2017 North American International Auto Show

Production Vehicles

 
 

Audi S5 Cabriolet

Audi's latest A5 and S5 Cabriolet made their North American debut here in the Motor City.  The styling is a very subtle evolution, keeping the same undulating character line that defined the original.  To my eye, the proportions seem tidier, and the more swept-back lines of the front end look sharp and aggressive. Given the success of the original, it's not surprising that Audi has recorded a cover rather than writing an all new song.

The trim and powertrain landscape carries over as well.  A5 Cabriolets are motivated by the latest edition of the familiar 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder, making 252hp with a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Those with a greater sense urgency will need to pony up for the S5, which features a new 354hp turbocharged 3.0L V6 and 8-speed automatic. Don't hold your breath for a manual transmission. 

Tech-wise, Audi has fitted the latest version of its MMI interface and for an extra fee will sell you the fantastic Virtual Cockpit digital gauge cluster. The microphone for the handsfree phone are mounted in the front seat belts for better sound quality when the top is down, a trick cribbed from the R8 Spyder parts bin.

Look for the A5 and S5 Cabriolets in dealers later this year. 

 


Audi A5 SportBack

The Sportback is the most celebrated variant of the new A4/A5 lineup.  It combines the handsome lines of the A5 with the practicality and versatility of a five-door, and manages to look the best in the process.  It will be available in A5 and S5 flavors, with 2.0T and 3.0T power plants, respectively.  Rumors of a manual transmission option in the A5 seem to have been greatly exaggerated, at least for now.  Given Audi's focus on semiautonomous driving features, and the fact that cars are more efficient and faster with a modern automatic, the future of the stick shift is not a bright one. 

The previous generation Sportback did not come to North America, but the success of the Audi A7 and other "4-door coupés" like the BMW 4-series Gran Coupé has helped to make the business case for sending it over. Audi USA hasn't announced options or details yet, but Audi Canada has their configurator online at Audi.ca. 


BMW 5-Series Sedan

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Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

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Volkswagen Tiguan Long-Wheelbase

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Volkswagen Atlas

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GMC TERRAIN

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Mazda MX-5 RF

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Kia Stinger GT

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Jeep Compass

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Volvo V90 / V90 Cross Country

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Toyota Camry XSE

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Lexus LC500 

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