DRIVEN: Audi S5 Cabriolet TSFI Quattro Review
Here is our first drive review of the Audi S5 Cabriolet TSFI Quattro.
What’s the Audi S5 Cabriolet all about?
This S5 Cabriolet is the fast soft top version of Audi’s very successful A5 saloon car. Now that it’s available in the cabriolet format, it appeals to an even wider audience.
The S5 has a fantastic sporty look. You can see our example here has Navarra Blue paintwork and a black hood. The car has lots of good design features like the silver highlighted Audi grille and very sharply designed headlights. There is also an awesome set of alloy wheels, as well as chrome highlights around the windows and mirror caps. It has to be said, the S5 in the cabriolet format gives the car a completely new look and therefore a bit more of its own identity in the Audi range.
This new S5 Cabriolet is powered by a very punchy 3.0-Litre turbocharged engine that puts out a whopping 354 PS and 500 Nm of torque. This is a very respectable level of performance for this class of car. Consequently, the Audi S5 achieves a 0-60mph time of 5.1 seconds and keeps going to a limited top speed of 155 mph. For combined economy figures, you can expect around 36 mpg and it will create around 177 g of CO2 per KM.
How does it drive?
So 354 PS in a car you will use to go to work in, to go to the park, and to pick the family up in… This is most car enthusiast’s dream, right? The engineers at Audi have done a great job of making the power especially usable in this car. To put the power to the wheels the S5 uses an 8-speed tiptronic gearbox and Audi’s Quartto four wheel drive system.
Getting to know the car, I was very surprised how well it off-loads its power to the road. When you hit full throttle in the S5, with the turbo on boost, the rush of power is brilliant. The S5 simply launches and it’s off. It sounds awesome even with the standard exhaust. When you hit the top of the rev range you can shift up using the tiptronic paddle on the steering wheel. The system changes the gear in milliseconds, then you are back on the boost focusing on the road ahead. I was very impressed with the straight line performance of the S5 and the tiptronic gearbox. The gearbox has solid performance and really brings a sense of urgency to the S5.
When the road gets twisty, the S5 really comes into its own. The steering setup on the S5 gives lots of feedback and allows you to feel every last bit of grip on the road. The driving sensation really gives you confidence and encourages you to explore the capabilities of the car more and more. This is because of quattro permanent all-wheel drive with a self-locking centre differential and torque vectoring abilities, very impressive. The brakes on the S5 also work exceptionally well and put the final touches to the everyday performance car driving experience.
What’s it like inside?
The inside of the S5 is very fancy. Sitting inside the car you will notice a very smartly designed flat bottomed sporty steering wheel with contrasting stitching, a good sized media centre screen and fully digitised drivers instruments. Additionally, there is a selection of S5 badges all around the interior, in case you forget you have purchased the superior model. My favourite feature of the interior is the black leather seats, which are sleekly designed and very supportive when throwing the S5 around the corners.
The S5 experience exceeded my expectations by miles. The car has lots of useable space on the inside and looks very impressive on the outside. In addition, it’s blisteringly fast in any direction you point it. The Audi A5 Cabriolet is a car that you can use for all journeys in life, but the S5 Cabriolet will make them that little bit more special. It is super comfortable when you need it to be and when you’re on the right road, at the right time, with the roof down, the S5 will be everything you need from a drop top performance perspective. Finally, it will leave you feeling truly exhilarated.
The power from the 3.0-litre engine is a brilliant example of how clever engineering can produce huge amounts of power but deliver it in an efficient and effective manner. Driving the S5 I felt like every horse power was well used and made the car feel relentlessly energetic. The Audi S5 Cabriolet now delivers the speed, comfort and, if the weather is nice, a premium open to the elements drive.
2017 Audi S5 Cabriolet
- Price: £61,190
- Engine: 3.0-Litre turbocharged
- Power: 354 PS
- Torque: 500 Nm
- Transmission: 8-speed tiptronic
- 0-62mph: 5.1 Seconds
- Top speed: 155 mph limited
- Weight: 1,840 kg
- Economy combined: 36 mpg
- CO2: 177 g/km
Author: Paul Hadley