Audi A5 Cabriolet

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Audi A5 Cabriolet

Road Test

Audi A5 Cabriolet 3.0 TDI quattro SE

Driven March 2009

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There's something really attractive about a proper soft-top in the era of folding metal. It harks back to a time when convertibles, roadsters and cabriolets were more of a rarity and an indulgence; a vastly more emotional purchase, and one that commanded attention and envy.

The A5 Cabriolet is cloth. Might seem a little odd in the light of BMW's success with its very metal 3-Series Convertible, but if an outfit as accomplished as Audi is confident about sticking with fabric roofs - even on comparatively high-end models like the A5 - then there must be good reason. And reason beyond simple economics.

There is. A fabric roof is vastly simpler, making it lighter and less bulky. This in turn means it's quicker to operate, hampers performance less by avoiding excess lard and stows away with less ingress into the boot space.

The A5 Cabriolet does its morphing business in about 15 seconds, and the vital bit of that in considerably less if the heavens open. That's weirdly quick when you see it. The hood is genuinely well insulated too, so when in place you can get close - albeit not quite close enough - to fixed-head levels of refinement.

There isn't a great case for folding metal when the job's done this well in cloth. It looks better and works better. It is better. 

Matt Master

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