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 50 km/h (31.07 mph). In the opened state, the top – folded into three layers – rests in a tray that barely affects luggage capacity, which is 287 liters (10.14 cubic ft).
The fully automatic soft top has a glass rear window and is offered in Black as standard. A fully automatic acoustic top is available as an option. It has a thicker inner foam layer which reduces the already low interior noise level of the Audi A3 Cabriolet even more. The acoustic top is available in the three exterior colors of Black, Gray and Brown, and its roofliner is available in black and lunar silver. A wind deflector is standard for the Ambiente trim line, and head-level heating is an option for the front seats.
The new Audi A3 Cabriolet has grown compared to the previous model. Its length increased from 4.24 to 4.42 meters (13.91 to 14.50 ft), wheelbase from 2.58 to 2.60 meters (8.46 to 8.53 ft) and width from 1.77 to 1.79 meters (5.81 to 5.87 ft). Only height (1.41 meters [4.63 ft]) was reduced by 15 millimeters (0.59 in). This gives the four-seat convertible a more elegant and sporty look on the road.
Three newly developed engines are offered for the Audi A3 Cabriolet at its launch. The two TFSI engines produce 103 kW (140 hp) and 132 kW (180 hp) from 1.4 and 1.8 liters of engine displacement, respectively. The 2.0 TDI develops 110 kW (150 hp). Other engines will follow ranging from the 1.6 TDI with 81 kW (110 hp) to the 2.0 TFSI, which will power the Audi S3 Cabriolet with 221 kW (300 hp). All engines in the new Audi A3 Cabriolet combine the technologies of direct injection, turbocharging and a start-stop-system.
At its launch, the 1.8 TFSI is being offered with a seven-speed S tronic. Together with the Audi drive select vehicle dynamics system, it offers a free-wheeling function that improves fuel economy. The 1.4 TFSI and 2.0 TDI are each paired with a manual six-speed transmission. This will be followed by the quattro all-wheel drive system – another new feature and USP of the compact Cabriolet.
In the top S3 version, which will follow shortly after the car’s initial launch, the compact Cabriolet delivers very sporty driving performance. The 2.0 TFSI engine produces 221 kW (300 hp) and transfers 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) of torque to the crankshaft. With a six-speed S tronic, the car completes the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 5.4 seconds. The combined fuel consumption of the four-cylinder turbo is 7.1 liters per 100 kilometers (33.13 US mpg). The quattro drivetrain operates with an electronically-controlled hydraulic multi-plate coupling. The body was lowered 25 millimeters (0.98 in), and 17-inch brakes are mounted behind the 18-inch wheels. 19-inch wheels are also available in conjunction with Audi magnetic ride. Progressive steering is standard.