2017 Audi A5 Convertible

2017 audi a5 convertible – DOC653729

2015 was quite a busy year for Audi, with the Germans launching the Q7, A4 and R8, and it seems 2016 will bring at least as many new vehicles from the Ingolstadt-based company. One such model is the A5 Convertible, which is scheduled to break cover in the second half of 2016, likely a few months after Audi launches the A5 Coupe.

Having already seen prototypes of the S5 and RS5 coupes testing near the Nurburgring, it’s safe to assume that the convertible will get higher performance models as well. Until that happens, we might as well take a closer look at the standard model, which will be overhauled in order to give the BMW 4 Series Convertible and the brand-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Convertible a run for their money.

It won’t be easy, but Audi’s new design language, classy interiors, and updated drivetrains should at least make the new A5 a strong competitor in this crowded niche. What’s more, since all newly launched Audis are significantly lighter than their predecessors, the upcoming A5 Convertible should also get a lighter body and underpinnings. As a result, it will be quicker and more nimble than the previous model, which is great news no matter how you look at it.

Our paparazzi just caught the A5 Convertible on the move somewhere in Germany, which makes it a good time to have a closer look at Ingolstadt’s upcoming drop-top.

Spy Shots

November 2, 2015 – Audi A5 Convertible caught on the German roads

Audi A5 Convertible

Audi A5 Convertible

Audi A5 Convertible

Exterior

Although we have yet to see the new A5 coupe in the metal, the prototype seen here provides plenty of hints as to what the convertible will look like. The camouflage seems to hide sharper body lines, which confirms that the A5 will be heavily based on the recently launched A4. Essentially, the A5 Convertible should be a two-door version of the A4 with its roof chopped off.

The A5 Convertible should be a two-door version of the A4 with its roof chopped off.

The second-gen cabriolet will be about the same size and shape as its predecessor, but with updated styling consisting of slightly reshaped body panels and more angular features. Both the headlamps and the front grille will feature sharper design cues, while the bumper will get bigger air intakes. Around back, look for thinner taillights, a shorter trunk lid and a new bumper. The new soft-top, which was design to mimic the coupe’s metal roof, should be lighter and fold quicker and at slightly higher speeds.

Overall, the new A5 Convertible will be a tad sportier than its predecessor. Although evolutionary, its new styling is different enough to give it a fresh look.

Interior

Audi A5 Convertible

Unlike the exterior, the interior will be completely redesigned, ditching all of the dated cues of the current model. As seen in the new A4 sedan, the previous dashboard will be replaced by a new unit with a continuous air-vent strip, while the new center console will sport a cleaner look. Both will give the cabin a more high-tech appearance and enhanced roominess.

The cabriolet will also receive a new steering wheel with revised buttons, a larger, free-standing display for the infotainment system, and a new air conditioning unit. Look for an array of softer materials on the seats, dashboard, and door panels, as well as new upholstery colors. The drop-top should also offer enhanced headroom and legroom thanks to better interior packaging.

Drivetrain

Audi A5 Convertible

Much like the A4, the A5 Convertible should receive a range of updated gasoline and diesel engines. The sedan gained a 1.4-liter, TFSI rated at 148 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque and a 2.0-liter, TFSI generating either 187 horses and 236 pound-feet or 248 horsepower and 273 pound-feet.

The diesel lineup includes a 2.0-liter four-banger and a 3.0-liter V-6. The four-pot cranks out either 148 horsepower and 236 pound-feet or 184 horsepower and 295 pound-feet. The V-6 also comes in two flavors, generating 215 horsepower and 295 pound-feet or 268 horses and 443 pound-feet, respectively.

In the U.S., however, the A5 Convertible will get fewer powerplants. Although the current model is offered only with a 2.0-liter TFSI, the next-gen drop-top is likely to gain a diesel version as well. My best guess is that the U.S.-spec A5 will be sold with the 248-horsepower and 273-pound-feet 2.0-liter TFSI and the 215-horsepower and 295-pound-feet 3.0-liter V-6.

The A5 Cabriolet will be up to 250 pounds lighter than its predecessor

In the transmission department, there should be new generations of the S tronic, Tiptronic and manual gearboxes. It remains to be seen whether the S tronic transmission will become available for front-wheel-drive A5 models, like it happened in the case of the A4. As usual, cabriolet will benefit from Audi’s quattro AWD system with wheel-selective torque control.

Probably the biggest news here is that the A5 Cabriolet will be up to 250 pounds lighter than its predecessor, due to the enhanced MLB platform (known as the MLB Evo) it will ride on. The reduced curb weight should bring enhanced performance and fuel economy and reduced CO2 emissions.

Prices

Pricing for the new A5 Convertible should be only a bit more expensive than the current model. The 2015 model year drop-top retails from $47,900 in base trim and from $50,200 if selected in the Premium Plus version. Production of the redesigned A5 should begin toward the end of 2016.

Competition

BMW 4 Series Convertible

BMW 4 Series Convertible

Launched in 2013, the current 4 Series Convertible comes with two engine choices in the U.S. The base 428i version is powered by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that delivers 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. This amount of power enables the 428i to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in about 6.2 seconds and up to an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.

The range-topping version — the 435i — gets a 3.0-liter inline-six rated at 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of twist. This version needs about 5.5 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start on its way to a 155-mph top speed. Both engines mate to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Pricing for the 428i starts from $50,000, while the 435i fetches at least $56,950. The xDrive AWD system adds $2,000.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Convertible

Mercedes C-Class Convertible

The C-Class Convertible is not yet in dealerships, but it will arrive just in time for the new A5 Convertible. An official launch is set to take place in 2016. Devel oped entirely from the ground up as a drop-top and not by chopping the roof of a coupe, the C-Class Convertible will be identical to the coupe from the waist down, which will make it one of the sexiest cabriolets on the market.

Motivation should come from the same engine found in the C-Class Coupe, meaning the U.S. will get a C300 model powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated at 240 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. The model will become available in both RWD and AWD variants. Pricing is likely to start at just under $50,000.

Conclusion

Audi A5 Convertible

Launched in 2007, the current A5 is getting a bit long in the tooth and Audi needs a revised version as soon as possible. Fortunately, Audi enthusiasts won’t have to wait for too long, as both the A5 and the S5 have been spotted testing on public roads. Sure, it won’t cross the pond until late 2016, but options are slim to say the least right now with only the BMW 4 Series Convertible available in the compact premium segment. If the recently launched A4 and Q7 are any indication, the next-generation A5 Convertible should be a significant improvement over its predecessor, and that makes it worth waiting for.

LOVE IT

  • Updated exterior styling
  • Redesigned interior with classy styling
  • Upgraded drivetrains

LEAVE IT

  • Still about a year away
  • Tough segment
  • Evolutionary design might leave many unimpressed

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