Road Test 2010 Audi S5 Cabriolet: Maybe it's not all about you, but then, who cares? - National... | Catalog-cars

Road Test 2010 Audi S5 Cabriolet: Maybe it's not all about you, but then, who cares? – National…

29 Aug 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Road Test 2010 Audi S5 Cabriolet: Maybe it's not all about you, but then, who cares? – National…
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Maybe college girls are more, um, outgoing today. Or perhaps we’re just becoming more handsome with age. Or maybe, just maybe, it had something to do with the 2010 Audi S5 Cabriolet we were driving through campus that had the coeds calling out, vocally expressing admiration.

Alas, the latter is probably true.

On the other hand, being behind the wheel of that Audi high performance convertible isn’t a complete disappointment.

To the contrary, driving al fresco in the S5 Audi S5 quattro S-Tronic Cabriolet on one of the last temperate days of autumn is an superb experience. The S5 is, as its name suggests, a more extreme version of the A5, itself available as a two-door coupe and convertible. The latter, with the thickly padded and insulated fabric roof, is what’s technically called a cabriolet.

And as either as S5 Cabriolet or A5 Cabriolet, it’s new for 2010.

Differentiating between A5 and S5 coupes and cabriolets is primarily a function of engines, with transmissions, suspension and other factors keying off what’s under the hood. Essentially, the A5 Coupe is available with a 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injection four or a 3.2-liter direct-injection V6. The A5 Cabriolet is offered only with the two-liter turbo four.

The S5 Coupe, on the other hand, is powered by a 4.2-liter direct-injection V-8, with the S5 Cabriolet–the subject of our road test–coming only with a new supercharged direct-injection V-6.

Scroll down for the photo gallery for more views of the 2010 Audi S5 Cabriolet.

What the A5/S5 Coupe/Cabriolet share is a design with more flow than other Audi models, with a hood line that arcs up behind large single frame Audi grille. A double crested character line sweeps from front to rear. The interior is a more exuberant version of the typically classy Audi interior, the character of the exterior carrying over to the interior.

The satin-finished door panel trim arches into a bright metal door handle, repeating the curves from the door skins outside.

The touch surfaces are soft, and even surfaces not usually touched are soft as well, such as the supple leather of the shifter boot. The door armrest, the center armrest and the other more obvious places are ultra-soft touch as well.

Our test S5 Cabrio also came with distinctive red-on-black seats and door panels. plus red stitching on the black leather-wrapped steering wheel, a striking combination that drew compliments from even our resident fashion grumps.

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The cabrio top isn’t as charming, however. Perhaps it was the choice of high contrast black-over-white color on our test car, but the curves of the fabric top, plus the angle between the top and the rear deck, aren’t as visually successful, for example, as the Maserati GranTurismo Convertible. At least the fabric top retracts under its hard tonneau in fifteen seconds, and can do so–or come back up–at speeds up to 30 mph. (We would have done that on campus, but that might have driven the coeds over the top. so to speak).

Coeds might not care, but the fabric top means our Audi S5 Cabrio had a 10.2 cu. ft. trunk and even more, has split-folding rear seats for even more toteworthiness.

Audi calls the A5/S5 Cabriolet a four-seater. We’d prefer two-plus-two. It’s not that the rear seats aren’t big enough.

There’s just very little legroom without major concessions from those in the front seats. That’s unfortunate because the rear seats are well bolstered, though not as much as the front seats, but would provide lateral support in curves, like the front seats do.

The three-layer top provides a snug and quiet interior. It usually requires a semi in the next lane to intrude on in-cockpit bliss. The top also includes LED rear seat reading lights in the headliner, which on our test car was black with a diamond pattern, more attention than a mere headliner usually receives.

As with other Audis using the same drivetrain, the repositioned clutch allows a more forward location of the front axle, which takes weight off the front wheels for better handling, provides a shorter front overhang for improved aesthetics and increases the wheelbase, which typically yields an improved ride, everything else being equal.

The Audi S5’s 3.0-liter V-6 TFSI motor is not, as the T in its name might suggest, turbocharged. Instead, Audi put a supercharger in the vee of the 90-degree V-6 where the intake manifold would usually be. The supercharger, with its dual intercoolers, has a very short gas paths to the combustion chambers. The benefit of supercharging, according to Audi, is the delivery of boost at very low RPM.

The engine develops maximum torque at less than 3000rpm, which produces great pull without a turbocharger’s lag, however minute. A twin-turbo configuration was considered but lost to the supercharged engine.

The engine’s numbers are impressive, with 333 hp produced from 5500 to 7000 rpm, and peak torque–if it can be called a peak–is 325 lb-ft from 2900 to 5300 rpm.

Standard equipment on the Audi S5 Coupe and Cabriolet is a seven-speed S-Tronic dual clutch automatic transmission. No conventional manual transmission is available. The transmission can be left to shift on its own, which it does well and unobtrusively, but shifting manually with the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters is more soul satisfying.

Audi Coupe

The combination–plus the standard quattro all-wheel drive–make impressive performance numbers. Audi says the S5 Cabriolet will sprint to 60mph in 5.2 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.

Acceleration is indeed rapid, and thanks to the S5’s sophisticated suspension and all-wheel drive, uneventful.

Don’t wait for soul tingling engine noises, however. It’s all well muffled, though the engine barks subtly at each shift, up or down. It’s more noticeable on the downshift, particularly on bigger steps when the engine has to rev more to match engine speed, but even at full throttle or on the override, the exhaust and intake noises just aren’t there.

Our test 2010 Audi S5 Cabriolet was equipped with Audi Drive Select, a $3,950 adaptive vehicle operation package that can tune shock absorbers, engine/throttle mapping, and dynamic steering either in response to driving style, or a driver can preselect, for example, a sport mode that will prime the suspension for a performance driving style. We’ve had experience with the system on an autocross-type course and can verify that it works.

We’re not sure, however, that most buyers will find enough benefit from Drive Select in typical road driving to take the financial leap, even on a vehicle as pricy as the Audi S5 Cabriolet. Of course, as we said, it does what it says it does, so we’ll not discourage anyone from putting it on an Audi S5 Cabriolet. Hey, it’s not our money.

If that’s expensive, however, the Prestige package adds $5,700 to the price of an Audi S5, and it includes, (a) Bang Olufson premium audio, (b) keyless entry and start/stop, (c) navigation, (d) autodimming mirrors with compass and (d) memory for driver’s seat and exterior mirrors. Pardon us, but that seems rather excessive. Some of those features are standard or inexpensive options on certain economy cars we could name.

Still, the Prestige package is in an Audi S5 Cabriolet, something that’s not available with the aforementioned economy cars at any price. Ahem.

Audi also offers a $900 Driver Assist package that includeds a backup camera and rear sensors (good to have, considering a convertible’s limited rearward visibility with the top raised. Also in this package is Audi Side Assist which, in addition to the usual blind spot warning lights, will flash brightly if the turn signals are used for a lane change when a car is in the way.

But option or not, what does it matter? The 2010 Audi S5 Cabriolet is a compelling combination of exotic and accessible, though the almost $70,000 price tag on our test 2010 Audi S5 quattro Cabriolet means the model will be accessed by very few. What those who can afford as Audi S5 Cabriolet should remember, however, that those coeds are probably young enough to be your daughter.

Illustrations: 2010 Audi S5 Cabriolet. Photos by John Matras.

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2010 Audi S5 Cabriolet, selected specifications, as tested

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