What is it?
The new – and rather excellent – cabrio version of the Audi A3, complete with what Audi claims is the fastest operating electric hood in the world. It takes just one touch of a button and nine seconds to collapse the fabric roof. A BMW 1-series cabrio’s hood takes over twice as long to go through its motions, and coupe-cabriolet models tend to take nearly three times longer.
Once open the A3 cabrio is quite a looker, even if the way the hood itself stows into the rear bodywork leaves a teeny bit to be desired; unlike the 1-series (or most other cabrios) you can still see some of the mechanical gubbins on either side because there is no extra flap to hide them from view, which is a pity. Other than this there is much to like about the A3 cabrio, and not much to dislike.
What’s it like?
The cabin draws most of its cues from the hatchback up front with a few extra touches, such as the instruments and dash trim on Sport and S-line models taken from the S3.
You get a six speed manual gearbox as standard on the 1.8 TFSI, and it’s a good gearbox; light of touch, crisp, and fitted with a near-perfect set of ratios that enable you to make full use of the turbocharged petrol engine’s useful spread of power.