The 2021 Audi S5 Convertible may not be as structurally rigid as the coupe or as spacious and pragmatic as the sportback, but it's equally stunning in design and shares the 3.0-liter turbocharged 6-cylinder engine. It offers something special, a one up perhaps, by augmenting those qualities with the presence of a retractable acoustic soft-top. The 349-horsepower V6 unit also provides plenty of oomph for the heftier S5 Convertible, thrusting it from 0 to 60 mph in an impressive 4.7 seconds, just 0.3 split seconds slower than the coupe and right on par with the sportback. The all-new BMW 4 Series Convertible, in its M440i xDrive guise, offers similar proficiency at a similar price, but in its own BMW fashion, of course. Cars in this classification aren't focused for performance, however, but rather for serenity and luxury in both the ride that they deliver and the features they offer, something the 2021 S5 Convertible achieves exquisitely.
Although mechanically unchanged for 2021, the S5 has made a couple of key enhancements to the S5 Convertible's specs. All models now come with the Audi smartphone interface featuring the convenience of wireless Apple CarPlay along with an integrated toll module (ITM). The latter system makes it possible to access select toll road services in the US. Boosting the safety aspect is lane departure warning, now standard across the lineup. The optional Convenience package now adds front/rear parking sensors along with a heated steering wheel. For the mid-range Premium Plus trim, additional equipment includes a hands-on detection steering wheel, adaptive cruise control with active lane assist, and a top-view camera system.
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With 349 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque under the hood from its turbocharged 3.0-liter gas V6, the S5 Convertible is capable of hitting 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds from off the line. Power is commanded by an 8-speed automatic transmission and sent to all four corners via Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system. The powertrain is both robust and refined, delivering strapping acceleration and sharp and slick responses. It doesn't, however, emit the same invigorating soundtrack the V8-equipped S5 Convertible of old did.
With its handsome design, polished powertrain, and oodles of creature comforts, conveniences, and technologies, the 2021 Audi S5 Convertible is an easy vehicle to recommend to anyone that is looking for a premium drop-top cruiser. Direct cabrio 2-door competitors, particularly from BMW and Mercedes-Benz, may offer far more exciting performance dynamics, especially in terms of handling. However, the S5 Convertible's serene and refined ride quality really renders that lack of proficiency redundant as the Audi makes its case for luxury explicitly. The 2021 Audi S5 Convertible hasn't undergone review by either the NHTSA or the IIHS, but it does come with a healthy consignment of driver assists and safety features, which, along with its proven reliability, are indicative of a good safety rating. The current model year version of the second-gen S5 Convertible is the best one yet, but we have to wonder whether the equally as polished and capable A5 Convertible makes more sense at its considerably lower price.
The most affordable 2021 Audi S5 Convertible carries a base price of $60,600, which is already quite steep considering there are two subsequent trims. The Premium Plus, which is positioned as the mid-spec option, is the S5 we'd go for. It comes outfitted with a considerable amount of desirable features. The stand outs include Audi's virtual cockpit, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. We suggest giving the options list a review, too, with particular attention to the Bang & Olufsen surround-sound system.
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