The current generation Audi A5/S5 is starting to show its age quite a bit. Despite still being a gorgeous looking car, as Walter de Silva’s is still one of the best in Audi’s history, it’s getting a bit old in terms of technology and performance. But there’s still something to be said about a drop-top Audi S5 with a supercharged V6 under the hood. Car and Driver recently took one for a test to see if it holds up after all these years.
2007, that’s when the current-gen Audi S5 debuted, making it 9 years old already and by far the oldest car in its class. BMW launched its 4 Series in 2013, Mercedes-Benz just recently created its new C Class Coupe this year, Cadillac has had its ATS Coupe out for a couple of years now and even Lexus debuted its RC Coupe. So the S5 is playing catch-up right now. However, despite its age, it’s still a great car to drive.
It all starts with the looks. When Walter de Silva designed the Audi A5/S5, he claimed it to be his best work yet and it’s hard to argue that. The current S5 will still look great 20 years from now. The design is both muscular and elegant and makes for one of the most attractive coupes on the market. The interior is also still a very nice place to sit. While it isn’t as high-tech or as visually appealing as the new Audi A4’s, it’s still a great cabin.
The engine in the Audi S5 Cabrio is a 3.0 liter supercharged V6 that develops 333 hp and can get from 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds. It’s probably a bit quicker in coupe form, thanks to its lighter curb weight, but that’s plenty quick enough to be fun. Plus, the supercharged V6’s growl is wonderful to hear over and over again with the roof down.
The S5 Cabrio is only available with Audi’s seven-speed S-Tronic gearbox and it works fantastically for this car. We’ve raved about Audi’s S-Tronic gearbox in the past and it’s no different in the S5, with fantastically fast shifts that are as smooth as they are quick. Just a gem of a transmission. C&D also praises the S5 for still offering rewarding chassis dynamics and great steering, despite being overshadows by a lot of its competitors nowadays.
The only real downfalls of the Audi S5 Cabrio seem to be weight and price. The former is because the S5 Cabrio weighs in at a hefty 4,341 lbs, which makes it the heaviest car in its class. That’s simply too heavy for a sports car to be even with being a convertible. Then there’s the price, as the S5 Cabrio starts at $61,000, which is almost as much as a BMW M4, not to mention its actual Bavarian rival, the 435i Convertible, which starts at $50,000.
However, with the new Audi A5 debuting in just a few weeks, and an S5 Cabrio not far off, those two problems should be remedied. The new MLB chassis that the upcoming A5 will be built on, which it will share with the Q7 and A4, will be far lighter than its current chassis and its platform sharing will allow Audi to price it more competitively. Plus, its lighter weight, better technology, newer engine and transmission will allow it to handle and perform better than the current generation. However, it’s going to be tough to top the current S5’s looks.