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Audi reveals Mk2 version of A5 drop-top

Stiffer, lighter cabriolet promises more power, more space.

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Audi has unveiled the Cabriolet version of its latest A5 model, ahead of the car’s public debut at the Los Angeles motor show next week.

The second-generation four-seater is 40% more torsionally rigid than its predecessor, according to its makers making it best-in-class. It has also been reduced in weight by up to 40kg.

Styling changes centre on making the car look sleeker – the body, which is 5cm longer than the Mk1, has a long wraparound bonnet and short overhangs, the rear window is flatter and the front grille is much flatter and wider while other styling markers include a wave-shaper shoulder line and flared tops to the wheel arches.

Inside there is more space, courtesy of a slightly longer wheelbase and more compact seats.

The soft-top is operated by flicking a switch, opening in 15 seconds, closing in 18 at speeds up to 30mph. Maximum luggage capacity, with the hood up, is 380 litres.

Audi A5 cabriolet

Initially three engine options will be available, a 2.0-litre diesel of 190hp, a 3.0-litre version with 218hp, and a 2.0-litre petrol unit with 252hp. They will soon be joined, however, by a 190hp version of the 2.0-litre petrol engine and a 286hp variant of the 3.0-litre diesel.

Audi says all the engines are improved over predecessors, producing up to 17% more power while returning fuel economy improved by up to 22%.

Transmission options will range across six-speed manual, seven-speed S tronic or eight-speed tiptronic auto units. Front-wheel drive will be standard though two versions of the quattro all-wheel-drive will be available, including a fuel- saving ultra format.

Launching at the same time as the A5 Cabriolet is the new version of the S5 performance model – like the Coupe and Sportback powered by a V6 turbo petrol engine with 354hp, 21hp more than its predecessor and matched to an eight-speed tiptronic transmission and quattro all-wheel-drive.

Like its hard-top sisters the new Cabriolet will be able to be fitted with Audi’s latest technology options such as the Virtual Cockpit and the MMI Navigation plus with MMI Touch infotainment system, with access to Audi’s Connect online services.

However the car offers new technology of its own, including microphones in the seat belts which will help with voice-operated controls when the hood is open. These will be standard on every car.

Audi S5 Cabriolet (red) and A5 Cabriolet (white)

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.