We love the near-incessant deluge of concepts pouring forth from the Frankfurt Motor Show, but sometimes it’s good to have a bit of reality thrown in. Representing the ‘car you can actually buy’ category is the spangly new Audi A3 Cabriolet and its sporty S3 Cabriolet brother, both of which have a host of improvements over their predecessors.
Built on VW Group’s MQB platform, the new drop top A3 is ever so slightly longer and wider than the car it replaces. It even gains a bigger, 287-litre boot (60 litres more than its predecessor) yet weighs 50kg less, the entry-level car tipping the scales at 1,365kg.
Visually, it has plenty in common with the forthcoming A3 Saloon, which is no bad thing as cabriolet hatchbacks can look a little inelegant. There’s a gorgeous aluminium-framed windscreen, an aluminium-look trim strip around the roof aperture and what Audi calls a ‘tornado’ line running along the side, all of which contribute to stunning overall look.
The star of the show is, of course, the A3 Cabriolet’s fabric roof. According to Audi, this can be deployed – up or down – in less than 18 seconds and at speeds of up to 31mph. The roof has a thicker inner foam layer that helps keep exterior noise at bay and it even has its own dedicated storage tray that ‘barely affects’ luggage capacity when it’s folded away.
Inside, the Audi A3 cabriolet is as luxurious as you’d imagine, with a 5.8-inch colour monitor (7-inch on MMI Navigation plus), a new electro-mechanical parking brake and more tech than you know what to do with, including side assist, lane assist, camera-based traffic sign/speed-limit recognition and park assist to name a few.
Three engines will be offered in the Audi A3 Cabriolet at launch — two TFSI petrol units offering 140PS and 180PS, respectively, and a 2.0 TDI diesel that manages 150PS. The entry-level petrol, a 1.4-litre unit, manages 0-62mph in 9.1 seconds with 56.5mpg and CO2 emissions of 114g/km. The more faster 1.8-litre TFSI returns 48.7mpg with emissions of 133g/km. The diesel, meanwhile, offers 67.3mpg with 110g/km.
Audi S3 Cabriolet
If none of that floats your boat then you’ll be pleased to hear Audi is also offering a far sportier S3 Cabriolet, which uses a 2.0 TFSI engine that delivers 300PS and 380Nm of torque – enough for 0-62mph in 5.4 seconds and 39.8mpg.
The new A3 Cabriolet will be available for UK ordering in late October ahead of first deliveries in March 2014. Check out the pictures below.
Audi A3 Pictures