The new Audi A3 Cabriolet will make its debut at the Frankfurt motor show this week, with order books opening in October and first deliveries expected from March 2014.
It’s slightly larger than the previous model – the wheelbase has grown from 2.58 to 2.60 metres, and is 20mm wider and 180mm longer overall. Audi say it’s now also 50kg lighter than before.
Luggage space has been increased by 60 litres to 287 litres, and is now more accessible.
The A3 Cabriolet’s fabric soft top folds away in less than 18 seconds, and can be operated at speeds of up to 31mph.
The top features an inner layer of acoustic foam to help reduce interior noise, plus a proper glass rear window. A wind deflector and head-level heating will be available as options.
The interior is said to offer seating for four adults, while the backs of the rear seats can be folded down to create a longer load area.
Detail changes include new designs for the steering wheel and seats, plus a new electro-mechanically operated parking brake.
There will be four trim levels to choose from – SE, Sport and S line.
A multitude of driving aids will be offered, including adaptive cruise control, lane assist, traffic sign/speed limit recognition, park assist and various levels of Audi’s pre-sense safety system.
From November, an option to integrate a 4G/LTE wifi hotspot into the car’s systems will be added, allowing passengers to use their mobile phones to access the internet.
At launch, three engines will be available: a 1.4-litre TFSI petrol producing 140PS, a 1.8-litre TFSI with 180PS, and a 2.0-litre TDI developing 150PS. All have direct injection, turbochargers, and start/stop functions. A 110PS 1.6-litre TDI will follow later.
The 1.4 TFSI can accelerate from 0-62mph in 9.1 seconds while returning 56.5mpg on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions of just 114g/km.
The 1.8 TFSI is available only with Audi’s dual-clutch S tronic transmission, and can achieve 48.7mpg and emissions of 133g/km.
The 2.0 TDI is the most efficient, returning 67.3mpg and 110g/km.
Following later will be the new Audi S3 Cabriolet. Powered by a 2.0-litre TFSI developing 300PS and 380Nm of torque, it will be fitted with a dual-clutch S tronic gearbox and will sprint from 0 to 62mph in 5.4 seconds. However, it is expected to be able to return a respectable 39.8mpg. Its suspension will sit 25mm lower than the standard car, and will feature quattro four-wheel-drive and a new progressive steering system.