Audi A5 Cabriolet, 2010
Dynamic, confident and stunning - the Audi A5 Cabriolet is emotionally evocative. The four-seater with the fabric top combines a distinctly sporty character with the fascination of open-top driving, refined comfort and a great everyday utility. Five efficient engines, an agile suspension and a wide range of high-end options make the new Audi the most attractive convertible in the mid-sized segment.
Delivery will begin in the second quarter of 2009. Prices start at 37,300 euros for the entry-level 1.8 TFSI model with 118 kW (160 hp), which will follow somewhat later.
Crowning the new model series is the Audi S5 Cabriolet. The letter "S" traditionally stands for supreme sportiness - for dynamics, performance and power, but also for amazing efficiency. Powering the S5 Cabriolet is a newly developed, supercharged three-liter V6 that pumps out 245 kW (333 hp) for superior performance.
Fascinating dynamics: Audi drive select
The perfect addition to this technology package is the Audi drive select vehicle dynamics system, which enables the driver to chose among three different engine maps controlling the characteristics of the fuel feed, the shifting points of the seven-speed S tronic or the multitronic, and the boost provided by the servotronic steering system. If the car is equipped with the MMI operating interface, a fourth, freely programmable map is available. Additional technologies available include adaptive control of the shock absorbers and variable-ratio dynamic steering.
As the dynamic open-top Audi S5 model of the new production series, the S5 Cabriolet occupies a very special position. Its three-liter TFSI - a V6 with mechanical supercharger - unfolds its 245 kW (333 hp) and 440 Nm (324.53 lb-ft) of torque with impressive results: It responds tenaciously to the throttle and delivers excellent driving performance. The quattro drivetrain, a sport suspension with 18-inch wheels and a number of special equipment details underscore the athletic character of the Audi S5 Cabriolet.
The exterior design
Open-top cars are bought with the heart - they are supposed to express the personality of their drivers: their independence, their individuality, their joie de vivre. Design is a particular important factor in this emotional decision, and Audi underscores its leadership in this area once again with the Audi A5 Cabriolet. It appeals to young, highly educated customers with a good income and sporty lifestyle.
The Audi A5 Cabriolet combines the brand's progressive styling with the fascination of an open-top car. Measuring 4.63 meters (15.19 ft) long and 1.85 meters (6.07 ft) wide, but only 1.38 meters (4.53 ft) tall, the Audi four-seater wraps the sportiest proportions in its class in classic elegance. The stretched hood, the long 2.75 meter (9.02 ft) wheelbase, the sharp lines and muscular sweep of the shoulder contour draw a distinctive silhouette. The broad track of nearly 1.60 meters (5.25 ft) front and rear, the large wheels, the distinctive front end, the expressive tail and the sculptured, curving surfaces interact to create a harmonious whole.
The styling of the front end is dominated by the single-frame grille bordered by a strip of anodized aluminum. The bars are painted Stone Gray; in the two top V6 models - the 3.2 FSI and the 3.0 TDI - these are painted a high-gloss black. Three air intakes - the center one beneath the grille - emphasize the width of the front end.
Lines, surfaces and contour edges - an athletic sculpture
Two lateral lines extending beyond the hood underscore the presence of the single-frame grille. An aluminum molding lends high gloss to the windshield frame, and LED blinkers are integrated into the new exterior mirrors. As with every Audi, the flanks are marked by taut surfaces and two light-reflecting edges - the dynamic line above the side sills and the tornado line below the window shoulder. The broad, muscular arched shoulders, the pronounced wheel arches and the large wheels - forged 17-inch wheels are standard - underscore the power of the Audi A5 Cabriolet.
The convertible top
The fabric top with the large, flat glass rear window fits into the elegant design profile of the Audi A5 Cabriolet perfectly and much more harmoniously than a folding steel roof could. It is also much lighter, thus reducing total weight and lowering the center of gravity. A metal top would have brought with it additional disadvantages that Audi fundamentally rejects - wide, obvious body joints in the roof and tail end area and reduced trunk space.
The soft top comprises three layers: top covering, cushioning pad and headliner. In the optional acoustic top, which reduces wind noise almost to the level of a sedan, this is replaced by a foam layer up to 15 mm (0.59 in) in thickness. The acoustic top comes with an LED light for the rear seat - a feature usually found only in the luxury convertible segment.
Large trunk: 320 liters (11.30 cubic ft) with the top open
When opened, the top is retracted under a fixed cover, where it is folded down into an extremely compact, trifold configuration. Its storage compartment, which is made of a robust textile mat and adorned with aluminum trim, takes up just a few centimeters of height and only 60 liters (2.12 cubic ft) of the 380 liters (13.42 cubic ft) of luggage space. The remaining 320 liters (11.30 cubic ft) with the top open are by far best in class. Rivals equipped with a folding steel roof offer at least 100 liters (3.53 cubic ft) less.
A number of clever solutions bring even more convenience to the Audi A5 Cabriolet. The driver does not have to do anything before opening the top - the top compartment lowers itself automatically into the trunk. If there isn't enough room, a sensor annunciates an alarm and the top does not open. A master switch with one-touch function also makes it very easy to actuate the four power windows simultaneously.
The 50:50 split folding rear seat backrests can be easily unlocked by actuating two levers in the trunk. Pretensioned with springs, they drop automatically onto the seat cushions. The standard pass-through is 70 centimeters (27.56 in) wide and 30 centimeters (11.81 in) high. The loading space behind the front seatbacks is thus 1.76 meters (5.77ft) long, providing a total storage volume of 750 liters (26.49 cubic ft). A ski bag is optional; a 12-volt plug in the trunk comes standard.
Like every Audi, the A5 Cabriolet has an extremely rigid body. This is the prime reason for its precise, sporty handling, superior ride comfort and high crash safety. Hardly any oscillations or vibrations can be felt in an open A5, not even at the steering wheel or on the seats - the "comfort points."
Several innovative technologies are used in the construction of the body-in-white. A prime example are the ultra-high-strength steels, which Audi largely fabricates in-house using hot forming. Combining low weight with extremely high tensile strength, they are used in the side sills, the longitudinal members, the center tunnel, the B-pillars and the front cross members.
A whole array of additional reinforcement parts compensates for the absence of a solid roof. In the front section, diagonal struts run from the side sills to the auxiliary frame for the suspension mounts. In the rear section, similar components are integrated beneath the floor of the trunk. The side sills have particularly thick walls. The hydroformed tubes that reinforce the A-pillars from the inside are particularly high-strength and capable of bearing extremely high loads.
Another important component is a solid aluminum frame with integrated roll-over protection located between the cabin and the trunk. When a rollover threatens, electric actuators release aluminum braces pretensioned with powerful springs, which shoot up fast as lightning behind the rear headrests and lock into place, thus expanding the passenger survival space.
Seat-mounted head and thorax side airbags with a volume of 18 liters (0.64 cubic ft) each provide protection in the event of a side impact; full-size airbags protect the driver and front-seat passenger in the event of a frontal collision. Because the control unit knows the seating position, it can adaptively trigger the belts and airbags to provide the best possible protection for passengers large and small in all types of collisions. In a rear-end collision, the integral head restraint system averts the danger of whiplash injuries.
With its long wheelbase of 2.75 meters (9.02 ft), the Audi A5 Cabriolet offers a roomy interior; the open four-seater has plenty of room for longer trips. That's also true for the sportily sculpted rear seats, which can be optionally supplied with a center console with a beverage holder with two cup holders and roller cover, including a storage compartment beneath the front passenger seat.
The front seats are sportily low and sculpted for perfect ergonomics, offering perfect control and support. Electric seatbelt extenders provide assistance with fastening the belts. Integrated into the B-pillars, they move forward automatically when the ignition is activated. The seatbelt extender returns to its ready position once the tab engages in the buckle.
Flowing elegance - the interior design
Elegance in flowing lines, perfect ergonomics, high-grade materials and uncompromising craftsmanship characterize the interior. Like in every Audi, the interior is a treat for the senses - for the ears, nose, fingertips and of course the eyes. The teardrop-shaped surrounds of the instruments have already become modern classics. The central, high-mounted onboard monitor is standard equipment. The sculpted cockpit is oriented toward the driver. Flowing lines link it to the center tunnel and the door linings.
Audi has also consistently used innovative technologies for the engines. All five gasoline and diesel engines initially available for the Audi A5 Cabriolet use common rail direct injection. They are impressive evidence that efficiency and dynamics are complementary and interdependent. Audi has demonstrated the potency of this philosophy in motor sports for a number of years now. At the Le Mans 24 Hours, the toughest test of them all, Audi R8 and R10 TDI race cars have claimed eight overall victories in the past nine years.
The most powerful gasoline engine in the Audi A5 Cabriolet is the 3.2 FSI. Installed in the head is the innovative Audi valvelift system (AVS) - a technology that varies the lift of the intake valves in two stages as a function of load and engine speed. The AVS improves the gas exchange and adjusts the volume of intake air over a wide range. The throttle can also remain wide open even at part load, reducing throttle losses. Torque and power increase, which permits a somewhat longer gearing; fuel consumption is improved by up to ten percent.
Displacing 3,197 cc, the V6 delivers 195 kW (265 hp) and 330 Nm (243.4 lb-ft) at between 3,000 and 5,000 rpm. With front-wheel drive and multitronic, it accelerates the Audi A5 Cabriolet to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 6.9 seconds on the way to a top speed of 246 km/h (152.86 mph). Its fuel consumption averages just 8.6 liters per 100 km (27.35 US mpg). quattro all-wheel drive combined with the new seven-speed S tronic is available as an option.
The 2.0 TFSI displacing 1,984 cc is also a high-tech engine. The four-cylinder combines FSI direct fuel injection with turbocharging and crowns this combination with the Audi valvelift system. Here AVS manages the variable opening of the exhaust valves, reducing flushing losses in the combustion chamber and ensuring an optimal flow of exhaust gas to the turbocharger. The effects are the same as in the V6 - increased performance and lower consumption. Another key feature of the four-cylinder are the two balance shafts, which are a major factor for its smoothness.
The more powerful version of the 2.0 TFSI delivers an impressive 155 kW (211 hp) and 350 Nm (258.15 lb-ft) over an even broader range between 1,500 and 4,200 rpm. It is available with three powertrain versions: with quattro all-wheel drive combined with the seven-speed, dual-clutch S tronic transmission, and with front-wheel drive and either a multitronic or a six-speed manual transmission. In the latter version, the Audi A5 Cabriolet achieves performance that just a few years ago would have been worthy of a six-cylinder version: It sprints to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 7.5 seconds and has a top speed of 241 km/h (149.75 mph), making its average fuel consumption of just 6.8 l/100 km (34.59 US mpg) all the more astonishing.
TDI from Audi - the world's most successful efficiency technology
The TDI engines, which offer a unique combination of power and fuel economy, have been the world's leading efficiency technologies since their debut in 1989. The two V6 diesels in the Audi A5 Cabriolet also set the standards in their class. With their composed character, massive torque and consistent running smoothness, they represent a modern, smart type of sportiness.
Displacing 2,967 cc, the three-liter engine generates 176 kW (240 hp) and applies 500 Nm (368.78 lb-ft) of torque to the crankshaft. The sprint from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) takes 6.4 seconds. Top speed is 247 km/h (153.48 mph). This top-of-the-line diesel, which powers all four wheels via the seven-speed S tronic transmission, consumes only 6.8 liters/100 km (34.59 US mpg).
The second TDI in the program is even thriftier: The 2.7-liter unit with 140 kW (190 hp) and 400 Nm (295.02 lb-ft) between 1,400 and 3,250 rpm boasts an average fuel consumption of only 6.2 liters/100 km (37.94 US mpg). The smaller of the two diesels, which displaces 2,698 cc, is paired with front-wheel drive and a manual transmission. The key data: 0 - 100 km/h (62.14 mph) and a top speed of 230 km/h (142.92 mph).
The entry-level diesel engine is the 125 kW (170 hp) 2.0 TDI. Its average fuel consumption is a mere 5.6 liters/100 km (42 US mpg) (preliminary figure). The four-cylinder unit displacing 1,968 cc combines driving enjoyment and refinement with high efficiency.
The fan belt drive was also acoustically redesigned; the shroud now includes more noise-damping structures. Two balance shafts reduce the vibrations generated in the crankshaft drive.
The four-cylinder includes a number of special features for improved performance. The turbocharger uses adjustable vanes for rapid generation of torque, and a pulsation damper reduces its vibrations. Electric motors control the position of the swirlers in the intake tube to adapt the inflow of air to the prevailing load and speed.
The optimized air management and modified piston geometry result in a high maximum engine speed of 5,000 rpm and improved thermodynamics in the combustion chambers. The two-liter TDI can be operated with an exhaust gas recirculation rate of up to 60 percent, resulting in cooler and leaner combustion and lower nitrogen oxide levels in the raw emissions. The EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) unit provides high cooling performance.
Efficiency in stop-and-go traffic: the new start-stop system
Sporty power and high fuel efficiency are not contradictory at Audi - quite the contrary: The one necessitates the other. The brand with the four rings has also used its new technologies from its modular efficiency system in the Audi A5 Cabriolet. Cars equipped with the six-speed manual transmission in combination with either of the two 2.0 TFSI engines or the 2.0 TDI engine come with a new solution as standard equipment: a highly efficient start-stop system.
When the Audi A5 Cabriolet comes to a stop at a traffic light or an intersection, the shift lever is in neutral and the driver's foot has been taken off the clutch, the system's control unit shuts down the engine. A message to this effect is displayed in the display of the central instrument cluster. On a hill or a downgrade, the brake system maintains the brake pressure automatically unless the slope is greater than 10 percent.
The engine restarts as soon as the driver pushes the clutch to the floor. A particularly powerful starter developed by Audi completes this process in roughly two-tenths of a second; faster, quieter and more comfortably than the competition. The crankshaft only has to turn at most one quarter of a turn before the first ignition occurs. While the driver puts the vehicle in gear, the engine speeds up; when the driver releases the clutch, it has reached idle speed.
Audi combines its start-stop system with particularly powerful batteries that continue to function even at very low outdoor temperatures. Only during the initial warmup period of the engine is the battery not yet active so that the engine oil and interior can be brought to temperature more quickly. The driver can deactivate the start-stop system at any time with the push of a button.
The start-stop system reduces consumption by roughly 0.2 liters/100 km, which corresponds to approximately five grams of CO2/km (8.05 g/mile).
Energy recovery: the recuperation system
Like many Audi production models, the Audi A5 Cabriolet is equipped with a recuperation system that utilizes kinetic energy during deceleration. The alternator increases its secondary voltage during the coasting and braking phases. It is then able to convert the kinetic energy into electrical energy that is stored in the battery. When the convertible accelerates again, the battery feeds the energy back in, thus reducing the load on the alternator.
Audi equips the Audi A5 Cabriolet with three different drivetrains. The 2.0 TFSI with 155 kW (211 hp) and the 2.7 TDI come standard with a six-speed manual transmission featuring short throws for precise gear changes. Internal friction is minimal. The two two-liter engines and the 3.2 FSI can be equipped with the multitronic continuously variable automatic transmission. It combines smooth operation, high efficiency and fuel-saving gear ratios. When speed is of the essence, multitronic offers a sport mode and a manual mode with eight simulated gear ratios.
The innovative, high-tech dual-clutch transmission changes gears in only a few hundredths of a second and so serenely that the driver barely notices. Its high efficiency and long ratio in seventh gear have a positive effect on consumption. Drivers can set the seven-speed S tronic to change gears automatically or they can decide for themselves when to shift gears, including by using shift paddles on the steering wheel.
The new seven-speed S tronic is made up of two separate transmissions and integrates two multidisk clutches that control the various gears. The clutch located on the outside directs the torque via a solid shaft to the gear wheels for the odd-numbered gears 1, 3, 5 and 7.
A hollow shaft rotates around the solid shaft. It is connected to the clutch inside the clutch assembly and controls the gear wheels for the even-numbered gears 2, 4 and 6, as well as reverse.
Both transmission structures are continuously active, but only one is connected to the engine at any one time. For example, when the driver accelerates in third gear, the fourth gear is already engaged in the second transmission structure. The change of gear occurs by changing the clutches. The mechatronic module, a compact unit comprising controllers and hydraulic actuators, controls all shift and clutch operations with extraordinary exactness, even when carrying out precise maneuvers.
The Audi A5 Cabriolet leads its class in all relevant sporty criteria - steering response, stability and agility - yet it provides a very smooth ride The reason for these strengths is the exemplary body stiffness and the cleanly balanced distribution of axle loads. The front axle is located far forward in the front section - a condition made possible by an unusual solution: The differential is mounted in front of the clutch or torque converter.
The suspension design is also technologically advanced. The front wheels are mounted on a five-link axle that can respond separately to the longitudinal and lateral forces acting upon it. Bearings are stiff in the lateral direction for sporty precision and soft and supple in the longitudinal direction. All major components of the front and rear suspensions are made of aluminum, which reduces the unsprung masses.
The auxiliary frame for the front axle and the engine is rigidly bolted to the front section of the car. The high rigidity facilitates the spontaneous generation of steering force. The steering box, mounted low and far forward, transmits the steering commands directly to the wheels.
The hydraulic rack-and-pinion steering with its 16:1 ratio is sporty and direct, providing a precise and finely differentiated connection with the road. A regulated vane-type pump also provides just the right amount of hydraulic energy for the respective operating point. The speed-dependent servotronic is standard with the V6 engines and the 211 hp 2.0 TFSI.
Even more driving enjoyment: Audi drive select
One high-end technology that helps the Audi A5 Cabriolet outpace its competitors is the Audi drive select driving dynamics system. It provides the driver with access to all of the technical components relevant to driving dynamics via buttons on the center console, and enables the driver to switch between three modes - comfort, auto and dynamic - to vary their function. If the MMI navigation plus operating system is present, a fourth mode in which the driver can compose his or her own custom settings from a large number of parameters is also available.
Audi drive select influences the engine's throttle response characteristic, the shift points of the seven-speed S tronic and multitronic transmissions as well as the boost of the servotronic steering. Because of the modular system layout, the customer can order one or more of three additional technologies: the sport differential, adaptive shock absorber control or dynamic steering.
A fast controller plays the lead role in electronic shock absorber control. It continuously analyzes the signals received from 14 sensors and calculates the optimal damping per wheel in extremely short intervals (1,000 times per second).
The CDC (continuous damping control) shock absorbers include electromagnetically actuated valves. They control the flow of hydraulic fluid between the inner and the outer tubes. A large cross-section provides a soft damping characteristic, and a small cross-section provides a hard damping characteristic.
The Audi A5 comes with an impressive array of standard equipment. This includes a fully automatic convertible top, a wind deflector, 17-inch alloy wheels, individually folding rear seatbacks with a large pass-through, an automatic climate control system and the chorus audio system with CD player. Automatic seatbelt extenders, an electromechanical parking brake and - starting with 140 kW (190 hp) models and above - xenon plus headlights including daytime running light strip and LED rear lamps are also standard.
Attractive options bring premium-class luxury to the open-top four-seater. The adaptive light option combines xenon plus headlights with dynamic cornering lights; the high-beam assistant changes automatically between low beam and high beam. The advanced key provides keyless entry, pushbutton starting and opening and closing the top remotely. The Audi hold assist adds numerous functions to the electromechanical parking brake.
For sports fans: the S line package
Audi has put together two S line packages for customers with particularly dynamic tastes. The S line sport package plus combines the taut setup and lowered body with 18-inch wheels. Fine details abound in the interior - sport seats covered in cloth and leather, a special leather sport steering wheel, a leather shift lever knob, inlays in brushed aluminum and color-coordinated floor mats. S line logos are found on the fenders, the steering wheel, the seats and the door sill trims. The exterior colors Misano Red, pearl effect and Monza Silver, metallic are offered exclusively for the S line sport package plus.