The Audi S5 first appeared on the scene in 2007, initially dropping cover as a coupe alongside its more pedestrian sibling, the A5. Two years later, at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, Audi introduced the S5 Sportback, a five-door model promising greater practicality in a still-sporty package, plus the open-air S5 Cabriolet, both of which went on sale for the 2010 model year. A mid-cycle refresh arrived in 2013, including new technology, styling, and powertrain updates. Now, it’s time for a new generation to take the reins, and as such, Audi has unveiled the 2017 S5 Cabriolet, rounding out the new A5 lineup with a sportier soft-top iteration of the compact luxury two-door. The next gen brings with it slightly larger dimensions, tweaked styling, a sleek interior packed with gadgets, a more powerful turbo six-cylinder, an updated rear suspension, and new systems for safety and convenience.
Being the best in this segment takes style and attitude, mixing the fun of unlimited headroom with a decent punch when you press on the loud pedal. Keeping up with the technological Jonses is also critical, with competition from Europe and Japan vying to impress in the cabin as well. Does the new S5 have what it takes to compete?
2017 Audi S5 Cabriolet
We last got a glimpse of the 2017 Audi S5 this past April, when our spy photographers caught a test mule making the rounds at the Nurburgring. As expected, the look doesn’t change all that much for 2017, with the Four Rings carrying over the majority of design cues originally penned by Walter Maria de Silva for the first S5 Cab. That said, there are a few notable differences between the previous and new generation.
Let’s start in front. That characteristic three-dimensional Singleframe grille was reshaped for 2017, and now gains a shorter, wider appearance than before. The old seven-slat insert is gone, replaced by six flat slats stretched horizontally across the nose. The headlights were also reshaped, gaining a slimmer, narrower appearance without the lower embellishments of the previous generation. The housings are still outlined with daytime running lights, but the highlights are relegated to the top of the light. The headlights use Xenon elements as standard, but LEDs and matrix LEDs with dynamic turn signals (front and rear) are an available option.
The lower bumper was reshaped as well, with a lower character line that stretches into the side intakes, neatly framing the corner fog lights with broader silver trim. Up top, we find heavy creases that give the front end a “power dome” appearance.
Interior 2017 Audi S5 Cabriolet
Inside the new S5 Cabriolet, you’ll find the usual Audi sportiness and luxury. The steering wheel uses a flat bottom and comes with a variety of buttons at thumb’s length on the sides. The gauge cluster is an analog unit as standard, but digital gauges can be had for extra outlay (more on that in a second). There’s also a “continuous air vent strip” that stretches across the dash. Mounted high and center is a tablet screen, while a splash of hard buttons and knobs are in the center console. The pedals use brushed metal, while the standard partial-leather seats offer nice side bolsters for spirited driving support.
It’s a nice amalgamation of top-shelf materials and horizontal layout, and there are new color schemes as well. Long story short, it’s a solid continuation of Audi’s traditional cabin qualities.
Seating capacity is still capped at four, with two in front (including passenger) and two in the rear. Dimensionally, the extra space outside translates into more space inside, especially when paired with the new S5’s more efficient seating design. For example, shoulder room was increased by 26 mm (1.0 inches) for passengers in front, while knee room in the rear increased by 18 mm (0.7 inches). All the exact figures are still forthcoming, but you can check out the competition’s numbers in the chart below.
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