By Barry Green
Until arrival of the RS5 towards the end of 2017, the S5 is the hero of Audi’s new A5 Cabriolet range.
Under the sleek bonnet is a fresh-from-the-ground-up, 3.0-litre TFSI engine pumping out 260kW and 500Nm, driving through a new eight-speed tiptronic auto transmission. 0-100km/h flashes by in 5.1 seconds, just 0.2s slower than the acclaimed RS 5 Cabriolet powered by Audi’s legendary 4.2-litre FSI V8.
But, the new S5 is no one-trick pony. Thanks to the high number of gears, the V6 is kept running almost constantly near its ideal load point. An rpm-adaptive torsion damper balances out undesired engine vibrations and enables efficient driving at extra-low engine speeds, Audi points out. ADR combined cycle fuel economy comes in at just 7.9 litres/100km.
The S5’s quattro all-wheel-drive is complemented by an optional sport differential, which actively and precisely distributes torque between the rear wheels. During fast cornering, wheel-selective torque control supplements the quattro system by finely-metered braking the wheels on the inside of a curve. Thus, handling is more stable and direct.
The car’s dynamic ability is further enhanced by a newly developed, five-link sport suspension, front and rear. Adaptive dampers are integrated into the Audi drive select system along with the engine, steering, tiptronic and the sport differential. This lets the driver fine tune the characteristics of the engine and suspension over several drive modes.
The S5 rides on 19-inch alloy wheels as standard, with 20-inch wheels available soon, Audi says. Taking care of stopping are 350mm ventilated brake discs, gripped by six-piston fixed calipers up front, while 330mm discs with twin pistons do the job at the rear.
Finished in Nappa leather, the standard S sport seats boast integrated head restraints, adjustable side bolsters and a pneumatic massage function.
The S5 Cabriolet 3.0 TFSI quatro tiptronic is priced from $119,111. (Not inclusive of on-road costs and government statutory charges).