Essentially a roofless version of the three-door A3 hatchback, the Cabriolet use’s Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform and is slightly larger than its predecessor at 4.42 metres in length, 1.79m in width and a 2.6m wheelbase, with the only reduced dimension being the 15 mm lower height of 1.41m. Thanks to the use of a lighter chassis, exhaust system, interior components and aluminium for the hood and fenders, the new A3 Cabriolet enjoys a weight saving of around 50 kg – at 1,365 kg – compared to the outgoing model; all contributing to a more responsive chassis and better fuel economy.
Three engine options will be available when the A3 goes on sale later this autumn at a base price of € 31,700. Beginning with a 1.4-litre TFSI engine that produces 90 kW (121 hp) and 200 Nm of torque, then a 1.8-litre TFSI that churns out 132 kW (177 hp) and 250 Nm and comes with the seven-speed S tronic gearbox as standard, whereas the other two engines are mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Diesel fans get the 2.0-litre TDI which develops 110 kW (148 hp) and 320 Nm.
Styling is very familiar with the corporate single-frame radiator grille being a dominant feature along with the optional xenon plus headlight package which provide those distinctive LED daytime running lights and LED rear clusters. The Cabriolet gains aluminum windscreen pillars and aluminium-look trim strips along its waist, while the soft top utilizes magnesium and steel for its mechanism, with the acoustic available in Black, Grey or Brown. The top opens or closes electro-hydraulically in under than 18 seconds, while an active rollover protection system protects the occupants in case of a rollover accident. A nice option is the Audi drive select system which lets the driver vary characteristics such as steering weighting, throttle response and the transmission shift points (on S tronic-equipped cars). The car can also be upgraded to control the brilliant optional magnetic ride suspension system.
An S3 variant will follow on from the initial launch, meaning a 2.0 TFSI engine producing 221 kW (300 hp) and 380 Nm of torque, a six-speed S tronic and quattro all-wheel-drive system, resulting in a 5.4s sprint to 100 km/h.