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Audi's New A5 Cabrio Is Here In Time For Summer
Andy Harris, Motoring and Property Editor
The second generation of Audi's svelte A5 was launched last year and arriving soon in dealer showrooms is the Cabriolet version.

New from the ground up, the car's crash diet and fuel efficient engines will make the ownership experience all the more affordable.

More importantly, the 'acoustically optimised' fabric roof is fully automatic and can be stowed away in just fifteen seconds, so no excuses for not enjoying open-air thrills at every available opportunity. Should the rain clouds appear overhead, you can be safely cocooned once more in eighteen seconds. You don't need to stop as the roof can perform its acrobatics at speeds of up to 31mph.

The A5 Cabriolet offers space for four adults, with a 380-litre boot for luggage. As is always the case with this type of car, rear seat occupants will get perhaps more wind in the hair than is perhaps desirable. Kids on the other hand will love it.

If travelling just two up, the optional wind deflector keeps the worst of the draughts away and allows for reasonably refined high speed cruising. The powerful heater and standard seat warmers will be appreciated too.

Prices start at £35,235, rising to £51,835 for a sparkling S5 variant, though there is plenty of scope to raid the rather comprehensive options list.

Three petrol and two diesel engines are available, as is quattro all-wheel drive for ultimate traction. Gearboxes offerings comprise slick six-speed manual and optional tiptronic or S tronic self-shifters.

At the UK Media Launch, my first drive was in the 190PS diesel, with front-wheel drive and S tronic. Resplendent in Tango red, the stage was set for a sparkling drive.

The sun shone, the diesel engine offered excellent forward propulsion, with suitably hushed tones incapable of disturbing the calm of the luxurious cabin.
The mixed test route included everything from motorway cruising to fast sweeping A-roads. The A5 gobbled up the miles with ease, whilst taking a parsimonious approach to drinking fuel. Up to 62.8mpg is promised, my mid 40s result representing an hour of hard driving.

The sun shone, heads turned and all was right with the world.

The price of £41,780 before options is broadly competitive, though the test car boasted a further £6,000 worth of choice goodies. I'd tick the box for the Adaptive Comfort suspension (a reasonable £600), which allows the driver to alter the firmness dependant on road conditions or mood.

Ultimate thrill seekers will naturally be drawn to the new S5 Cabriolet. Sporting a newly developed 3.0-litre TFSI engine with 354PS, blistering performance is available with the merest twitch of the right foot.

The 0-62mph time of just 5.1 seconds is readily accessible and all the more useable thanks to the quick-changing and super smooth eight-speed tiptronic gearbox. Quattro grip comes as standard and ensures the considerable firepower can be used in safety, whatever the weather.

Also by Andy Harris...
Jaguar E-PACE: The New Compact Performance SUV
Honda Civic -The New Tenth Generation Is Here
Audi R8 Spyder - Supercar Soft-Top Sensation
The New XF Sportbrake From Jaguar Has Been Unveiled
The All-New Mazda CX-5 UK Launch Review
Up to 36.2mpg is forecast, though doubtless buyers of this model will not be too worried. From my drive, using the performance to its full where safe to do so, I would suggest mid 20s might be nearer the mark in general use.
Price for my test car with options just topped £60,000, a little pricy in my opinion.

All A5 Cabriolets models come bristling with useful features. Seat belt microphones for example are there for those who wish to chat on the move and be heard, whilst Audi's parking system and sensors should help avoid low speed bumps and scrapes.

SE, Sport and S line trim levels are offered, with the latter likely to prove the most popular thanks to larger alloy wheels and a raft of attractive styling cues. Of interest is the fact you can opt for a more comfort-orientated suspension, but still have the sporting look if you so desire. With the state of UK roads, this seems like a sensible idea.

Up to 30 driver assistance systems are available, ranging from Adaptive Cruise Control and Active Lane Assist. All are worthwhile even if the hope is that you will never need to use many of them.

Much as I revelled in the excitement offered by the S5 model, I would personally be just as happy with the diesel engine model. Not short of a decent turn of speed and with good green credentials, the standard Cabrio offers all the ingredients that make convertible cars so popular in the UK - an efficient soft top set up, a luxurious cabin with space to enjoy the experience with friends and stylish good looks.

Oozing with showroom appeal, the new A5 Cabriolet looks set to be one of the open air stars this summer and with some affordable PCP deals available, you too could join the cool set. Now where are my Raybans?

FAST FACTS

New Audi A5 and S5 Cabriolet now on sale
Prices start at £35,235 (A5) and £51,835 (S5)
Choice of 3 petrol and 2 diesel engines
SE, Sport and S line specification
0-62mph in 5.1 seconds and 155mph top speed (S5)
Automatic hood - 15 secs to open, 18 secs to raise
High standard spec, plus extensive option list
CO2 emissions from 122g/km
Audi's New A5 Cabrio Is Here In Time For Summer, 6th April 2017, 16:46 PM