It’s a quick cruiser, mind. Audi claims 5.1sec for the 0-62mph sprint. Plant it, and the car erupts; its acceleration all the better because the permanent four-wheel drive system allows no wheelspin at all in the dry, and only a chirrup in the wet.
But you rarely drive it like that. This is either a brisk or a leisurely cruiser. Pleasures include the smooth rasp of the exhaust, curling up to your ear over the rear deck from the impressive quad exhausts.
The engine, which delivers maximum torque (369lb ft) from 1400rpm, is the soul of docility – even if it can also produce a decent yowl and plenty of thrust near the 6500rpm redline.
I had two concerns about running a convertible: one, that the motorway cruising noise level would make life hard; two, that the S5 cabrio would lack the body rigidity of space-framed sports cars I’ve owned, and of the admirably stiff Mazda MX-5 I have now. I’ve now been far enough, fast enough to know neither issue matters. The multi-skin rag-top Audi is as quiet as a coupé when cruising and also feels comfortably rigid over bumps. Such stiffness might have something to do with a kerb weight nearing two tonnes.
Despite the avoirdupois, the S5 cabrio feels nimble when you lean on it. The steering is nicely weighted, but not exactly special in a class full of superb contenders. But pitch it fast into bends, thinking it’ll understeer, and it just doesn’t, mainly because there’s plenty of 255/35 R19 rubber on the road, and because of the torque vectoring.
It completes the second half of bends neatly indeed, flattering your driving and emerging exactly on line. The ride, depending which of four driving modes you choose, varies from rock-hard jittery to quite soft and pitchy on rough suburban streets – just the kind of spectrum of adjustment you need. I usually choose second softest.
This is a capable and accomplished car, especially for the use we’ve so far put it to. We might find something different when the weather turns bad, but somehow I doubt it.
Audi S5 Cabriolet 3.0 TFSI quattro specification
Pricing: List price new £50,350; List price now £52,510; Price as tested £61,190; Dealer value now £39,004; Private value now £34,670; Trade value now £33,545; Options Navarra Blue paint (£645), Quattro with sports differential (£1200), head-up display (£900), Parking Assistance Pack Advanced – includes Audi Pre-sense, 360-degree camera, park assist, side assist, cross-traffic assist, exit warning (£1350), Storage Pack – includes storage netting, under seat storage, lockable glovebox, rear cupholders (£175), Dynamic steering (£950), S suspension (£900), flat-bottomed steering wheel (£100), carbon inlays (£425), heated folding door mirrors (£225), wind deflector (£300), Smoking Pack (£50), Light and Vision Pack – includes Audi Virtual Cockpit, extended LED interior lighting, matrix LED headlights, dynamic front and rear indicators (£750), Bang & Olufsen audio (£750), phone box (£325)