349bhp drop-top model is said to be 40% stiffer than its predecessor

The 2017 Audi S5 Cabriolet made its public debut at the Detroit motor show, two months after it was first revealed in pictures.

Audi’s latest performance drop-top is said have a torsional rigidity that’s 40% stiffer than its predecessor. Among the measures brought to the structure to offset the lack of a fixed roof structure are reinforced sills and additional strengthening within the bulkheads.

Safety is also enhanced by the inclusion of rollover beams that deploy from behind the cabin in the event of the car rolling over, as well as head-thorax side airbags within the door linings.

The new S5 Cabriolet gets the same turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 engine as the S5 Sportback with 349bhp and 369lb ft of torque on offer. Peak power is 21bhp up on the old car and its supercharged 3.0-litre V6. With an eight-speed torque converter automatic with Tiptronic shift controls and the latest evolution of Audi’s Torsen torque-sensing quattro four-wheel drive system fitted as standard, the 2017 car’s claimed 0-62mph time is 5.1sec – three tenths down on its Sportback sibling. Both versions of the S5 have a limited top speed of 155mph.

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Inside, the S5 gets the same dashboard and many of the same interior appointments featured on the latest A5. Buyers can specify an optional 12.3in high-definition Virtual Cockpit digital instrument display as well as a head-up display unit.

An optional LTE module provides access to online services, while a wi-fi hotspot provides connectivity to the internet. The top of the range MMI (multimedia interface) touch connectivity package gets an 8.3in monitor with a resolution of 1024x480 pixels. It comes with a DVD drive, 10GB of flash memory, two car readers, and aux-in and USB connections.

The S5 gets 19-inch alloy wheels as standard, S specific styling and upgraded Super Sports seats. British pricing has yet to be confirmed, but, in Germany, the S5 Cabriolet starts at 67,800EUR (£60,300).

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Our Verdict

Audi S5 Sportback

Is a solid mix of pace, good looks and impressive interior quality enough for the S5 to better its rivals?

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week