Popular since its release around ten years ago, the Audi A5 is now entering its second generation. The facelift version has smooth, sleek lines with all the understated elegance enthusiasts of this quality German marque have come to expect. Combining practicality with class, quality and performance, the A5 remains a desirable choice for those looking to make a statement.
The new generation has benefitted from several tweaks including a chassis stiffer than its predecessors and lighter – the aluminium-steel hybrid weighs in around 40kgs shy of the original model. As a result, the new A5 handles better and provides a more comfortable ride. The electric folding cloth roof is well insulated with a multilayering of acoustic panels, so road noise is less of an issue than might be found in other cabriolets. The folding mechanism deploys the roof when driving, at up to 31mph and takes just fifteen seconds – at the touch of a button (no more press and hold for the A5!) With the new chassis being around 50mm longer, and the roof mechanism compact, cabin space is ample for four adults and the boot space isn’t compromised. Even with the roof stored, boot capacity is still 320 litres (increasing to 380 litres when the roof is deployed). It’s safe to say, if you’re looking to feel the wind in your hair on the days the sun comes out, the second generation A5 cabriolet is a great choice.
As soon as the purchase was complete, the owner of this 67-plate A5 Cabriolet immediately booked it into UF’s Brands Hatch Detailing Studio for a New Car Protection Package including Gtechniq’s flagship Crystal Serum Black (CS Black) ceramic sealant. In addition, he wanted the diamond cut wheels protected and subsequently opted for Alloy Wheel Protection Treatment. Arriving with around two hundred miles on the clock and heavily contaminated, it was clear the car had been enjoyed en route to the studio!
It had been raining whilst driving to the studio and the roof was soaking wet, suggesting that it had not been water proofed by Audi prior to delivery. So, keen to ensure the roof remained in perfect condition for as long as possible, Convertible Roof Protection was added to the package to increase the water resistance of the material whilst adding further protection against UV fading and degradation.
As with many new cars, the A5 had been protected with a rust-inhibiting transportation wax and temporary surface protection films. Although the dealership had removed them during PDI (pre-delivery inspection), remnants of wax remained along with adhesive residue from the film. To address this, the bodywork was firstly treated with Gtechniq W7 Tar & Glue Remover to break down the adhesive and then rinsed. Then, to remove the wax, the A5 was sprayed with a mixture of hot water and Bilt-Hamber Surfex HD and pressure washed off.
Dirt had already accumulated inside the door shuts, on the sills and around the boot and bonnet catches. These areas were all treated with Bilt-Hamber Surfex HD, a water based degreaser that is particularly effective at removing organic or water-deposited grime.
After treating the wheels with Gtechniq W6 Iron & General Fallout Remover to eliminate brake dust particles, the wheels were cleaned using a UF Wheel Bucket and Grit Guard, Bilt-Hamber Auto Wheel and Wheel Woolies. These long-handled brushes are available in different sizes, allowing the heads to fit through the spokes of the alloy wheel design to clean to the back of the rim.
The A5 was then pre-cleaned using Ultimate Snow Foam applied through a foam lance attached to a Kranzle K-1152 pressure washer. This creates a thick lather which gets into all the nooks, crannies and difficult to reach areas, removing any larger particles of dirt and loosening road grime.
As the roof was going to be treated with an anti-bacterial water proofer, it was essential to make sure it was clinically clean.
If dirt is trapped in the fibres of the cloth, it acts as a conduit, allowing moisture to wick through the material which then acts as a focal point for mildew. As the car had been out in the elements prior to arriving at the studio, the fabric roof must be completely cleaned and thoroughly dried before a water proofer can be applied. – Matt Back, UF Detailing Studio
Ultimate Snow Foam was applied to the roof and agitated with a soft brush, ensuring ingrained dirt was removed.
The roof was rinsed thoroughly, ensuring all suds were completely removed as allowing any to remain would have a similar effect as dirt, acting to encourage the growth of mildew. The bodywork on the A5 was washed using the Two Bucket Method, keeping wash water separate from rinse water. The wash mitt is loaded with soapy water from the Wash Bucket, a section of the car is washed. The mitt is rinsed in the Rinse Bucket, brushed across the Grit Guard in the bottom to release particles of dirt trapped in the pile. After being wrung out, the Mitt is then reloaded with soapy water from the Wash Bucket and the process repeated until the car is completely clean. This method helps to prevent dirt particles being reintroduced onto the panels, therefore reducing the risk of inadvertently putting swirl marks into the clear coat.
The car was rinsed clean of suds before an Aqua Gleam De-ionising Water Filter was attached in-line with a hose to give a final, pure water rinse. The A5 was dried using soft microfibre towels and brought into the Detailing Studio where the paintwork was inspected under high-intensity lighting.
It is common to find paint defects, even on brand new cars. As the ceramic coating is incredibly durable – Crystal Serum carries a 7-year manufacturer-backed performance guarantee – any defects need removing prior to the coating being applied. Otherwise, the coating will seal the defects beneath. So, we inspect all vehicles closely, noting swirls, staining, scratches, oxidation, etc, on a Vehicle Appraisal Sheet. In this instance, there were a few marks on the near side door, potentially from driving close to bushes. These needed a light machine polish to remove. – Matt Back, UF Detailing Studio
Using a FLEX PE14-2-150 rotary polisher on a fast speed setting, together with a soft foam polishing pad and Menzerna Super Finish 3500, the fine scratches were removed and the paintwork brought up to a high gloss. Then, to prepare for the ceramic coating, Gtechniq Panel Wipe was liberally sprayed onto the panels and wheels and then buffed off with a microfibre. This ensures any polish residues or silicones are completely removed from the surface so they don’t impede the chemical bond the coating forms with the clear coat.
For the final protective coating, the owner had opted for Gtechniq Crystal Serum Black (CS Black), a combination of Gtechniq’s professional-only Crystal Serum, over coated with EXO v3 Ultra Durable Hydrophobic Coating.
Crystal Serum is applied as a single layer but during the curing process, it separates into two layers. The lower layer cures to around 7H (on the pencil scale of hardness). The upper layer cures to around 9H. This provides a tough, flexible protection, resistant to swirls and virtually impervious to extremes of pH as high as 11 (alkaline) and as low as 2 (acidic). In order to ensure the coating performs to the highest level, it must be applied under carefully controlled conditions, with humidity and temperatures within set parameters. Additionally, the coating must be protected from the elements for a period of twenty-four hours to allow the layers to cure without exposure to water. Once Crystal Serum has been allowed to cure for a minimum of three hours, EXO v3 can be applied over the top. EXO v3 boosts gloss levels even further and also adds an increased level of hydrophobicity. This helps keep the car looking cleaner, longer, encouraging contamination to slide away from the surface rather than stick to it. This results in a vehicle that is much easier to keep clean and reduces the chance of incurring swirl marks during the wash process.
The Audi’s diamond cut wheels were protected using Kamikaze Collection Stance Rim Coat, a nanotechnology-based coating that can resist extremes of temperature, helping repel dirt, oils and damaging brake dust build-up even when the wheels and calipers are hot.
The tyres were given a natural satin look with Gtechniq T2 Tyre Dressing.
The exhaust tips were polished and protected using Britemax Metal Twins, ensuring soot, road grime and dirt are easier to remove during the weekly wash.
After checking the fabric hood to ensure it was completely dry, Gtechniq I1 Smart Fabric AB (Anti-Bacterial) was applied. This spray-on nano-based sealant coats the individual fibres, rather than laying down an overcoat across the hood; the result is the coating does not affect the feel of the material, yet provides exceptional water resistance.
Crystal Serum Black (CS Black) is a combination suitable for many types of substrate and so was also used to protect the polycarbonate headlamp covers as well as the plastic trim.
With the New Car Protection package now complete. The clean, flowing lines of the Audi A5 TDi Cabriolet looked stunning.
UF Detailing Studio – Award Winning Detailing. Call 0333 800 8004 to discuss your requirements.