Audi A5 Cabriolet S

line

DYNAMIC, confident, stunning and emotionally evocative. Audi's words not mine.

For that's how the German marque sums up the fabulous A5 Cabriolet.

And I for one am not going to argue with that, for the drop-dead gorgeous soft-topper is everything Audi say it is ... and more.

From a looks point of view they don't come any sleeker than this. In my opinion the A5, whether in Coupe, Sportback or Cabriolet guise, is by far the best-looking model in Audi's comprehensive range.

The A5 comes in a choice of five engines, and my steed was the entry-level diesel, a potent two-litre turbocharged oilburner which pumps out a serious 167bhp, while delivering 258lb/ft of torque from between 1750 and 2500revs, making it capable of a top speed of 140mph and standing to 62mph sprint time of 8.3 seconds via its six-speed manual gearbox.

Like all Audis, power delivery comes in a relaxed, smooth manner. The four-cylinder unit incorporates the latest common rail injection system, while a number of other features, including piezo injectors, redesigned fan belt drive and crankshaft balancing shafts, add to the efficiency and refinement of the engine.

The crowning glory of the A5 Cabriolet is its lightweight, fabric roof which can open in just 15 seconds. When folded, the roof is well contained in its own compartment in the boot, leaving a best-in-class 320 litres of usable boot space available. This can increase to 750 litres when the rear seat backs are folded.

I must admit that I could have picked a better week for my stint with the rag top, for with last month's winter conditions in full swing there didn't look much chance to get the car out let alone get the top down.

But I must have been good in some other past life, for a let up in the bad weather and a couple of crisp, sunny mornings allowed me the chance to get out and put the car through its paces the way it was meant for and blow away my winter blues in the process.

The sleek cabriolet is a pure joy on the hoof, its wide track, rigid body, highly-tuned lowered suspension and low centre of gravity help it stick to the road through even the tightest of bends, while the supple ride is just perfectfor long-distance runs.

The A5 offers massive interior space for four occupants, a bonus when on long trips, while the sculptured front seats are set low to give a sporty feel to the driver and front passenger.

From a safety point of view, the A5 Cabriolet is extremely well protected, with prolific use of high-strength steels throughout, including reinforced tubes inside the A-pillars and solid aluminium frame with roll-over bar behind the rear seats which activates in a split second should a rollover threaten.

As for comfort and on-board equipment, then everything one would expect from one of the world's finest premium brands is fitted as standard.

In S line guise, the A5 comes with three-zone climate control, driver's information system, 180-watt 10-speaker CD sound system, 18-inch, five-spoke alloy wheels fitted with 245/40 profile tyres, S line embossed leather sports seats, Xenon headlamps with daytime running lights and body kit extensions.

FAST FACTS

Audi A5 Cabriolet S line

Price: £34,565

Mechanical: 167bhp, 1968cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 140mph

0-62mph: 8.3 seconds

Combined MPG: 49.6

Insurance Group: 15

C02 emissions: 148g/km

Bik rating: 15%

Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles

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