Sporty, elegant and multi-faceted – Audi presents the new A3 Cabriolet. The compact four-seater impresses at first glance with its flowing lines and soft top.
It is also at the top of its class technically – with systematic lightweight design, new engines, intuitive connection solutions and high-performance assistance systems.
The new Audi A3 Cabriolet has grown compared to the previous model: its length increased from 4.24 to 4.42 metres, its wheelbase from 2.58 to 2.60 metres and its width from 1.77 to 1.79 metres. Luggage capacity grew by 60 litres, and it is easier to load.
The front of the Audi A3 Cabriolet is characterized by the flat headlights that give it a resolute look; they emphasize the horizontal styling and the air intakes in the bumper. Audi offers headlights with LED technology as an option; they are the only LED headlights in the compact segment to offer variable headlight levelling control.
The rear overhang plays a key role in the harmonious proportions of the two-door car. The windshield frame is made of aluminium – and an aluminium-look trim strip runs around the entire car. On the flanks, the design features a taut tornado line and contoured sheet metal surfaces that create a fascinating interplay of light and shadow.
The new A3 Cabriolet has a soft cloth top that is stretched over a lightweight kinematic mechanism made of magnesium-steel, and it complements the car’s design perfectly. At the press of a button, the top opens or closes electro-hydraulically in less than 18 seconds, even while driving up to 50km/h.
The car’s kerb weight starts from 1,365kg– the new Audi A3 Cabriolet is around 50kg lighter than the previous model despite its larger size and better comfort. Including its special reinforcements, which deliver high torsional stiffness, the body weighs 30kg less than previously while the bonnet is made of aluminium. Weight was also significantly reduced in the interior and in the engines. This let Audi – a pioneer in this technical field – set an impressive best value in the compact class. Customers can choose from 16 different exterior paints for the body.
Elegantly drawn lines and clean surfaces also typify the interior design of the new Audi A3 Cabriolet. The instrument panel is lean and low, its front is slightly curved, and the centre console is angled slightly towards the driver. The large, round air vents in jet design, the control panel for the air conditioner and the three-dimensional trim strips bring premium class elegance into the interior.
As in every Audi, workmanship quality is uncompromisingly high, and the car’s controls are simple, intuitive and convenient. It offers enough space for four adults, and the seatbacks of the two rear seats can be folded down which opens up a wide through-load area. The steering wheel and seats are new designs, and the also new electro-mechanical parking brake is operated by a pushbutton on the centre console.
Driving in the new Audi A3 Cabriolet is even more impressive with its highly developed assistance systems. The options program includes adaptive cruise control, Audi side assist, Audi active lane assist, camera-based traffic sign recognition, park assist with selective display and various feature levels of the Audi pre sense safety system.
Also extremely attractive is the line-up of infotainment components; at the very top are the Bang & Olufsen sound system and MMI Navigation plus. The super-slender seven-inch monitor extends from the instrument panel electrically. The user terminal has a rotary/push button control that is designed as a touchwheel with MMI touch – the touchwheel’s top surface is a touch-sensitive pad for inputting alpha and numeric characters.
The Audi connect concept aims to connect the driver with his or her environment. In the new Audi A3 Cabriolet, Audi Connect which supplements MMI Navigation plus provides a connection to the Internet. The integrated WLAN hotspot lets passengers use their mobile devices to surf and e-mail freely.
The three newly developed engines being offered in the Audi A3 Cabriolet at its launch all emphasize the car’s sporty character. The two TFSI engines produce 140 hp and 180 hp from 1.4 and 1.8 litres of engine displacement, respectively. The 2.0 TDI develops 163 hp; other engines will follow – ranging from the 1.6 TDI with 110 hp to the 2.0 TFSI, which will power the Audi S3 Cabriolet with 300 hp. All engines in the new Audi A3 Cabriolet combine the technologies of direct injection, turbocharging and a start-stop-system.
On average, the three engines offered at market launch have twelve percent better fuel economy than the engines in the previous model – and they do so while improving driving performance. The 1.4 TFSI, for example, accelerates the new Audi A3 Cabriolet from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.1 seconds, yet its combined fuel consumption value is 5.0 litres fuel per 100 kilometres and its CO2 emissions are 114 g/km. Also contributing to this efficiency is Audi cylinder on demand (COD) technology, which deactivates two of the engine’s cylinders in low load conditions.
The chassis of the new Audi A3 Cabriolet impresses with sophisticated technology that delivers sporty handling, superior vehicle safety and a high level of comfort. Some of the components of the MacPherson front suspension are made of aluminium; the four-link rear suspension handles longitudinal and transverse forces separately. The power steering system features an efficient electromechanical drive.
High-end options in the new Audi A3 Cabriolet include the Audi drive select vehicle dynamics system. The driver can use this system to modify engine management, power steering, S tronic and air conditioning operation over several modes. This control also extends to optional systems such as the adaptive suspension control system Audi magnetic ride, adaptive cruise control, adaptive light and progressive steering whose steering gear ratio becomes increasingly more direct when turning.