Audi’s redesigned A5 and S5 Cabriolets drop their tops, head for Europe in 2017

Audi is launching redesigned versions of its A5 and S5 Cabriolet convertibles. They follow redesigned versions of the A5 and S5 coupes, as well as new Sportback hatchback versions, all of which were first shown earlier this year.

The convertible is simply a roofless version of the A5 coupe, which itself doesn’t represent too dramatic a change from Audi’s current design language. As with the outgoing A5 Cabriolet, the new model has a fabric roof rather than the folding metal hardtop employed by the rival BMW 4 Series. Just one button operates the roof, which takes 15 seconds to open, and 18 seconds to close. It can do that at speeds up to 30 mph, according to Audi.

Powertrain offerings in the United States should mirror those of the A5 and S5 coupes. That means a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine for the A5 Cabriolet, with 252 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. The S5 Cabriolet is essentially a sportier version of the A5, so it gets a 3.0-liter, turbocharged V6 with 354 hp and 369 lb-ft. Like the coupe, a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission will probably be mandatory, with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

Read more: 2017 Audi S5 coupe first drive

All A5 models use the MLB Evo platform that also underpins the current-generation Audi A4 and Q7. Cutting the roof off to make a convertible decreases structural rigidity, but Audi claims the new version is 40 percent stiffer than its predecessor. It’s also a bit lighter than the car it replaces although, with a base curb weight of 3,725 pounds, the A5 won’t be mistaken for a Miata.

Tech features include an available “virtual cockpit” digital instrument cluster, Qi wireless phone charging, and a version of Audi’s MMI infotainment system, with an 8.3-inch central display screen. The A5 and S5 Cabriolet also features seatbelt microphones, which Audi claims will allow for voice control even when the top is down.

The Audi A5 and S5 Cabriolet will go on sale in Europe in March 2017, with U.S. sales likely to start later in the year. Audi won’t discuss a specific U.S. launch date or pricing just yet, however.

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