By on April 8, 2009

Audi’s has dropped their A5 and S5 drop-tops at the New York Auto Show. As the hardtop A5 3.2 Quattro is currently sitting on my driveway, I reckon this fresh air version will be, as The Sun newspaper would say, a stunna. In terms of dynamics and comfort, the new A4 platform is a vast improvement over ye old A4’s nose heavy underpinnings. But a question: isn’t 15 seconds a long time for a cloth convertible to lower its lid? And a word of review-foreshadowing warning for perspective A5 Cab buyers: careful with that spec sheet. A faux S5 is the worst of all possible models. Which doesn’t make it horrible. Just . . . inadvisable. And you see that shot with the four people in the A5 Cabriolet? I’d like to see that with the top up. Please.

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15 Comments on “New Audi Cabriolet: Only 15 Seconds to Get the Girl...”


  • avatar

    15 seconds is lightning fast compared to the A4’s time. Most of that time is waiting for the boot to open and shut to contain the top. But at least there’s still some usable luggage space left (and I don’t mean the back seat) when the top’s down. The four people in it with the top up isn’t much of a stretch. However, you do NOT want to be sitting in the back seat while the top folds or unfurls. In fact, my A4 Cabriolet has a sticker on the door jamb to that effect.

  • avatar
    johnthacker

    And a word of review-foreshadowing warning for perspective A5 Cab buyers: careful with that spec sheet. A faux S5 is the worst of all possible models. Which doesn’t make it horrible. Just. . . inadvisable.

    I assume that this is a reference to the fact that if you tick off all the option boxes on an A5, you end up with at S5 pricing, with “S-line” S5 like exterior, but without the better engine of the S5– and the S5 includes pretty much all the options for the A5 that you’re checking off.

  • avatar
    kansei

    Yeah I’d say 15 seconds is far too long, considering I drop the top on my Miata every morning in about 3 seconds, and that’s being careful about the glass rear window.

    For the record, the power retracting hard top new MX-5 does it in 12 seconds. Like the Audi, most of that time is spent opening and closing the cover piece that sits between the boot lid and the top.

  • avatar

    Handling has improved, but it’s still no BMW. The A5 is certainly striking. The A4–not so much. Handsome, but not striking.

    TrueDelta will have an initial reliability stat for the 2009 A4 and A5 in early May. Audi reliability has actually been fairly good in the last couple of years. Will repair frequencies remain low as the cars age? Remains to be seen.

    http://www.truedelta.com/reliability.php

  • avatar
    Nicholas Weaver

    For a manual top compared to, say, a Miata, 15 seconds is forever.

    But for a power top compared to, say, a Mustang convertible or 3-series covertible, 15 seconds is very fast.

  • avatar

    The Porsche Boxster’s roof closes in 12 seconds. Just sayin’.

  • avatar

    Robert Farago
    The Porsche Boxster’s roof closes in 12 seconds. Just sayin’.

    kansei
    For the record, the power retracting hard top new MX-5 does it in 12 seconds. Like the Audi, most of that time is spent opening and closing the cover piece that sits between the boot lid and the top.

    And each of those has about half as much roof to fold and stow as the A5 (or any other 4-seat convertible).

  • avatar

    Um guys… does it really matter how fast a convertible top goes up and down? Really. So long as it happens in a reasonable amount of time, and doesn’t require an advanced engineering degree to figure out (see: Pontiac Solstice, Ferrari F430 Spyder) it is just not that important. Besides, the only good use of a convertible top is shelter from the rain. I think I’ve put my top up about six times in six years.

    –chuck

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    I’m used to my Miata’s 3-second procedure too.

    But it’s not a fair comparison – a manual top is only practical in a two-seater, and power tops are always slow (which is why I would never want one in a two-seater). 15 seconds doesn’t sound bad, given the length of the cabin it has to cover. And why point out that it’s cloth? What’s the difference between a long cloth top and a long hard top? The hard top is probably heavier and requires torquier motors, but there’s no reason to expect a difference in speed.

  • avatar
    TR4

    Quit whining! My ’64 Triumph’s top takes at least 60 seconds to lower using the armstrong method. In spite of that it gets lowered more than most.

  • avatar
    fredtal

    On my 1965 Lotus Elan it takes me about 15 minutes to REMOVE the top and window frames.

  • avatar
    fincar1

    I’m reminded of my 62 Lincoln convertible. When I pulled the top switch the rear door windows went down two inches, then the top cover (in front of the deck lid) opened, then the top itself retracted into about half of the luggage space, then the top cover closed. It was interesting to watch, and the mechanism was trouble-free, having been debugged over several years of Ford retractable hardtops a few years earlier. If you removed the rear seat top cushion you’d see a row of electrical connections almost the full width of the seat. The top, though, was actually shorter than the convertible top on my 58 Plymouth, an indication of the relative compactness of the 61-63 Lincoln bodies. They didn’t have the cavernous rear legroom of the gigantic 1958-60 Lincolns, but weren’t tight in rear-seat room either.

  • avatar
    davey49

    Why are your pictures always so small? They should be 4 times the size they are.

  • avatar

    What, no Post-Modern Scandinavian commercials of slinky models wearing shirts that disappear in perfect synchrony with the Audi’s top??!!?

    DUDE! -Come ON!!!!

    [NSFW]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTFl0rNNQrY
    or, just the end bit:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8Bf4e2C6fo
    [/NSFW]

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    The A5 Cab is by far the best looking car in the 2+2 convertible segment. The new G37 convertible looks much better than I thought it would, but you’re looking at 30 seconds to put the top up or down there, and when it’s down, you can’t fit so much as a ham sandwich in what’s left of the trunk.

    The A5 even with the top down still has enough space to be a practical, everyday car.

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