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First look Audi A5 cabriolet

Audi's skilled surgeons have taken a designer scalpel to the roof of the A5 coupe and delivered a sexy soft-top.

The newest cabrio from Ingolstadt arrives here around September next year with prices starting under $90,000 for the entry 155kW 2.0-litre TFSI model.

The same engine will make an appearance in the A5 coupe with an expected price of around $80,000.

Rather than follow the trend with a folding metal roof, Audi is sticking with a folding fabric roof, which is available in four colours.

The fully automatic lightweight soft-top opens in 15 seconds and closes in 17 seconds.

For those seeking a more cossetting feel, an acoustic top is optional.

This reduces wind noise to almost hardtop levels.

Audi Australia spokesperson, Anna Burgdorf, says a soft-top is better suited to the buyer profile of the A5.

“We believe a convertible should be a purists convertible, which means a soft-top,” she says.

“There are also significant benefits in terms of luggage space with a soft-top and also weight savings, which translates into fuel economy benefits.”

The compact packaging of the soft-top allows boot space of 320 litres with the roof down.

Like its smaller A3 cabrio sibling, the A5 cabrio has a split-fold rear seat backrest that increases luggage space to 750 litres.

Automatic seat belt extenders round out the cabin comfort levels while Mercedes-Benz style neck-level heating will be optional for front seat occupants.

Like BMW, Audi has coated the A5 cabrio's leather seats with a special layer to reduce solar heating when the roof is down.

To maintain structural strength Audi has used ultra-high-strength steels and a reinforced body to ensure maximal rigidity and crash safety.

Burgdorf says final cabrio pricing and specifications are still being finalised but she expects two other engines to join the 2.0-litre four cylinder, a 3.2-litre V6 and supercharged V6 for the S5 cabrio.

A turbo-diesel could also join the lineup.

Apart from front-wheel drive models, Audi's quattro all-wheel drive will also be available on the A5 cabrio.

Like the RS6 Avant, buyers will be able to option high-end quattro models with a sport differential, which variably distributes the propulsive power between the rear wheels.

Audi has sold more than 550 A5 coupes since it was launched more than 12 months ago.

“We've been waiting for the 3.0-litre TDI because it's such a strong engine, and this will boost sales even further because it's a good package,” she says.

“The 3.2-litre has also been popular.”

Burgdorf expects strong interest in the cabrio.

“It's a true four-seater and there's also plenty of luggage space,” she says.