Due for a formal reveal at the Geneva Auto Salon in March and set for arrival here in the fall, new drop-top versions of the A5/S5 Coupe will replace the existing A4/S4 Cabrios. Expanding on the Coupe's elegant styling and formidable dynamic strengths, the convertible contingent will be available with three different powertrains as well as the latest version of Audi's quattro all-wheel drive (AWD) system.
In base form, the A5 Cabriolet offers Audi's 2.0-liter/211-horsepower turbo four paired with either a six-speed Tiptronic automatic in quattro guise or a Multitronic continuously variable automatic (CVT) on FronTrak front-drivers. Up one notch is a V6/quattro version that will match its naturally aspirated 265-horse/3.2-liter V6 with a six-speed Tiptronic. At the top of the line, the AWD S5 will be fitted with the S4-sourced supercharged 3.0-liter V6 that makes 333 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque. It can be backed by a six-speed manual or a new seven-speed paddle-shifted S tronic dual-clutch transmission. Exclusive to the al fresco versions of the S5 for 2010, this force-fed V6 and its new autoshifter will replace the existing 354-horsepower/325-lb-ft 4.2-liter V8 and six-speed Tiptronic in the S5 Coupe for the 2011 model year. While its standard quattro system is tuned to deliver a 40/60-percent front/rear torque split, S5 Cabriolet buyers can opt for a new quattroSport rear differential that also provides real-time left/right torque variations to compensate for varying traction conditions.
The new A5/S5 is fitted with a lightweight cloth power soft top that employs Audi Acoustic Roof Technology to help better isolate the passenger cabin. Beyond the lengthy roster of standards these two share with their Coupe kin, both four-passenger Cabriolet models come with a handy 50/50 split folding rear seat, a feature not currently offered on any of its competitors. They'll also offer optional climate-controlled seats and a head-level heating system to make top-down cruising on cool days more comfortable. Pricing details have yet to be released, but we expect they would likely fall into the mid-$40K to mid-$60K range.