Based on the all-new A3 sedan, the four-seat Audi A3 Cabriolet is 180mm longer, 20mm wider, 15mm lower and 90kg lighter than the outgoing hatch-based A3 Cabriolet. The new car’s wheelbase has also been extended by 20mm over the previous generation.
Weighing 1365kg, the A3 Cabriolet will launch with two petrol engines – a 103kW 1.4-litre and a 132kW 1.8-litre – and one diesel unit – a 110kW 2.0-litre. All will be turbocharged, feature stop-start technology and come as standard powering the front wheels via a six- or seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission. An all-wheel-drive quattro variant will follow, in a move already previewed by the A3 hatch and sedan.
Audi claims, on average, the three launch engines offer 12 per cent better fuel economy than the engines in the previous model.
Mirroring the sedan’s styling with sharp headlights, an aggressive front bumper and Audi’s single frame grille, the A3 Cabriolet gains an aluminium windscreen frame that flows into an aluminium-look strip that sits atop the entire car.
The drop-top’s standard black cloth roof can open or close in less than 18 seconds, at speeds of up to 50km/h, and features a glass rear window. A thicker ‘acoustic top’ is also available promising to further reduce cabin noise. A wind deflector, head-level heating and an active rollover protection system are additional model-specific highlights.
Despite the folding roof, luggage capacity is up from 260 litres to 287L, while the two rear seat seatbacks can be folded down for extra load space.
A new flat-bottom steering wheel, newly designed seats and a seven-inch display screen head the interior features along with Audi’s MMI infotainment system with rotary control and new touch-sensitive pad and Audi connect software.
Safety technology includes stability control, attention assist, lane assist, side assist, park assist and adaptive cruise control. Camera-based traffic sign recognition is also optional where available.
To be offered in Europe in three trim lines: Attraction; Ambition; and Ambiente, the new Audi A3 Cabriolet comes with a choice of 16 different exterior paint colours and 16- to 19-inch wheels.
The A3 Cabriolet is due to land in local showrooms in the third quarter of 2014, following the arrival of the Audi S3 Sportback in December, and the A3 and S3 sedans early next year. The recently spied S3 Cabriolet is likely to join the line-up by late 2014.
Powered by a 118kW/250Nm turbocharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder, the second-generation Audi A3-based Cabriolet first launched in Australia in 2008 with a starting price of $49,900.