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Here’s Why the Sunroof Doesn’t Open in the Audi A5

If you’ve ever spent any time in an Audi A5 Coupe, you’ve probably noticed one interesting piece of equipment in the car: The A5 Coupe has always come standard with a power sunroof, but it doesn’t actually open — it only tilts. You can’t slide it, or lift it out, or remove it to actually get the "open air" feeling you get with basically every other sunroof.

Have you ever wondered why that is?

Well, there’s a reason behind it — and also a little conspiracy theory that I think might be at play. But I’ll start with the reason Audi tells everyone. According to Audi, the A5 doesn’t have an opening sunroof because the designer didn’t want it that way. You see, the A5 was designed by Walter de Silva, who’s quite famous in the world of car design, as he created an enormous number of beautiful cars — including the Alfa Romeo 156, the Audi R8, the Volkswagen CC and many modern Volkswagen and Audi models.

So by the time the A5 came out, in 2007, Audi figured they’d just let de Silva do what he does best: design the car. So he designed the car, and everything went according to plan, except it has just one little problem: The roofline slopes to a degree where you can’t really get an opening sunroof in there. Audi figured they could have the sunroof open on the outside of the car, rather than within the roof, but de Silva quashed this idea. Apparently, he told Audi that the A5 is the most beautiful car he ever designed, and having a sunroof that opened outside would ruin the lines. Audi went along with it — and, to this day, the A5 doesn’t have an opening sunroof. (Supposedly, the "I don’t want it to ruin the lines of my beautiful car" explanation is also the reason the Volkswagen CC’s sunroof doesn’t open.)

With that said, I have a little conspiracy of my own here. I think it’d certainly be true that a sunroof that opened outside the car would have a negative effect on its appearance — but I also think Audi didn’t want a sunroof because they knew they’d be coming out with an open-top cabriolet model. Think of it this way: If you want an open roof, and the car you want doesn’t offer a sunroof, wouldn’t you be a little more inclined to spend an extra five grand to get the convertible version?

Nonetheless, that’s the official line: The A5 is too beautiful for a sunroof. To de Silva’s credit, the car is definitely beautiful — and quite possibly the most beautiful coupe in the last decade. But a sunroof would be nice. Find an Audi A5 for sale

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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