The 2010 model year marks the introduction of the 2.0-liter TFSI direct-injection turbo four-cylinder engine in Audi's A5 lineup (both coupe and convertible). In the coupe, this engine is offered either with a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic; both come with standard Quattro all-wheel drive. The convertible, though, offers the 2.0T with a CVT (continuously variable transmission, which you operate like an automatic) and front-wheel drive; or with Quattro and a six-speed conventional automatic. The latter combination is how our test car was outfitted.
Having spent a weekend and some 400 miles with the Audi, I agree with Phil Floraday that the fabric roof is extraordinarily good. I drove the A5 Cabrio in temps as low as 5 degrees and basically forgot most of the time that I was in a fabric-roof convertible. That's how well insulated this top is. Give me a good fabric roof like this any day over one of the newfangled folding metal roofs.
This turbo four is smooth and refined and works well with the six-speed automatic, but rumor has it that Audi eventually will offer this engine with its upcoming new eight-speed automatic, and it will be interesting to experience that powertrain combo, for sure. But as it stands, there's absolutely no problem accelerating onto freeways, passing, and maintaining 80-mph-plus cruising speeds. The burst from 80 to 100 mph is surprisingly quick, especially if you have the transmission in sport mode. There's also a manual gate for the shifter.
Complaints? The cruise control stalk on the left side of the steering wheel is hidden by the steering wheel spoke, and the fancy Bang & Olufsen stereo has some distortion at high volume.
Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor