The second-generation four-seater is 40 per cent more torsionally rigid than its predecessor, according to its makers making it best-in-class. It has also been reduced in weight by up to 40kg.
Styling changes centre on making the car look sleeker – the body, which is 47mm longer than the mk1 at 4,673mm, has a long wraparound bonnet and short overhangs, the rear window is flatter and the front grille is much flatter and wider while other styling markers include a wave-shaper shoulder line and flared tops to the wheel arches.
Inside there is more space, courtesy of a wheelbase extended by 14mm and more compact seats.
The soft-top is operated by flicking a switch, opening in 15 seconds, closing in 18 at speeds up to 31mph. Maximum luggage capacity, with the hood up, is 380 litres.
Initially three engine options will be available, a 2-litre TDI diesel of 190hp, a 3-litre version with 218hp, and a 2-litre TFSI petrol unit with 252hp. They will soon be joined, however, by a 190hp version of the 2.0 TFSI and a 286hp variant of the 3-litre TDI.
Audi says all the engines are improved over predecessors, producing up to 17 per cent more power while returning fuel economy improved by up to 22 per cent.
Transmission options will range across six-speed manual, seven-speed S tronic or eight-speed tiptronic auto units. Front-wheel drive will be standard though two versions of the quattro all-wheel-drive will be available, including a fuel- saving ultra format.
Launching at the same time as the A5 Cabriolet is the new version of the S5 performance model – like the Coupe and Sportback powered by a V6 turbo petrol engine with 354hp, 21hp more than its predecessor and matched to an eight-speed tiptronic transmission and quattro all-wheel-drive.
Like its hard-top sisters the new Cabriolet will be able to be fitted with Audi’s latest technology options such as the Virtual Cockpit and the MMI Navigation with MMI Touch infotainment system, with access to Audi’s Connect online services.
However the car offers new technology of its own, including microphones in the seat belts which will help with voice-operated controls when the hood is open. These will be standard on every car.
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