The Audi A3 cabrio has grown 180mm in length to 4420mm for a more elongated and elegant profile, but weight is down 50kg to 1365kg compared with its predecessor, aided by the lighter new MQB platform and aluminium bonnet. Audi claims body stiffness has also increased.
The 2014 A3 cabriolet boasts a soft-top roof can be opened and closed in 18 seconds at vehicle speeds of up to 31mph. When folded, the roof has a “minimal” effect on luggage space, according to Audi. An ‘acoustic top’ will be offered to reduce noise in the cabin and ‘head level’ heating option for front seat occupants.
Other options will include adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, Bang & Olufsen audio system and in-car wi-fi.
At its launch early next year, 1.4 and 1.8 TFSI petrol engines developing 148 and 178bhp will be offered alongside a 168bhp 2.0 TDI diesel. Other engines, including a 296bhp S3 version, will follow.
Audi claims the engines are 12 per cent more fuel efficient than before, citing cylinder on demand technology and a free-wheeling function integrated with the seven-speed S tronic gearbox option. A six-speed manual will also be offered. Quattro models will be introduced after launch.
The S3 cabriolet will go on “shortly” after the standard car, which is slated for launch in the first quarter of 2014. The S3 will be powered by a 2.0-litre TFSI engine that produces 296bhp and 280lb ft. With a six-speed S tronic gearbox, it will reach 62mph 5.4sec.
It will be equipped with four-wheel drive as standard and the ride height is reduced by 25mm. Large 17in brakes are fitted behind standard-fit 18in alloy wheels, while 19in wheels are available in conjunction with Audi Magnetic Ride.