to-understand menu system, the large buttons and the central control knob on the middle tunnel, it is the best solution on the market.
Audi has also consistently used innovative technologies for the engines. All five gasoline and diesel engines initially available for the A5 Cabriolet use common rail direct injection. They are impressive evidence that efficiency and dynamics are complementary and interdependent. Audi has demonstrated the potency of this philosophy in motor sports for a number of years now. At the Le Mans 24 Hours, the toughest test of them all, Audi R8 and R10 TDI race cars have claimed eight overall victories in the past nine years.
The most powerful gasoline engine in the Audi A5 Cabriolet is the 3.2 FSI. Installed in the head is the innovative Audi valvelift system (AVS) – a technology that varies the lift of the intake valves in two stages as a function of load and engine speed. The AVS improves the gas exchange and adjusts the volume of intake air over a wide range. The throttle can also remain wide open even at part load, reducing throttle losses. Torque and power increase, which permits a somewhat longer gearing; fuel consumption is improved by up to ten percent.
Displacing 3,197 cc, the V6 delivers 195 kW (265 hp) and 330 Nm (243.4 lb-ft) at between 3,000 and 5,000 rpm. With front-wheel drive and multitronic, it accelerates the A5 Cabriolet to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 6.9 seconds on the way to a top speed of 246 km/h (152.86 mph). Its fuel consumption averages just 8.6 liters per 100 km (27.35 US mpg). quattro all-wheel drive combined with the new seven-speed S tronic is available as an option.
The 2.0 TFSI displacing 1,984 cc is also a high-tech engine. The four-cylinder combines FSI direct fuel injection with turbocharging and crowns this combination with the Audi valvelift system. Here AVS manages the variable opening of the exhaust valves, reducing flushing losses in the combustion chamber and ensuring an optimal flow of exhaust gas to the turbocharger. The effects are the same as in the V6 – increased performance and lower consumption. Another key feature of the four-cylinder are the two balance shafts, which are a major factor for its smoothness.
Two versions of the 2.0 TFSI are available. In the entry-level version, which comes with front-wheel drive and multitronic, the turbocharged four-cylinder unit delivers 132 kW (180 hp) and 320 Nm (236.02 lb-ft), with the powerful torque available between 1,500 and 3,900 rpm. This version completes the standard sprint in 8.9 seconds and has a top speed of 219 km/h (136.08 mph). Average fuel efficiency is an excellent 7.4 l/100 km (31.79 US mpg).
The more powerful version of the 2.0 TFSI delivers an impressive 155 kW (211 hp) and 350 Nm (258.15 lb-ft) over an even broader range between 1,500 and 4,200 rpm. It is available with three powertrain versions: with quattro all-wheel drive combined with the seven-speed, dual-clutch S tronic transmission, and with front-wheel drive and either a multitronic or a six-speed manual transmission. In the latter version, the A5 Cabriolet achieves performance that just a few years ago would have been worthy of a six-cylinder version: It sprints to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 7.5 seconds and has a top speed of 241 km/h (149.75 mph), making its average fuel consumption of just 6.8 l/100 km (34.59 US mpg) all the more astonishing.
TDI from Audi – the world’s most successful efficiency technology
The TDI engines, which offer a unique combination of power and fuel economy, have been the world’s leading efficiency technologies since their debut in 1989. The two V6 diesels in the A5 Cabriolet also set the standards in their class. With their composed character, massive torque and consistent running smoothness, they represent a modern, smart type of sportiness.
The two four-valve engines, part of the modern family of V-engines from Audi, feature lightweight, yet high-strength crank cases. A number of sophisticated measures significantly reduce internal friction. Fast and accurate down to the smallest injection volumes, the piezo injectors in the common rail injection systems ensure a “soft” combustion process that benefits not only the engine acoustics but also the raw emissions. Thanks to sophisticated exhaust gas recirculation, both V6 TDI engines satisfy the limits of the Euro 5 standard.
Displacing 2,967 cc, the three-liter engine generates 176 kW (240 hp) and applies 500 Nm (368.78 lb-ft) of torque to the crankshaft. The sprint from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) takes 6.4 seconds. Top speed is 247 km/h (153.48 mph). This top-of-the-line diesel, which powers all four wheels via the seven-speed S tronic transmission, consumes only 6.8 liters/100 km (34.59 US mpg).
The second TDI in the program is even thriftier: The 2.7-liter unit with 140 kW (190 hp) and 400 Nm (295.02 lb-ft) between 1,400 and 3,250 rpm boasts an average fuel consumption of only 6.2 liters/100 km (37.94 US mpg). The smaller of the two diesels, which displaces 2,698 cc, is paired with front-wheel drive and a manual transmission. The key data: 0 – 100 km/h (62.14 mph) and a top speed of 230 km/h (142.92 mph).
The entry-level diesel engine is the 125 kW (170 hp) 2.0 TDI. Its average fuel consumption is a mere 5.6 liters/100 km (42 US mpg) (preliminary figure). The four-cylinder unit displacing 1,968 cc combines driving enjoyment and refinement with high efficiency.
Dual cam shafts actuate 16 valves in the cylinder head. The common rail injectors are managed by the most advanced controllers on the market. Modern piezo injectors with eight-hole nozzles are also used in the 2.0 TDI. The fine modulation of up to five injections per cycle significantly reduces noise. The single-piston high-pressure pump develops a system pressure of 1,800 bar.
The fan belt drive was also acoustically redesigned; the shroud now includes more noise-damping structures. Two balance shafts reduce the vibrations generated in the crankshaft drive.
The four-cylinder includes a number of special features for improved performance. The turbocharger uses adjustable vanes for rapid generation of torque, and a pulsation damper reduces its vibrations. Electric motors control the position of the swirlers in the intake tube to adapt the inflow of air to the prevailing load and speed.
The optimized air management and modified piston geometry result in a high maximum engine speed of 5,000 rpm and improved thermodynamics in the combustion chambers. The two-liter TDI can be operated with an exhaust gas recirculation rate of up to 60 percent, resulting in cooler and leaner combustion and lower nitrogen oxide levels in the raw emissions. The EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) unit provides high cooling performance.
The refined 2.0 TDI generates 125 kW (170 hp) and delivers 350 Nm (258.15 lb-ft) of torque to the crankshaft between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm. That suffices to launch the Audi A5 Cabriolet to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 9.3 seconds and to a top speed of 222 km/h (137.94 mph).
Efficiency in stop-and-go traffic: the new start-stop system
Sporty power and high fuel efficiency are not contradictory at Audi – quite the contrary: The one necessitates the other. The brand with the four rings has also used its new technologies from its modular efficiency system in the A5 Cabriolet. Cars equipped with the six-speed manual transmission in combination with either of the two 2.0 TFSI engines or the 2.0 TDI engine come with a new solution as standard equipment: a highly efficient start-stop system.
When the A5 Cabriolet comes to a stop at a traffic light or an intersection, the shift lever is in neutral and the driver’s foot has been taken off the clutch, the system’s control unit shuts down the engine. A message to this effect is displayed in the display of the central instrument cluster. On a hill or a downgrade, the brake system maintains the brake pressure automatically unless the slope is greater than 10 percent.
The engine restarts as soon as the driver pushes the clutch to the floor. A particularly powerful starter developed by Audi completes this process in roughly two-tenths of a second; faster, quieter and more comfortably than the competition. The crankshaft only has to turn at most one quarter of a turn before the first ignition occurs. While the driver puts the vehicle in gear, the engine speeds up; when the driver releases the clutch, it has reached idle speed.
Audi combines its start-stop system with particularly powerful batteries that continue to function even at very low outdoor temperatures. Only during the initial warmup period of the engine is the battery not yet active so that the engine oil and interior can be brought to temperature more quickly. The driver can deactivate the start-stop system at any time with the push of a button.
The start-stop system reduces consumption by roughly 0.2 liters/100 km, which corresponds to approximately five grams of CO2/km (8.05 g/mile).
Assistant for efficient driving: the new driver information system
The new start-stop system comes standard with another new technology from the modular efficiency system – the driver information system with efficiency program. It presents all of the data relevant to fuel efficiency on the central display. One of its primary functions is the newly designed gearshift indicator. It uses different sizes and colors to prominently indicate when it makes sense to change gears.
The new efficiency program continuously analyzes the flows of energy within the car and shows detailed information about the effect on consumption of larger electrical consumers such as the air conditioner or rear window defroster, which can be as high as one liter per 100 kilometers. The system gives the driver practical tips, if necessary, such as to close the windows while the air conditioner is on. The current and average consumption are displayed at the push of a button, showing their interdependence at a glance.
The new driver information system with efficiency program brings the intelligence behind the modular efficiency system from Audi to life. It is a solution that is fun for the driver and also serves as a reminder of the driver’s responsibility: Approximately 30 percent of a car’s fuel consumption is a function of driving style.
Energy recovery: the recuperation system
Like many Audi production models, the A5 Cabriolet is equipped with a recuperation system that utilizes kinetic energy during deceleration. The alternator increases its secondary voltage during the coasting and braking phases. It is then able to convert the kinetic energy into electrical energy that is stored in the battery. When the convertible accelerates again, the battery feeds the energy back in, thus reducing the load on the alternator.
Audi equips the A5 Cabriolet with three different drivetrains. The 2.0 TFSI with 155 kW (211 hp) and the 2.7 TDI come standard with a six-speed manual transmission featuring short throws for precise gear changes. Internal friction is minimal. The two two-liter engines and the 3.2 FSI can be equipped with the multitronic continuously variable automatic transmission. It combines smooth operation, high efficiency and fuel-saving gear ratios. When speed is of the essence, multitronic offers a sport mode and a manual mode with eight simulated gear ratios.
Audi offers the seven-speed S tronic as an option for the stronger of the two 2.0 TFSI engines and the 3.2 FSI. It is standard with the 3.0 TDI. Like a mechanical gearbox, the S tronic uses pairs of gear wheels to create seven gear ratios.
The innovative, high-tech dual-clutch transmission changes gears in only a few hundredths of a second and so serenely that the driver barely notices. Its high efficiency and long ratio in seventh gear have a positive effect on consumption. Drivers can set the seven-speed S tronic to change gears automatically or they can decide for themselves when to shift gears, including by using shift paddles on the steering wheel.
The new seven-speed S tronic is made up of two separate transmissions and integrates two multidisk clutches that control the various gears. The clutch located on the outside directs the torque via a solid shaft to the gear wheels for the odd-numbered gears 1, 3, 5 and 7.
A hollow shaft rotates around the solid shaft. It is connected to the clutch inside the clutch assembly and controls the gear wheels for the even-numbered gears 2, 4 and 6, as well as reverse.
Both transmission structures are continuously active, but only one is connected to the engine at any one time. For example, when the driver accelerates in third gear, the fourth gear is already engaged in the second transmission structure. The change of gear occurs by changing the clutches. The mechatronic module, a compact unit comprising controllers and hydraulic actuators, controls all shift and clutch operations with extraordinary exactness, even when carrying out precise maneuvers.
The power flows from the output shaft to the center differential of the quattro permanent all-wheel drive, which distributes it in two directions. Normally 60 percent flows to the rear differential and 40 percent to the front differential. When a wheel begins to slip, the mechanical center differential instantly and automatically transfers most of the power to the axle with the better traction. Up to 85 percent can be sent to the rear or a maximum of 65 percent to the front. The seven-speed S tronic and quattro all-wheel drive come standard on the top diesel model and are available as options for the two most powerful gasoline models.
Innovation from Audi: quattro with sport differential
The new sport differential on the rear axle provides even greater dynamism. The latest Audi powertrain innovation takes driving enjoyment to a whole new level in the A5 Cabriolet with quattro all-wheel drive thanks to the continuously variable distribution of power between the rear wheels.
With quattro with sport differential, the open-top four-seater remains completely neutral in all types of corner as if it were on rails. When steering into or accelerating in a corner, the majority of the torque is sent to the outside rear wheel, which literally pushes the car into the curve. The system thus anticipates and prevents any tendency toward oversteer or understeer, ensuring an even more dynamic driving experience.
Thanks to its extremely short reaction time – less than 100 milliseconds – the sport differential takes effect even more rapidly than the ESP stabilization system. It is just as effective while coasting as it is under load.
quattro with sport differential is a new type of rear-axle differential. A superposition gear was added to both the left and right sides of the classic differential; it rotates ten percent faster than the wheel’s drive shaft. Each stage comprises two sun gears and a ring gear offset from one another. This results in a large tooth overlap for high loadability with a minimal number of components.
A multi-plate clutch provides the connection between the drive shaft and the faster-turning superposition gear. It is activated by an electrohydraulic actuator and runs in an oil bath. When the clutch is closed, the higher speed of the superposition gear is applied to the drive wheel. This generates additional torque at the outside driven wheel and torque at the opposite wheel is reduced via the differential. In this way nearly all of the torque can be directed to one wheel. The maximum different in torque between the wheels is 1,800 Nm (1,327.61 lb-ft).
The secret to the effectiveness and fast reaction speed of the sport differential lies in its management software – developed in-house by Audi. The controller continuously and quickly recalculates the ideal distribution of torques for each driving system as a function of the steering angle, yaw angle, lateral acceleration, speed and other information.
The functions of the sport differential can also be adapted to the individual requirements of the driver. The “comfort” mode is aimed primarily at safety and stability, and load changes are optimally damped. “Auto” mode is programmed for an even balance of all functions. The “dynamic” mode emphasizes all agility functions. It is here that the improved dynamics due to the sport differential are most noticeable. Load change behavior in this mode is both agile and controllable.
The Audi A5 Cabriolet leads its class in all relevant sporty criteria – steering response, stability and agility – yet it provides a very smooth ride The reason for these strengths is the exemplary body stiffness and the cleanly balanced distribution of axle loads. The front axle is located far forward in the front section – a condition made possible by an unusual solution: The differential is mounted in front of the clutch or torque converter.
The suspension design is also technologically advanced. The front wheels are mounted on a five-link axle that can respond separately to the longitudinal and lateral forces acting upon it. Bearings are stiff in the lateral direction for sporty precision and soft and supple in the longitudinal direction. All major components of the front and rear suspensions are made of aluminum, which reduces the unsprung masses.
The auxiliary frame for the front axle and the engine is rigidly bolted to the front section of the car. The high rigidity facilitates the spontaneous generation of steering force. The steering box, mounted low and far forward, transmits the steering commands directly to the wheels.
The hydraulic rack-and-pinion steering with its 16:1 ratio is sporty and direct, providing a precise and finely differentiated connection with the road. A regulated vane-type pump also provides just the right amount of hydraulic energy for the respective operating point. The speed-dependent servotronic is standard with the V6 engines and the 211 hp 2.0 TFSI.
Compact and capable: the rear axle
The rear-wheel suspension of the Audi A5 Cabriolet is a self-tracking trapezoidal link suspension and is identical in the front-wheel drive and quattro versions. It is also mounted onto an auxiliary frame and is very compact for added space in the trunk. The springs and shock absorbers – the latter with small supplemental springs – are mounted separately on the wheel carriers, a solution that enabled the developers to combine high ride comfort with sporty precision.
Audi also delivers the A5 Cabriolet with a sport suspension. Two variants are available – a somewhat tauter configuration and an S line sport suspension that lowers the body by 10 millimeters.
The Audi A5 Cabriolet rides on 7.5 J x 17 forged alloy wheels sporting a classic six-arm design. The tires – including the winter tires – are in a sporty 225/50 format. Individualists can choose from three additional 17-inch wheels, two 18-inch wheels and one 8.5 J x 19 wheel. quattro GmbH also supplies additional 18-inch, 19-inch and even 20-inch wheels, the latter shod with 265/30 wide tires.
Behind the large wheels of the A5 Cabriolet are large brakes that can be very precisely metered. Both 2.0 TFSI models have 314 millimeter (12.36 in) disks up front and 300 millimeter (11.81 in) disks at the rear. The ventilated front disks are designed for maximum heat dissipation: The two halves of the disk are connected by hundreds of small metal cubes, between which a high volume of cooling air can flow in a very short period of time.
The V6 versions of the new Audi A5 Cabriolet are equipped with brakes featuring 320 millimeter (12.60 in) disks. A composite construction was chosen for the calipers: nodular cast iron is used in areas requiring high strength. The piston housing of aluminum dissipates the heat very well. The lightweight brake calipers are extremely stiff; the aluminum disks and cover plates are also unusually light.
Even more driving enjoyment: Audi drive select
One high-end technology that helps the A5 Cabriolet outpace its competitors is the Audi drive select driving dynamics system. It provides the driver with access to all of the technical components relevant to driving dynamics via buttons on the center console, and enables the driver to switch between three modes – comfort, auto and dynamic – to vary their function. If the MMI navigation plus operating system is present, a fourth mode in which the driver can compose his or her own custom settings from a large number of parameters is also available.
Audi drive select influences the engine’s throttle response characteristic, the shift points of the seven-speed S tronic and multitronic transmissions as well as the boost of the servotronic steering. Because of the modular system layout, the customer can order one or more of three additional technologies: the sport differential, adaptive shock absorber control or dynamic steering.
A fast controller plays the lead role in electronic shock absorber control. It continuously analyzes the signals received from 14 sensors and calculates the optimal damping per wheel in extremely short intervals (1,000 times per second).
The CDC (continuous damping control) shock absorbers include electromagnetically actuated valves. They control the flow of hydraulic fluid between the inner and the outer tubes. A large cross-section provides a soft damping characteristic, and a small cross-section provides a hard damping characteristic.
The dynamic steering is another high-end technology from Audi – its superposition gear modifies the steering ratio as a function of driving speed. It is integrated into the steering column and combined with an electric motor. As a harmonic drive it is compact and light. It operates without any play and is therefore extremely precise, with low friction. It can transmit very high torques and operates at a high level of efficiency.
Audi dynamic steering can vary its steering ratio by nearly 100 percent in response to both the vehicle speed and the Audi drive select mode in use. The transitions are continuous and undetectable. The system is very direct when parking, and boost is also very high. At moderate highway speeds, the system becomes less direct and provides less power assist. At top speeds, an indirect steering ratio and low level of power assist facilitate steady tracking.
The dynamic steering system cooperates closely with ESP in the vehicle dynamics and safety areas. It relieves the burden on the electronic stabilization program for the simple reason that a steering correction can be performed faster than the time needed by the brake system to build up pressure at the individual wheels. It thus eliminates many braking operations and the driving becomes faster and more flowing.
Dynamic steering counteracts both oversteer as a result of load changes and understeer. It also provides valuable assistance when braking on surfaces with various coefficients of friction.
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 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.
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.