• 2018 Audi S5 Cabriolet: Svelte Performance and Top-Down Style [Review]


    2018 Audi S5 Cabriolet LSF TD
    [Photo: Arv Voss]
    What could possibly be better than Audi’s S5 Coupe? The 2018 Audi S5 Cabriolet of course, which is an ideal alternative for nature lovers to its Coupe counterpart, adding a touch of “Beauty” to the “Beast” flavor. The svelte Cabriolet serves up style with substance from the Singleframe grille to the twin dual exhaust tips.

    WHAT’S NEW

    The S5 Cabriolet’s exterior is simultaneously dramatic and subtly elegant. It sits low to the ground, evoking a sleek persona from virtually every angle. The LED running lights render the S5 instantly recognizable as an upscale Audi model. Combine all that with the grille, integrated fog lamps in their own individual housings, and slick five-spoke alloy wheels shod with performance rubber, and the overall look ensconces its driver with stirring emotion. The Audi S5 Cabriolet is definitely alluring. But in this case, beauty is more than skin deep.

    Lying beneath the dramatic exterior resides an equally alluring drivetrain. The car’s generous wheelbase allows positioning the engine further aft. That reduces forward mass and results in minimized potential understeer – an issue that’s always troubled Audis. The differential sits forward, placing the output shafts on the front axle’s centerline. The Torsen diff’s torque distribution is calibrated to deliver 40 percent of the car’s motive force up front and 60 percent in the rear. The rear bias helps the Audi feel feel more like an engaging rear-wheel drive car in terms of handling characteristics.

    The V6 emits a pleasing rumble from its dual exhaust pipes, though for my personal taste, an even more raucous note, would serve up greater audible pleasure. The 2018 Audi S5 Cabriolet is capable of scooting from 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds, with the top speed electronically limited to 155 mph.

    Audi S5 Cabriolet LSR
    [Photo: Arv Voss]

    COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE

    The 2018 Audi S5 Cabriolet’s interior provides exceptionally supportive seats along with driver- oriented switchgear and push button start/stop. Also included as part of the S5’s operational controls, is Audi’s available MMI system, with handwriting recognition technology, which is similar to BMW’s i-Drive, but much more user friendly. The parking brake is electronically activated and prevents unintentional launches. The acoustic folding lined top operates at speeds up to 31 mph at the touch of individual up and down switches.

    Audi’s available virtual cockpit provides a large 12.3-inch gauge cluster display. It operates in vibrant color at 60 frames per second with NVIDIA’s quad core processing power. Modes include Classic, Infotainment and Sport. There’s also an available full-color Head-up display.

    The 2018 Audi S5 Cabriolet offers standard smartphone interface for compatible devices. Apple Car Play and Android Auto integrates through a USB connection.

    My test 2018 Audi S5 Cabriolet’s exterior was sprayed in Ibis White and featured a Black and Magma Red fine Nappa leather interior and Black cloth top. The base sticker was set at $62,300, while options such as: the Navigation Package, S-Sport Package, Bang & Olufsen sound system with 3D sound, 19-inch wheel package, Carbon Atlas inlays and Destination charge elevated the final tally to $70,625.

    Beholding the Audi S5 Cabriolet serves up an admirably pleasing experience, and while It doesn’t shout to grab one’s attention, it commands nearly everyone’s admiration in passing. It is both elegant and sexy.

    2018 Audi S5 Cabriolet Eng
    [Photo: Arv Voss]

    PERFORMANCE

    Power for this sleek 2018 Audi S5 Cabriolet comes from a 3.0-liter DOHC, 24-valve, direct intercooled, turbocharged V6 with Audi’s valvelift system and FSI direct fuel injected engine that produces 354 horsepower in a range from 5,400-6,400 rpm, while developing 369 lb-ft of torque from 1,370—4,500 rpm. The engine gears power to all four wheels through an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, via Audi’s quattro permanent all-wheel drive system.

    Driving impressions rank at the top of the chart. The stealthy Cabriolet accelerates rapidly, while negotiating through the gears in either direction smoothly and positively. The S5 is also extremely agile. Although, obviously, its not up to the same level as Audi’s fire-breathing RS models. The suspension plants the car solidly, thanks to the car’s quattro all-wheel-drive system. It also has a low stance, with only minimal body roll during spirited maneuvers. Switching off the Electronic Stability Control (ESP) allows playfully stepping the rear end out at will. It is great fun on a closed course, but I don’t recommended on the street. “Officer Friendly” will likely frown upon such activity. In an emergency, the S5 can apply its electronic parking brake to assist in bringing the car to a halt.

    Audi’s Drive Select feature allows drivers to modify throttle and steering response. You can also modify shock stiffness and transmission shift points in a fraction of a second. The driver may choose from Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual modes. You can select the individual setting through the multimedia interface. The Sport differential settings are incorporated into this system as well. In the Comfort mode, the focus is on eliminating the effects of abrupt weight transfer. In Dynamic mode, the game is more about assisting the S5 in rotating through challenging scenarios.

    TFLCAR’S TAKE

    The 2018 Audi S5 Cabriolet 3.0T is definitely is definitely a spirited performer that also manages to exude a high level of luxury amenities. It is unquestionably, a performance machine that delivers a great deal of wind in your face and through your hair driving pleasure. For more on the S5 – albeit the coupe, watch Roman’s sunny review below. Subscribe to The Fast Lane Car and TFLnow on YouTube for more news, views, and svelte German sports car reviews!

    SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Audi S5 Cabriolet 3.0T

    On Sale: Now
    Base MSRP: $62,300
    Price as Tested: $70,625
    Engine: 3.0-liter TFSI turbocharged V6 w/ Audi valvelift system and direct intercooler
    Drivetrain (Layout): Longitudinally-mounted front-engine, all-wheel drive
    Horsepower: 354 hp @ 5,400-6,400 RPM
    Torque: 369 lb-ft @ 1,370-4,500 RPM
    Transmission: Eight-speed tiptronic automatic
    0-60 Acceleration: 4.8 seconds
    Top Speed: 155 MPH (electronically limited)
    Suspension: S Sport suspension; five-link independent steel spring suspension
    Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel vented discs w/ ABS, BA, Audi Presense, ESC w/ Sport Mode
    Tires: Hankook Ventus S1 Evo2 P255/35 R19 96Y
    Fuel capacity: 15.3 gallons
    Fuel economy (EPA): 20 City/29 Highway

    Dimensions:

    Wheelbase: 108.9 inches
    Length:  184.7 inches
    Width: 79.9 inches (including mirrors)
    Height:  54.4 inches
    Turning Circle: 37.7 feet
    Curb Weight: 4,211 pounds

    Arv Voss
    Arv Voss
    Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring journalist and member and past officer of several noted automotive journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.

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