German fun in the sun

When Audi debuted the all-new 2017 A5 and S5 coupes, it was all but inevitable that drop-top models would soon follow. Now, about four and a half months later, the 2018 A5 and S5 Cabriolet models are here, ahead of a debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

You're not going to find much physical differentiation between the coupe and convertible variants, aside from the convertible top, obviously. The new convertible top features a flatter rear window than the previous model. A one-touch function drops the roof in 15 seconds and closes it in 18, at speeds up to 31.1 miles per hour.

Since the third brake light can't live in the convertible top, as it's a requirement at all times, Audi hid it in the trim strip that surrounds the roof compartment cover. Inside the trunk, the roof compartment moves out of the way when the top is up, so the driver can have a bit more storage space.

In Europe, the A5 will debut as a 2017 with approximately 7,500 engine options, including both diesel and gas engines. In the US, it will arrive as a 2018, and will probably come with the same, single gas engine as the A5 coupe -- a 252-horsepower turbocharged I4. If more power is what you're after, the 354-horsepower S5 will be a bit more up your alley. I hope you like automatic transmissions, because that's all there is on offer.

The interior is, again, the same as the coupe, for the most part. On offer is Audi's Virtual Cockpit, which replaces traditional gauges with a large, configurable screen. A 4G LTE modem with Wi-Fi hotspot connectivity is free for the first three years. The biggest difference with the convertible is the addition of seatbelt microphones for front-seat occupants, which should make Bluetooth calling a bit clearer with the top down.

Audi

Naturally, the A5 and S5 Cabriolets come packing some proper active and passive safety systems. Adaptive cruise control can stop and go with traffic up to 40 miles per hour without driver assistance, and it can occasionally steer, as well. Other tech includes forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist and rear cross traffic alerts.

The Audi A5 and S5 Cabriolets hit dealerships in Germany in March 2017. Audi didn't give a firm timeline for the US model, and US pricing is still TBD, as well.

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