2017 audi s5 cabriolet – DOC673541
Essentially an S5 Coupe with no roof, the fresh S5 Cab was spotted out on the Nurburgring undergoing a little high-performance testing, giving us a fleeting look at what’s to come from the Four Ring’s future compact droptop. While official details are obviously still under wraps, the new S5 Cabriolet will most likely come equipped with slightly revised exterior styling, the latest infotainment gear, and most importantly, a more powerful V-6 engine.
The S5 was first revealed in 2007 alongside its more pedestrian equivalent, the A5. Originally a two-door coupe, the S5 gained a convertible variant two years later, with a facelift following for the 2012 model year.
Audi just unveiled the fifth-generation B9 A4 last year, which means the A4- based A5 should get its own next-gen model before the calendar rolls over to 2017. Read on for our take on what it’ll offer.
Walter Maria de Silva, an Italian-born car designer who currently heads the design department at Volkswagen, is responsible for creating the original A5, while Achim Badstubner penned the facelift seen for the 2012 model year. Over the years, not much has changed about the S5’s aesthetics, and it’s expected the next-gen will adopt pretty much the same appearance as the outgoing model. That said, there will be a few minor updates here and there, and we can look to the new A4 when searching for clues about what lies beneath the white and black body wrap of the tester.
The headlights and taillights will both get a redesign, with the units on the new model gaining well-defined edges and sharper cuts
To begin, the headlights and taillights will both get a redesign, with the units on the new model gaining well-defined edges and sharper cuts. LEDs will be used for both. The chrome-lined grille will also get a crisper look. The lower intakes in the bumper will get reshaped and will come equipped with new, gloss-free black inserts.
The changes are minor, but should make the car appear both lower and wider, upping its sporty appeal.
Beyond that, the same Audi-ness marches on unchanged. Elegance and simplicity are hallmarks of the brand’s lineup, and the S5 Cabriolet is no different, with uncluttered lines and well-divided proportions front to back. Audis are typically the more subtle option next to equivalent products from Mercedes and BMW, even when infused with extra performance.
The fabric roof echoes the hard top in its position across the body, falling into the trunk at the same angle as the windshield and reinforcing the car’s front-to-back equality even further. All the straight lines create a bit of a “torpedo-like” profile with the roof down, very much in-line with other cabriolets from the Volkswagen group (Passat, Golf, etc.). Finally, quad exhaust tips finish the rear, which come housed in a matte-black lower insert.
Inside the new S5 Cabriolet, the look and layout will once again mimic that of the A4, but with a few prominent differences. The seats, for example, will be heavily bolstered to complement the car’s inherent cornering prowess, plus they’ll get an embossed “S5” logo just below the headrest. The trim and materials will also have a performance flavor to them, with Alcantara, carbon fiber, contrast stitching, and brushed aluminum scattered throughout.
The new stand-up screen mounted to the dash will provide a hub for the stereo and navigation system, minimizing the number of hard buttons and knobs
Interior dimensions should see a slight increase (see the Drivetrain section for more info), which will be nice for anyone stuffed into one of the two rear seating positions (passenger capacity is capped at four). That should be a big plus for the two-door, especially given how limited rear space is one of the car’s biggest drawbacks ( says it’s “sorely compromised” in back, with limited legroom).
Up front, however, all is well, especially with a full suite of the latest infotainment gear. The new stand-up screen mounted to the dash will provide a hub for the stereo and navigation system, minimizing the number of hard buttons and knobs. Some buttons, however, will remain on the three-spoke, flat-bottom steering wheel.
New upholstery colors will be offered, as will standard LED lighting, Bluetooth connectivity, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and an audio system from Bang & Olufsen. One of the coolest features will be Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, which replaces the traditional mechanical gauges behind the steering wheel with a digital TFT display, creating a much more versatile driver’s information interface.
Driver’s aides like adaptive headlights, parking assist, and lane change assist will be optional extras. Cabriolet-specific features like neck-level heating will also be offered.
Audi S5 Cabriolet
The S5’s current 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 will get ditched in favor of the new turbocharged V-6 that just debuted on the latest Audi S4
This latest iteration of the modular, front-engine platform should cut as much as 200 pounds from the S5’s curb weight, significantly boosting performance and efficiency in the process. What’s more, the wheelbase will also be extended, offering more space for passengers.
As for motivation, the S5’s current 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 will get ditched in favor of the new turbocharged V-6 that just debuted on the latest Audi S4. Output will rise from 333 horsepower to 354 horsepower, while torque will get a bump from 325 pound-feet to 369 pound-feet. In conjunction with a lower curb weight, the new S5 Cab should be significantly quicker than the outgoing model in just about every respect. That means the 0-to-60 mph sprint, currently timed at 5.3 seconds, could drop below the five-second barrier. Top speed, however, will remain static at an electronically limited 155 mph.
Routing the newfound muscle will be an equally new eight-speed Tiptronic transmission, which replaces the existing seven-speed gearbox. A standard quattro AWD system will make traction like before. Standard wheel sizing will be 18 inches in diameter.
The Audi S5 Cabriolet currently starts at $61,100, which should be where the new model slots in as well. However, given the long list of pricey options, it’ll be tough to walk away for less than $70,000.
Expect a global release sometime early next year.
BMW 4 Series Convertible
BMW 4 Series Convertible
Unsurprisingly, BMW has its own two-door compact convertible, and it comes with all the sane good stuff as the coupe, plus the option for extra atmosphere. The interior is jam-packed with enough technology to easily rival the Audi, while the exterior boasts a little extra flair. Performance, however, is a bit lackluster next to the S5, with the top-trim 435i offering just 300-horsepower and 300 pound-feet from a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder. AWD is an available extra. Pricing is understandably lower than the Audi, though, starting at $58,950 for the range-topper.
Infiniti Q60 Convertible
Infiniti Q60 Convertible
If you’re looking for a break from the German luxury mold, then Infiniti has a Japanese solution with the Q60 Convertible. All the amenities you could want are in the cabin, including tech where you need it. Under the hood is an all-aluminum 3.7-liter V-6, which sends 325 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque to the rear axle (AWD is not offered). Transmission options include a six-speed manual and a seven-speed automatic. Pricing is also considerably lower than both the Audi and the Bimmer, starting at $48,550 for the base-model Q60 Convertible.
Audi S5 Cabriolet
The S5 Cabriolet does an excellent job mixing luxury, clean styling, and performance into a single package, and this anticipated update for the 2017 model year should do well in enhancing each of these characteristics. I’m especially excited to see what the new architecture and engine can do for the car when it comes to performance. If it manages to hit 60 mph from a standstill in less than five seconds, then color me impressed.
The only issue I see could be with pricing. If Audi decides to bump the already steep MSRP even higher, the S5 Cabriolet might not look so attractive. After all, performance enthusiasts don’t necessarily gravitate towards Cabriolet models, and while more power is almost always a good thing, I wouldn’t be surprised if BMW and Infiniti end up attracting more customers with less expensive (and yes, slower) packages.
- More power
- Less weight
- Top down, luxury-laden motoring
- Styling that’s out of step with the performance
- Too expensive