Revealed in Germany in November, the new 2018 Audi A5 and performance-focused S5 Cabriolet models will be heading to America this May to join their 2018 Audi A5/S5 Coupe siblings presented last summer. Making their debut in U.S. guise at the North American International Auto Show, these new convertibles have a more aggressive style and are now based on the VW Group’s MLB modular platform that trims weight and improves their overall dynamics.

Sharing the same proportions and design cues as the redesigned A5 and S5 Coupe, the new Cabrio’s key difference is a fully lined and insulated one-touch power soft top. In addition to better noise attenuation, the top uses a new mechanism that lowers it in 15 seconds and raises it in 18 ticks while the car is traveling up to 31 mph.

Beneath their redrawn skins, these new Audi convertibles' platform reduces vehicle weight by nearly 90 pounds. It also incorporates reinforcements that raise the already impressive torsional rigidity by 40 percent compared to their predecessors. Combined with the revised suspension and steering systems culled from the Coupe, the 2018 A5/S5 Cabriolet promises to be even more engaging under all conditions.

Roomier cabin

Thanks to a slightly longer wheelbase and redesigned seats, the 4-passeger cabin of A5/S5 Cabriolet also boasts a bit more overall space, with the biggest single gain being an extra 1.0 inch of front shoulder room followed by 0.7 inch of rear knee room. The 50/50-split rear seatbacks fold flat to enhance the utility of the trunk, which has a 13.4 cu.ft. capacity with the top up and now offers optional gesture-control power opener via a foot swipe below the car’s rear bumper. The basic look of the Cabrio’s well-finished passenger compartment parallels that of the Coupe, with the S-Spec gaining its own upscale features. So, too, does the roster of standard/available connectivity and driver assists that range from Audi’s Virtual Cockpit reconfigurable instrument cluster, MMI Navigation Plus and LTE Wi-Fi to Adaptive Cruise Control, Active Lane Assist and Collision Avoidance Assist. A unique touch is a microphone mounted in the seatbelt of each front bucket that enables use of voice-control even when the top is down.

As for motivation, here in America the 2018 A5 Cabrio will be fitted with the same 2.0-liter/252-horsepower TFSI turbocharged 4-cylinder used in the new 2018 Audi A5 Coupe and backed by a 7-speed S Tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission. The S5 drop top will pack the same 354-horse/3.0-liter turbocharged V6 also found in the 2018 S5 Coupe and be teamed with an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic. Both variants will come standard with Audi’s Quattro AWD system with a 40/60 front/rear bias and wheel-selective torque vectoring. No word yet on pricing or  packaging for the 2018 Audi A5/S5 Cabriolet models.

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