Home / Home / Audi A5 Cabriolet 35 TDI quattro Road Test Review – TDI Drops Top

 

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They may have been around for a while, but no one did it in India. The very first diesel-powered convertible arrives in the form of the A5 Cabriolet. It may only have two litres, but it has 400 Nm and quattro! What’s that like? Read on…

Story: Jim Gorde
Photography: Sanjay Raikar

Purpose. It’s an easy enough word to understand thanks to nature’s creations. Yet, when it comes to man-made creation, somehow it gets blurred in what seems like a hysteric mass of unwanted additions that are justified simply by excuses related to sporty character and ‘performance to match its looks’. Ever wondered about the result? You guessed it. The price jumps. Now, India has had a tiny 1.1-litre convertible in the past; one with a six-figure price-tag. Today, it isn’t around. In fact, one of the most affordable cabriolet models is an Audi A3. But what if you wanted style and panache in a car that had sweeping lines and streaks of chrome? What if you wanted all of that without a thirsty petrol engine? Audi have the answer yet again.

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You can have a svelte drop-top sporty looking car with two doors and 18-inch wheels and it doesn’t have to have a supercharged V6 gulping petrol and putting out a screaming 300+ PS. You can have the elegance and open-top motoring pleasure even with a four-cylinder diesel. Open your mind, and your roof, to the fact that a convertible’s purpose is to allow 2+2 people to enjoy the surroundings in their entirety. The features are the same. The comfort, ergonomics, safety, even badging, are the same. What’s different is the powertrain. And it’s not necessarily a compromise.

Let’s not forget how much diesel engines have evolved. The 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine in this A5 Cabriolet makes 400 Nm of torque ― that’s more torque than last year’s Ford Mustang 3.7-litre V6. Then you have to factor in the new S tronic seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and, more importantly, the signature quattro intelligent four-wheel driveline. That puts decent grunt, phenomenal grip and control, and commendable fuel efficiency all in the same sentence. Besides, with the LED headlamps, contrast soft-top roof, and the chrome highlights, there isn’t anything to tell it apart from a superior-engined sibling. There’s even a dash of red on the flanks from the ‘S line’ badge. Truth be told, with the way the A5 35 TDI quattro Cabriolet behaves, you wouldn’t miss the horses that didn’t come to the party.

We were in the pristine surroundings of a vast golf resort. The bonus? A hill with a winding road all the way from the valley to the top and the connecting city road. And there I was, gripping the wheel, eager to get going. The interior is no different from its sibling’s. The familiar Ingolstadt plan making life easier for the architect, and, in turn, the driver. The ergonomics are fantastic. The seats are comfortable, electrically adjustable, and even pack lumbar support. There’s no shortage of creature comforts either. The three-zone climate control ― I won’t be needing that ― and the leather steering wheel catch my eye, as does the new ‘Virtual Cockpit’ behind it. The centre console is reminiscent of the larger models and the start/stop button sits ahead of the gear lever, offset in placement. Foot on the brake. Give that a push.

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More on page 2 >

 

About the author: Jim Gorde

 

Automotive Correspondent at Bike India and Car India.
Believes that learning never stops. Loves V8 engines as much as a good breakfast.
t: @BikeIndia / @CarIndia

 

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