Enough with the rain. Let's hope for sunny skies so you can take a spin in the 2011 Audi A5 Cabriolet (convertible). Available as a coupe also, the 2.0-liter direct-injection, inline-4 cylinder turbocharged engine offers 211 horsepower @ 4300 rpm and 258 pounds-feet of torque @ 1500 rpm.
Best of all, Audi has equipped the Cabriolet with a standard slick 8-speed auto dual-clutch transmission, up from the previous 7-speed. But the coupe still comes with a standard 6-speed manual. Of course, the famed quattro all-wheel drive comes into play while tackling the occasional heavy downpour or bumpy road surfaces. You can be assured that the enjoyable convertible will respond with agility and quickness in any driving condition.
Fitting in quite nicely between the compact A4 and midsize A6 sedans, the A5 sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds. A power-folding soft top retracts under 17 seconds and that too at speeds of up to 31 mph. Now, that's hard to beat.
For the heavy lead-footed ones, the S5 Cabriolet with its 3.0-liter V-6 engine blasting off a supercharged 333 hp, or the S5 coupe with 4.2-liter V-8 and all of 354 hp, will bring out an adrenalin rush.
The A5 coupe is base-priced at $36,500 with our test-drive Cabriolet at $44,190 and peaking at $58,450 for the S5 Cabriolet. Audi claims EPA estimates of 21/29/24 mpg for city, highway and combined respectively. But guess what? We eked out nearly 28 mpg combined, which is admirable in a 4,000-pound vehicle.
As the skies clear up, you couldn't ask for a more peppy and rev-happy ride than the luxurious A5. Open-air motoring buffs, if you are looking to catch some sun and the attention of bystanders, your ride has arrived.
Tires: 245/40R18 all season
Wheelbase: 108.3 inches
Length: 182.1 inches
Suspension: 5-link front; independent trapezoidal link rear
Steering: hydraulic power assist
Fuel capacity: 17.1 gallons