Like the A5 Sportback, this Cabriolet version also uses the 2.0-litre TDI turbocharged diesel engine. Diesel for a convertible, you may ask? But why not, when it's silent and refined. And of course, more economical too. The 188bhp power is delivered quite nicely without really making you realise the cabriolet’s additional 205kg weight as compared to the A5. This powerful motor puts down the 400Nm of torque via the Quattro AWD very adequately from low revs. Sure, it might take some time in its initial sprint, but then there's no torque steer and the mid-range performance is substantial. Thus it gathers speed quickly and remains silent till the redline (4,500rpm).
As for the transmission, the smooth seven-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox is tuned well to respond to throttle responses, whether in comfort or dynamic mode. Also, one can alter the steering and engine characteristics further via the individual mode, or just leave this to Audi's Drive Select mode in auto. The Dynamic mode makes the throttle response sharper and adds some more weight to the steering, but it didn't feel so relaxed in the comfort mode, which we stuck to. The latter mode ensured a smoother power delivery with seamless gear shifts and a light steering - the perfect recipe for an unruffled drive. This convertible easily manages to cruise at higher speeds, but that said, laidback driving with the roof down is something we eventually preferred. And this is what most owners will certainly do. Traditionally, we’ve come to expect a petrol power plant to complement this snazzy style of driving, but the refined diesel motor here surprisingly does a good job.
The suspension settings do not change in any mode and the A5 convertible doesn't get adaptive dampers. But then, the suspension is well-calibrated to absorb bumps without crashing at low speeds. Unless it’s the sharp edged potholes where the suspension can get audible, it’s usually smooth sailing even on bumpy surfaces. As speeds increase, the well-judged dampers absorb the imperfections of the road even better. While there is some up and down movement, it never gets uncomfortable for the occupants.
This convertible proves to be a good cruiser with an excellent straight-line stability. But did it feel planted around corners, especially with the lack of structural rigidity as against its hard-top version? Well, not that an owner would intend to do hard cornering in this one, but yes, the A5 cab with little body roll was very stable around bends. The Quattro with a smart self-locking center differential kept the understeer on tap. Also, the steering offers sufficient feedback and although not sharp, it took the car in the pointed direction. Besides, the 18-inch 245/40 section tyres are wide enough to stick to the road and provide good grip. They complement the confidence-inspiring brakes that cut down on speeds very well with a good feedback from the pedal. Even when braking under panic situations, the car showed rock-solid composure and remained unperturbed.