Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Sleek and Stylish Soft-Top

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Sleek and Stylish Soft-Top

Article excerpt

Byline: Bruce Booth

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, because 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 with 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. It's capable of a top speed of 140mph and a 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 perfect for long-distance runs. …

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