new Audi A3 Cabriolet
The new Audi A3 Cabriolet is a drop top version of the A3 using a fabric roof. Audi is something of a diehard in this respect, saying that 'a cabriolet should look like a cabriolet' and choosing to emphasise the fact with a choice of contrasting colours. Given the A3's shape a folding hardtop wouldn't have fit anyway, and as it is the new A3 cabrio looks reasonably sharp with the roof up or down. The new model also previews some revisions coming across the A3 range, such as the R8 style running lights and tweaked grille and bumper.
This new common rail unit - also seen in the new A4 - is smooth and refined and with 138bhp and 236lb ft of torque is considerably more powerful than the rather gruff 1.9 TDI, which delivers 104bhp and 184lb ft. 1.8 and 2.0 TFSI petrol engines complete the line up, the latter the most powerful option for now.
The 1.9 TDI offers a fractional improvement in mpg over the 2.0 TDI, recording 55.4mpg against 53.3mpg on the combined cycle. But the 2.0-litre's performance and refinement gains are much more noticeable, making it a price worth paying, the respective 134 and 139g/km again too close to call. The S tronic dual clutch automated gearbox impacts on both, lowering mpg to 50.4 and raising the CO2 to 148g/km. The reinforced body and fixed roll hoops ensure good protection should the worse happen, even if rearward vision is slightly compromised. As ever, a full complement of airbags and electronic safety aids are present.
The A3 cabriolet will be avaliable in the spring for an estimated £20,000 - £25,000