Audi A5, S5 supersedans get their kit off

  • New engines, new features added
  • First steps to autonomy included
  • Telephone tech in seat belts
2017 AUDI S5 AND A5 GO CONVERTIBLE. Images: Audi Germany / Newspress
2017 AUDI S5 AND A5 GO CONVERTIBLE: Image: Audi Germany / Newspress
INGOLSTAT, Germany – Audi Europe is about to introduce (Feb 2017) 16 convertible versions of its recently updated A5 Coupe and Sportback with “all the new state-of-the-art design, engineering and technology” already on those cars.
     First deliveries of right-hand drive versions are expected in April 2017 in Britain from, in direct rand/sterling conversions and for guidance only, R580 000.
     At the same time, Audi says, the S5 Cabriolet will join the range with a new three-litre, 260kW / 500Nm V6 TFSI for priced from R855 000 with S-specific body detailing and dynamic enhancements.
2017 AUDI S5 AND A5 GO CONVERTIBLE. Images: Audi Germany / Newspress
2017 AUDI S5 AND A5 GO CONVERTIBLE: Image: Audi Germany / Newspress
     The power-folding roof with be in traditional fabric but with acoustic optimisation and automatic operation in a choice of red, black, dark grey and brown. The automaker explains: “A new one-touch opening function makes operation much easier. The flick of a switch is all it takes to open the soft top fully automatically in 15sec or close it in 18 at up to 50km/h.
EASY FOLDING: USE LEVERS
     “It will be stowed in a fully automatic tray that moves down when opening the soft top and up again when the soft top is closed to give the easiest possible access to the 380-litre luggage capacity at all times.
     “The rear seats have a 40/20/40 split and can be easily folded forward using levers in the boot.”
     A5 variants can be specified with a wind deflector and the option of a head-level heating system for front occupants though heatable front seats are standard across the board.*
     Talking on a cellphone in a top-down convertible is all but impossible, going by The Corner’s experience over the years. Now Audi has a smartphone interface with a seat-belt microphones on all cabrios to amplify call quality.
     Entry-level SE specification gets leather upholstery on the rear and power-operated front seats, Audi drive select, Audi parking guidance with front and rear radar and 17″, 15-spoked, alloy wheel rims.
2017 AUDI S5 AND A5 GO CONVERTIBLE. Images: Audi Germany / Newspress
2017 AUDI S5 AND A5 GO CONVERTIBLE. Image: Audi Germany / Newspress
     S line top-end units will have five-spoke 18″ alloy rims, diode front and rear lights and leather/Alcantara upholstery as well as a lower and stiffer suspension but the option of a ‘comfort dynamic’ suspension.
     Any model can be specced with electronically adaptable ‘comfort suspension’.
THE ENGINES
     Two two-litre TFSI (petrol) and a two-litre TDI (diesel) engine of various power and torque will (in Europe) be available for the A5 Cabriolet. For those with a preference for petrol the lesser will be a 142kW front-wheel drive manual or auto, the more powerful a 189kW with all-wheel drive.
open-audi-pos-5
AUDI A5 AND S5 GO CONVERTIBLE: Image: Audi Germany / Newspress
     In the TDI camp will be a four-cylinder two-litre 142kW with front or all-wheel drive and auto transmission and a 164kW three-litre V6 TDI AWD automatic – all of the above capable of 240km/h or thereabouts.
     The S5 Cabriolet has a new three-litre TFSI six making 265kW and capable of five seconds to 100km/h (like, who cares?) and the usual German 250km/h with its permanent all-wheel drive and eight-speed auto transmission while riding on 19″ alloy rims with S sport suspension.
     It can, however, be fitted with a sport differential capable of finely metering torque between the rear wheels to complement the quattro all-wheel drive and maximise cornering ability.
     Given that sooner or later some driver will still overcook it, the A5 cabrio has, according to its maker, as many as 30 driving assistance systems. Adaptive cruise control and stop/go fuel saving, combining to take the continuous shunting in traffic jams out of the commuting equation.
     It can also take over the steering on some roads, working in conjunction with the GPS.
Collision avoidance/mitigation is included should a sudden avoidance manoeuvre be required. It’s based on data from the front camera and radar sensors and computes a recommended driving line within a fraction of a second.
OTHER LITTLE HELPERS…
…include parking and cross-traffic alerts, ‘exit’ warning (for when you’re doing 250km/h on the autobahn, perhaps?), traffic-sign recognition and lane-keeping assistance – all of the above part of the autonomous driving that Audi will introduce in due course.
     Other available features in the Audi A5 and S5 technology range, in conjunction with a “virtual cockpit”, are a head-up (thank goodness PR peeps have followed The Corner’s refusal to used the plural!) display, wireless cellphone charger, a B&O 3D audio set-up and matrix diode headlights.
* All specifications in the above Carman’s Corner feature are for European RHD models. They may vary on units supplied to South Africa.
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