Walter d’Silva, Audi’s head designer, once called his A5 Coupe the most beautiful car he’d ever drawn. How to top it? Surgically, precisely remove the roof and transform the two-door coupe into the 2010 Audi A5 Cabriolet.
TheCarConnection.com’s experts have rated the A5 and S5 among the best two-doors on the market, and the new four-seat convertible shares much of the exciting two-door’s shape, from the shoulders down. Aside from the convertible roof—fabric for compact size and to eliminate the tall, square tail that hardtop convertibles require for storage—the A5 Cabriolet and high-performance S5 Cabriolet stay in the A5 family with a strong, deep grille; a sideview like some sort of German Chevy Camaro; and a sexy rear end with just enough detail to accent its shape, not overwhelm it. The Cabriolets do get distinctive rear LED lighting, and S5 Cabriolets get optional aluminum trim for mirrors and the interior.
Elsewhere inside, the cabin is much the same as the coupe, with a slightly busy dash shape that cocoons drivers and occupants and maybe a touch less sophistication than Audis from the last generation.
Three engines charge the performance of the Cabriolet. The base engine is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Front- and all-wheel-drive versions are available with this engine; front-drive versions use a continuously variable transmission, while quattro AWD versions get a six-speed automatic. Top speed is 130 mph. Audi’s 3.2-liter V-6 is also offered with 265 horsepower, AWD and the six-speed automatic. The top-range version is the S5 Cabriolet; it sports a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 with 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, quattro all-wheel drive and a seven-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch transmission. Its top speed hits 155 mph, and it offers a rear differential that splits power between the rear wheels when traction is needed. Audi’s Drive Select system allows drivers to change the feel of transmission shifts, power delivery, steering and suspension.