Sporty, elegant and versatile - Audi presents the new A3 Cabriolet. The compact four-seater impresses at first glance with its flowing lines and the soft top. In terms of technology, it is also at the top of its class - with consistent lightweight construction, new engines, versatile networking and powerful assistance systems.
The exterior design
Compared to the previous model is the new Audi A3 Cabriolet has grown - in length from 4,24 to 4,42 meters, in the wheelbase from 2,58 to 2,60 meters and in width from 1,77 to 1,79 meters. Only in the height (1,41 meters) is there a minus of 15 millimeters - the open four-seater is more elegant and sporty on the road. The luggage compartment volume increases by 60 liters and the luggage compartment is easier to load. Large wheels up to 19 inches can be accommodated in the wheel arches.
The front of the Audi A3 Cabriolet is shaped by the single-frame radiator grille. The flat headlights give it a determined look; they emphasize the horizontal as well as the air inlets of the bumper. On request, Audi can supply the headlights with LED technology, which is unique in the compact segment with sliding headlight range control.
In the harmonic proportions of the two-door, the rear overhang plays an important role. The frame of the windshield is made of aluminum - around the entire car runs a trim in aluminum look. On the flanks arises through the tightly drawn Tornadolinie and the tense sheet metal surfaces a fascinating interplay of light and shadow.
The new A3 Cabriolet is available with a fabric top that is stretched over a light magnesium-steel kinematics and fits perfectly into the design. At the push of a button, it opens and closes electro-hydraulically in less than 18 seconds, even while driving at speeds of up to 50 km / h. When open, the top, folded in three layers, rests in a tub that hardly restricts the 287 liter luggage space.
The fully automatic convertible top has a glass rear window and is available in black as standard. Alternatively, there is a fully automatic acoustic top with a thick inner foam, which further lowers the already low noise level in the interior of the A3 Cabriolet. The acoustic hood is optionally available in the three exterior colors black, gray and brown as well as the interior lining colors black and lunar silver. The wind deflector is standard in the Ambiente equipment line, while head space heating is an option on the front seats. In the event of a rollover, an active rollover protection system protects the passengers. It consists of two spring-loaded plates that are countersunk in the body.
In the basic version, the curb weight is just 1.365 kilograms - despite its size and greater comfort, the new Audi A3 Cabriolet is around 50 kilograms lighter than its predecessor. Together with the special reinforcements that ensure high torsional rigidity, the body shell weighs 30 kilograms less than before; the hood is made of aluminum. The strict dictates of lightweight construction also prevail in the interior and in the engines. Audi, a pioneer in this field of technology, has set a sovereign record in the compact class. For the body, the customer can choose from 16 paint finishes.
Elegantly drawn lines and clear surfaces also characterize the interior design of the new Audi A3 Cabriolet. The instrument panel is slim and low, its front slightly curved, and the center console tilts towards the driver. The large, round air vents in jet design, the control panel for the air conditioning and the three-dimensional decorative strips bring the impression of the luxury class into the interior. The optional light package includes a touch-sensitive switch for the reading lights that is available for the first time.
As in every Audi, the quality of workmanship is uncompromisingly high and the operation is simple, self-explanatory and comfortable. Four adults find enough space, the backrests of the two rear seats can be folded down and then release a wide through-loading. Steering wheel and seats are newly developed, the button for the also new electromechanical parking brake is placed on the console of the center tunnel.
The equipment lines are named Attraction, Ambition and Ambiente. The S line sports package for the Ambition line dips the interior entirely in black. The materials available are fabric covers, leather and Alcantara / leather. The Audi design selection lasso brown conveys an exclusive look.
The assistance systems
Driving in the new Audi A3 Cabriolet is even more confident with the highly developed assistance systems. The driver information system with efficiency program and recommended breaks is already part of the standard scope of the Ambition and Ambiente lines. The range of options includes adaptive cruise control, Audi side assist, Audi active lane assist, camera-based traffic sign recognition, parking assistant with selective display and the Audi pre sense safety system in various expansion stages.
The range of infotainment modules is also extremely attractive, with the Bang & Olufsen sound system and MMI navigation plus at the top. The super slim seven-inch monitor extends electrically from the instrument panel. In the control terminal, the rotary / push control is combined with the MMI touch to form the touchwheel - the touch-sensitive field for entering letters and numbers forms the top of the control wheel.
The term Audi connect stands for the networking of the driver with the environment. In the new Audi A3 Cabriolet, this function - a supplement to MMI navigation plus - establishes the connection to the Internet; wherever possible with the fast LTE transmission standard (available from November). The integrated WLAN hotspot allows the passengers to surf and email with their mobile devices.
The system brings the tailor-made Internet services from Audi connect into the car for the driver - from navigation with Google Earth and Google Street View to online traffic information and offers such as Facebook and Twitter. The latest service from Audi connect is parking information, which shows free spaces in multi-storey car parks and underground garages as well as in parking lots.
The three newly developed engines with which the Audi A3 Cabriolet takes off have a major impact on the sporty character. The two TFSIs draw 1,4 kW (1,8 PS) and 103 kW (140 PS) from 132 and 180 liter displacement. The 2.0 TDI mobilizes 110 kW (150 PS). Other units will follow - from the 1.6 TDI with 81 kW (110 PS) to the 2.0 TFSI, which drives the Audi S3 Cabriolet with 221 kW (300 PS). All engines in the new Audi A3 Cabriolet bring together the technologies of direct injection, turbocharging and the start-stop system.
On average, the three starting engines consume twelve percent less fuel than the units in the previous model - with improved performance. The 1.4 TFSI, for example, accelerates the new Audi A3 Cabriolet from 9,1 to 0 km / h in 100 seconds, but consumes an average of 100 liters of fuel (5,0 grams of CO114 per kilometer) over 2 kilometers. The Audi cylinder on demand (COD) technology, which deactivates two cylinders when the load is low, also contributes to this efficiency.
The new Audi A3 Cabriolet is also state-of-the-art when it comes to power transmission. The 1.8 TFSI will be coupled with the seven-speed S tronic at market launch; In conjunction with the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, it offers a freewheel function that further reduces fuel consumption. The 1.4 TFSI and the 2.0 TDI cooperate with a manual six-speed transmission. The quattro all-wheel drive - another novelty and unique selling point in the compact cabriolet - follows.
Sporty handling, superior driving safety and a high level of comfort - the chassis of the new Audi A3 Cabriolet impresses with its sophisticated technology. The components of the McPherson front axle consist partly of aluminum; the four-link rear axle processes the longitudinal and lateral forces separately. The power steering uses an efficient electromechanical drive.
The ESC stabilization control comes with the electronic transverse lock; it makes fast cornering even smoother and safer. The brakes are strong and stable. The wheel format ranges from 16 to 19 inches, the tire program up to the format 235/35. A sporty chassis is available in two versions; the sports suspension has been lowered by 15 millimeters, the S line sports suspension by 25 millimeters.
The high-end options for the new Audi A3 Cabriolet include the Audi drive select dynamic handling system (standard in the Ambition line). With it, the driver can vary the operation of the engine management, power steering, S tronic and air conditioning in several modes. The control also extends to optional systems such as the adaptive damper control Audi magnetic ride, the adaptive cruise control, the adaptive light and the progressive steering, the ratio of which becomes increasingly direct when turning.
The new Audi A3 Cabriolet is rolling off the assembly line at the Győr plant in Hungary, which Audi has expanded for an investment of more than 900 million euros. Sales will start in Germany in autumn, delivery will begin in the first quarter of 2014. The basic price for the 1.4 TFSI (103 kW with cylinder on demand technology) is 31.700 euros. Many sporty and comfortable options round off the standard equipment, including the comfort key or the S sport seats with integrated headrests and diamond quilting in the shoulder area.
The Audi S3 Cabriolet (preliminary data)
In the top version S3, which will follow shortly after the market launch, the compact convertible offers particularly sporty driving performance. The 2.0 TFSI develops 221 kW (300 hp) and applies 380 Nm of torque to the crankshaft. The sprint from 0 to 100 km / h is done in 5,4 seconds with the six-speed S tronic. On average, the four-cylinder turbo needs 7,1 liters of fuel.
The quattro drive train operates with a hydraulic multi-plate clutch with electronic control. The body is 25 millimeters lower, and 18-inch brakes are mounted behind the 17-inch wheels. 19-inch wheels are also available in conjunction with Audi magnetic ride. Progressive steering is standard.