The folks at Audi saw fit that we take their latest drop top out for a spin so when a 2010 A5 2.0 TFSI FWD Multitronic Cabriolet showed up as the latest addition to the Top Speed test fleet, we were in no mood to decline. The Ibis White A5 looks very much like the outgoing A4 Convertible, however once you spend a bit more time in and around the premium drop top from Germany, the stretched mid section with its elongated lines make the Audi A5 a much more visually appealing automobile than the car it replaces. The new A5 Convertible features the fastest folding roof in the segment, taking only 15 seconds to fully retract and can even be put in place at 30 MPH, not to mention that the cloth top features Audi Acoustic Roof technology that gives the convertible interior noise levels on par with a hard top.
The front end is made up of a pair of LED powered head lamps that sit on either side of Audi’s signature gaping grill with a pair of sporty looking air intakes filled with large round fog lamps on the ends. Like we said before, the A5’s longer lines make it look much sportier, especially when you compare the length of the door compared to the overall vehicle, Audi’s engineers also incorporated a neat trick under the hood to push those front wheels further forward in the car’s profile making it look like a long wheelbase race car. The new car’s additional length also play a role in the rear 3/4 view, the A5 has a wide squatted appearance because the car’s proportions have been altered, so although the A5’s rear end is about at tall as the more bubbly outgoing A4 it has a much more aggressive look from behind, something that is only accentuated with the top down.
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While our A5 Cabriolet’s white on brown exterior was something to be admired, the Cinnamon Brown interior was simply amazing. The spicy chocolate leather covered everything from the door panels to leather seats that could substitute for a set of genuine sport buckets any day of the week. As usual Audi made good use of brushed aluminum in the dash, framing the instrument cluster, but also some tasteful wood trim in the doors and center console. Our car came complete with Audi’s multimedia interface, a unique take on the classic iDrive system where occupants control every aspect of the A5’s infotainment, Navigation and vehicle options through the in dash display. It is also worth noting that the A5’s back up camera comes with guidance lines that move along with the steering wheel, a small touch that goes a long way and should be more prevalent in cars that call themselves luxury vehicles.
It was always interesting that Audi would produce two distinct power train layouts depending on whether you were buying a Quattro car or just a front wheel drive version. The cost of designing and then constructing two different versions of the same car would seem quite impractical. It seems that the German automaker has solved this problem by incorporating a Porsche like transaxle layout, with the engine mounted longitudinally, so that if a consumers wants to have Audi’s patented all wheel drive system, the workers at the factory just have to bolt up the rest of the hardware, which includes a sport tuned rear differential, for something that looks much like a Subaru from underneath.
Our car came with the proven 2.0 Liter TFSI four cylinder that takes full advantage of Audi’s race tested turbocharged fuel stratified injection that makes more power with less waste than traditional fuel injection. The result is a maximum output of 211 HP and 258 lb-ft of torque being shifted by Audi’s FrontTrak front wheel drive Multitronic transaxle to a top speed of 130 MPH. Speaking of which, Audi’s engineers have repositioned the clutch and torque converter which evens out the weight over the car’s wheelbase as well as eliminating Audi’s old long overhang forward of the 18 inch 15 spoke rollers up front. This not only makes the new A5 handle better, but it looks a bit sportier as well. So thanks to the combination of a turbocharged direct injected motor and a CVT transmission means that the mid size luxury sports coupe can still get up to 23 MPG in the city and as much as 30 MPG on the highway.
Despite the aggressive exterior, our A5 Cabriolet was much more of a boulevard cruiser than a track day machine. The suspension was tuned for comfort which means the car exhibited a bit of body roll and unless you would press the accelerator all the way to the floor the turbo four powered A5 seemed a bit lethargic getting up to speed, which is perfect for a 50 year old woman who wants to look good when the valet brings her car around at Saks. If what you are looking for is a real performance machine, then the new S5 offers a supercharged V6 that makes 333 HP and offers even more good looks and best of all is available with Quattro all wheel drive, ensuring that your new convertible sports car is up to anything you want to throw at it.
Starting at $42,000 our Ibis White 2010 A5 2.0 TFSI FWD Multitronic Cabriolet came equipped with the $3500 Premium plus package that includes 18 inch wheels, LED lamps, hands free Bluetooth connectivity, three zone climate control and Audi’s magnificent Music Interface. The Comfort and Navigation packages were $2400 each and brought perforated genuine Milano leather and that wonderful back up camera. The Nutmeg laurel wood trim was an additional $400 and was well worth it bringing our A5’s total price all the way up to $51,525. Although this may seem a bit steep for Audi’s entry level drop top, the luxuries are well worth it.