FOR sheer enjoyment, the Audi A5 Cabriolet is hard to beat, hands, and top, down.
The ragtop on this *$272K beauty is not just about aesthetics, but about acoustics, allowing you to hear the two-litre engine, and the world going by with the top down, but cocooned and offering a fairly decent acoustic chamber with the tri-layered top up.
The top is supposed to dampen the sound of hard drops of rain, but it did rain and you could still hear it pelting down. Maybe it would have been worse if not for the 3 layers. But otherwise, the sound sealing is remarkably good.
There is a blind spot due to the amount of fabric that seals off the back diagonally behind the driver. And so, the blind spot monitor becomes your best friend when changing lanes.
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There’s no rush of wind to the head with the top down; it’s all carefully thought out, and you are able to concentrate on the driving. The rigid frame of the car plays itself out well as there is virtually no give as it takes corners and bends without dramas.
Topless In The Tropics?
The cabriolet seems an impractical choice in the tropics, with the sun blazing down, the rain pouring down, and smog and other unseen particles in the air, but it still has that allure and emotional reaction that only a topless form can stir.
In the unpredictable local weather, it’s good to know that the top can be up in around 15 seconds, up to a speed of 50kmh. The extensive reinforcement ensures there is no flexing which allows for the top to snap into place without issue. The top pops into a compartment in the boot, which can be pushed out of the way to accommodate a reasonable amount of kit.
While a bit slow to get moving, the seven-speed transmission does kick the gears into action, upping the pace and running along, smoothly reaching 100kmh in under 8 seconds, and on to a top speed of 237kmh. You’d think your words may be blown away at higher speeds, but with the windows up, there is an air pocket which allows you to have a decent conversation without having to shout.
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And you don’t have to raise your voice if someone calls, thanks to the mic placed on the seatbelt which comes to rest on your shoulder.
The cabriolet is an emotional choice, and you can understand why, with the curves on this well-proportioned A5 variant. The lines are sexier with the top down, emphasising the sleek form.
The connectivity in the car is in keeping with the latest advances, along with loads of safety features. The touch displays offer bright graphics whether the top is up or down, and the information accessible via the multifunction steering wheel, along with the paddle shifters, are excellent accompaniment for the more engaged driver.
The A5 cabriolet is no racer, but it’s a fast enough cruiser that is supple and quite fetching.
AUDI A5 CABRIOLET RATING
*Please reconfirm price with dealer.
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