The Audi S3 Cabriolet will become the hottest compact convertible on the market when it launches in Australia in the final quarter of this year.
Audi Australia’s Shaun Cleary said the S3 Cabriolet should reach local showrooms by November. He revealed the local division is targeting a price “close to $75,000” for the high-power convertible, positioning it about $15K above the S3 Sportback and roughly $10K north of the sedan’s anticipated $65K price tag.
Like its namesakes, the Audi S3 Cabriolet is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine producing 221kW between 5500-6200rpm and 380Nm from 1800-5500rpm, though the 'hot-weather' version delivered to Australia will be detuned to 206kW like the four- and five-door body styles.
Unlike the sedan and hatch duo, however, there will be no manual transmission option: the S3 Cabriolet is equipped exclusively with a six-speed ‘S tronic’ dual-clutch automatic transmission that distributes drive to all four wheels via Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system.
The luxury German manufacturer claims a 5.4-second 0-100km/h for the 1620kg S3 Cabriolet, making it 0.5sec slower to triple figures than the 1430kg S3 sedan and 0.4sec off the pace of the 1445kg S3 Sportback, though almost 2.5sec quicker than the most powerful A3 Cabriolet, the 132kW/250Nm 1.8 TFSI.2
Extra strengthening materials, the folding soft-top and an active rollover system contribute to the S3 Cabriolet’s higher weight. The roof is capable of opening or closing in 18 seconds at vehicle speeds up to 50km/h, and is available in three colours.
The Audi S3 Cabriolet’s reworked chassis features firmer springs and dampers and bigger anti roll bars. It sits 25mm lower than the A3 soft-top. The brakes are also larger, measuring 340mm at the front. It’s fitted standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, while 19s are available optionally.
The Cabriolet’s dynamic driving select system allows owners to choose between Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, Efficiency and Individual modes, which vary the characteristics of the engine, transmission and steering assistance, as well as the optional magnetic ride damper control system where fitted.
The S3 Cabriolet features traditional S-model exterior enhancements, including brushed metal on the grille and front spoiler, mirror caps, and windscreen and cabin surrounds.
The metal theme continues inside the four-seat cabin, which also features leather upholstery, sports seats with contrast diamond-pattern stitching, paddleshifters on the steering wheel and push-button start.
Standard or optional depending on the market are LED headlights, a seven-inch touchscreen with MMI navigation and MMI touch functionality, and a 13-speaker Bang and Olufsen premium sound system.
Driver assistance features include adaptive cruise control, side assist, active lane assist, camera-based traffic sign recognition, park assist with selective display, and Audi’s pre sense safety system.
The Audi S3 Cabriolet will make its public debut at next month’s Geneva motor show.