2012 Audi A5 2-door Cabriolet Auto quattro 2.0T Premium Angular Front Exterior ViewEnlarge Photo
If you’re looking to reward yourself with a luxury coupe or convertible, you’d be hard-pressed to beat the stylish lines of Audi’s A5. Designer Walter d’Silva called it his most beautiful design, and we certainly wouldn’t argue with that point.
The 2012 Audi A5 carries over from 2011 largely unchanged, which means that both coupe and convertible come with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Drivetrain options can be confusing, so they’re best described by model.
The A5 coupe comes standard with quattro all-wheel-drive and a six-speed manual transmission. An eight-speed automatic transmission is an available option, and either choice will yield a 0-60 time just north of 6.5 seconds.
Opt for the A5 convertible, and you’ll get standard front-wheel-drive and a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). No manual transmission is available on the drop-top A5, but buyers choosing the quattro AWD option will get the same eight-speed automatic transmission used in the coupe.
While the A5 isn’t slow, it’s more of a grand-touring coupe than a sports coupe. Buyers needing an extra serving of schnell with the A5’s good looks can step up to the S5 coupe, which comes with a 4.2-liter V-8 good for 354 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough grunt to get the S5 from 0-60 in under five seconds, whether you opt for the six speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.
An S5 convertible is available as well, but it comes powered by a 3.0-liter, supercharged V-6 good for 333 horsepower and 325 pound feet of torque. A seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox is the only transmission option for this variant.
Both S5 models come with quattro AWD, and an even-faster RS5 model is expected to hit later this year as a 2013 model.
The A5’s interior is focused on driver and passenger comfort, although the rear seat will be cramped for those long-of-leg. As you’d expect from Audi (or any car in this price point, for that matter), interior fit and finish is superb, and a wide range of options and add-ons are available to suit your needs, taste and budget.
For a complete look at the 2012 Audi A5 models, see our comprehensive review on The Car Connection.