Audi A3 Cabriolet

The Frankfurt International Auto Show is happening this week, and one of the things we're looking forward to is seeing Audi's new A3 Cabriolet compact convertible. We don't have all of the details quite yet, but here's what we know for now.

Fitting in below the A5 Cabriolet, and replacing the previous A3 Cabriolet as Audi's entry level convertible, this new model is the fourth bodystyle in the luxury compact A3 range.

Based on the A3 sedan rather than the hatch, the new A3 Cabriolet is bigger than the previous generation in every way except height. It's longer length definitely makes it more comfortable to ride in and gives it some real trunk space, even when the soft top is folded down. It's technically a four seater, but we wouldn't advise cramming two adults in the back for long trips.

Audi went with it's hydraulic fabric roof instead of a hard top, which can open or close in 18 seconds, even at speeds of up to 50 km/h. It comes standard in black but grey or brown is available. Other options are an acoustic hood with an extra layer of insulation, and a choice of black or grey interior hood liner.

Also new to the A3 Cabriolet is what's under the hood. This edition is offered with Quattro all wheel drive and a seven speed double clutch transmission. While the topless A3 doesn't currently come with all of the options available with the sedan, there are several engines to choose from. At launch, the car will probably come with the following engine choices- a 1.4 TFSI with 140 hp, a 180 horsepower 1.8 TFSI and the 2.0 TDI that gets 150 horses. They're also offering an S3 convertible edition with 300 horses and a 0 to 62 mph time of 5.4 seconds.

Finishing touches include an aluminum finished windshield frame and beltline strip.

Enhancing the car's comfort level are a neck heating system and wind deflector for chilly mornings.

It's unknown yet if Audi plans to bring the A3 Cabriolet to North America, but our fingers are crossed.

By Linda Aylesworth -


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