Topless motoring

Audi has given much thought into the design of the soft top – it even features overhead reading lights for the rear passengers.

The roof is a fully automatic affair that retracts out of sight in a mere 15 seconds with the pull of a button on the centre console. Press down the same button and the roof will rise from underneath the tonneau cover in 17 seconds to protect the occupants from the elements.

Audi has given much thought into the design of the soft top – it even features reading lights for the rear passengers. The multiple-layered hood does a good job of insulating the cabin from road and traffic noise but it’s still not as quiet on the move as a fixed roof car though.

An added bonus of a fabric roof design is that it can be operated when the car is on the move, at speeds up to 50km/h, a feature the new convertible shares with its A3 Cabriolet little brother and the TT Roadster  – I can’t think of a single convertible model with a metal hardtop that can do this. Moreover, the hood folds compactly when it’s retracted, using up just 60 litres of luggage volume.

With up to 380 litres of luggage space, the S5 Cabriolet offers one of the biggest trunk space among its competitors. The boot is indeed well-shaped and spacious – golf bags can easily be gobbled up in here. Moreover the rear seat backs can easily be folded down with a pull of a lever in the boot, transforming boot volume to 750 litres if required.

The Cabriolet shares its interior very much with the coupe model. The bucket seats not only look good but offer brilliant support. The driving position is spot on and all the switches and controls are well positioned. The S5 Cabriolet’s cabin ambience is among the best in the class. The materials used and the quality of switchgear are nothing short of exquisite.

The S5 Cabriolet is a full four seater convertible  so there’s seating for two mates behind the front seats. There’s enough leg and headroom at the back but it can be a squeeze for taller adults on longer rides. New to the Cabriolet is the automatic belt feed for the front seats, a feature that should be incorporated into every coupe and two-door model.

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