Cabriolet lovers hopeful of an Indian summer will welcome the new Audi S5 Cabriolet, which becomes available to order in the UK this month priced at £42,245 OTR and will touch down here in October 2009.
The latest Audi A5 range flagship is powered by the same all-new supercharged six-cylinder engine that enables the previously V8-powered Audi S4 Saloon to deliver characteristic sports car pace with atypically high efficiency, and its influence is equally palpable in this latest application. Working exclusively in conjunction with the equally economy-focused 7-speed S tronic twin-clutch sports transmission, the new unit pares CO2 output back to 224g/km and boosts economy to up to 29.1mpg, yet also powers the Audi S5 Cabriolet to 62mph in 5.6 seconds and on to a governed 155mph top speed.
In common with every other S quattro Series model, the outstanding performance is achieved with the help of quattro four-wheel-drive, in this instance in the form of the latest generation asymmetric system with 40/60 rear-biased torque split. The benefits of this configuration in terms of adjustability can be felt even more acutely if the optional sport differential, with its ability to not only transfer torque between the front and rear axles but also between the rear wheels, is specified as part of the Audi drive select adaptive dynamics system. When the steering wheel is turned or the car accelerated in a corner, the differential redirects power in a controlled manner to the outer rear wheel, literally pushing the car through the corner. The driver benefits from reduced steering effort and a feeling of even greater adjustability and control.
Specially tailored 'S' sports suspension gives the quattro system and sport differential optimum conditions in which to shine, and lowers the Audi S5 Cabriolet body to within millimetres of its 19-inch 5 parallel spoke alloy wheels. Aluminium-look door mirrors, xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights, rear LED lamps, special 'S' front and rear styling treatments and black painted brake callipers bearing the S5 logo will also be distinguishing features.
The Audi A5 Cabriolet range flagship will of course also feature the most sophisticated version of the lightweight soft-top - the acoustic hood - which with additional insulating layers reduces external noise intrusion into the cabin to virtually the same level as the fixed head Coupe. On the hopefully numerous occasions when it isn't required, the soft-top retracts in just 15 seconds into a compartment within the boot that automatically lowers to accommodate it. It also raises again in only 17 seconds, and can complete both operations at speeds of up to 31mph.
Roof up or down, the Audi S5 Cabriolet makes light work of transporting up to four adults in comfort, and when the soft top is in place, a best-in-class luggage capacity of 380 litres also enables easy accommodation of luggage for four. In topless mode the roof stowage compartment only marginally reduces this impressive total to 320 litres. Thanks to the standard split/folding rear seat back a maximum capacity of 750 litres can be accessed if required.
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