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What’s Audi smoking? Everyone else was making plans to see the production Q5, a sub-Q7 crossover utility, when Audi dropped this bomb. This Q5 Cross Cabriolet, a successor to the Q5 Cross Coupe, does have a few unique features. (Keep in mind, the LA auto show is not known for Geneva or Tokyo style oddball vehicles.)

Electric ride-height adjustment spans 1.6 inches, which, now that I think of it…. isn’t very much of a span. The taller body style of an SUV has enabled Audi to build a double-floor which turns the convertible into a closed structure, creating a far stiffer vehicle than expected of a concept – or production – cabriolet. As has become common for European concept vehicles in North America, the Audi Q5 XCabrio is powered by a strong and economical 3.0L diesel. 369 lb-ft of torque and 240 horsepower are shuttled to four wheels by an 8-speed auto in this 32mpg Q5.

The navigation system is a Google Earth system, where simply touching the place you want to go is sufficient to beam up the directions. Monster 21-inch wheels and a copper sunset paint job are the final touches on a stunning, though slightly awkward and unexpected Audi debut. We await the genuine article.