It may seem strange ordering a cabriolet just as winter arrives, but with order books now open for the new Audi A3 Cabriolet, first deliveries are expected to arrive in April 2014.

The A3 Cabriolet features a folding fabric roof stretched over a magnesium/steel frame, and can be operated in just under 18 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph.

Sport and S line models use a more sound-absorbent top with three layers of inner padding.

Three grades are available – SE, Sport and S line – with the base model kicking off the standard equipment list with 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, light and rain sensors, DAB digital radio and Bluetooth connectivity.

Sport and S line versions sit 15mm lower than the SE, although the SE’s comfort suspension can be specified on either as a no-cost option, while S line models can be lowered by a further 10mm, again at no extra cost.

Sports seats, dual-zone climate control, and a adaptive dynamics system feature on Sport and S line, while the S line goes on to add part-leather upholstery, sports steering wheel, 18-inch alloy wheels, S line body styling and xenon headlights.

Initially the engine range consists of a 1.4-litre TFSI petrol producing 140PS mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, recording a 0-62mph time of 9.1 seconds, plus 56.5mpg economy and CO2 emissions of 114 g/km.

The mid-range 1.8-litre TFSI with 180PS is mated to a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission, where it can achieve 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds on its way to its 150mph top speed.  CO2 emissions are pegged at 133 g/km with economy of 48.7mpg on the combined cycle.

The sole diesel option comes in the form of a 2.0-litre TDI with 150PS, enough for an 8.9-second 0-62mph sprint, as well as fuel economy of 67.3mpg and emissions of 110 g/km.

From February 2014, a 1.6-litre TDI with emissions of just 99 g/km and a more powerful 2.0-litre TDI with 184PS will follow, as will the option of quattro four wheel-drive.

A 300PS Audi S3 Cabriolet will also come on stream later.

Prices for the new Audi A3 Cabriolet start from £25,790 for the 1.4 TFSI SE and rise to £32,420 for the 1.8 TFSI S line.

Audi A3 Cabriolet Prices

1.4 TFSI (CoD)SE140£25,790
1.4 TFSI (CoD)Sport140£27,015
1.4 TFSI (CoD)S line140£29,165
1.8 TFSISport180£30,270
1.8 TFSIS line180£32,420
2.0 TDISE150£27,240
2.0 TDISport150£28,465
2.0 TDIS line150£30,615