The all-new Audi A3 Cabriolet can now be ordered with a starting price of £25,790 OTR, with first deliveries slated to begin in April 2014. Based on the A3 Saloon, the A3 Cabriolet allows for a complete concealment of the fast-retracting fabric hood. It comes available with a wide choice of engines and package of technological innovations found on larger Audi models.
It features a soft yet extremely hard-wearing fabric roof stretched over a lightweight kinematic mechanism made from magnesium-steel. This fabric roof could be completely stretched open in less than 18 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph. At a push of a button, the fabric hood could be retracted and completely concealed in a tray without affecting luggage capacity, which is estimated at around 275 liters.
Coming as standard to UK Sport and S line versions of the new A3 Cabriolet and as an option for SE models is a second sound-absorbent acoustic soft top that features three-layer inner padding. This acoustic soft top is available in black, grey and brown, with the roof liner available in black or lunar silver.
All versions of the A3 Cabriolet boast of an active rollover protection system comprised of two spring-loaded plates recessed into the body that protect occupants in the event of a rollover accident. The entry level version of the A3 Cabriolet weighs just 1,365 kg, around 50 kg lighter than its equivalent predecessor, while boasting of increased dimensions and improved comfort.
Despite special reinforcements to optimize torsional rigidity, the body-in-white weighs 30 kg less, partly thanks to its aluminum bonnet. Audi also significantly reduced the weight of the interior and the engines. The new A3 Cabriolet will be available with a choice of SE, Sport or S line specification.
Coming as standard equipment for the entry level are the fully automatic black-finished hood, 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning and a MMI radio that features an 11mm -thick powered folding screen. Also coming as standard are Audi Music Interface iPod connection, DAB digital radio, a Bluetooth interface, preparation for SD card-based navigation and a light and rain sensor package.
Audi’s new A3 Cabriolet is expressive and precise in every detail. In fact, even the car’s front expresses a determined character. For one, the new A3 Cabriolet’s Singleframe radiator grille that sports tapered upper corners is in stone gray, with its cross fins and its Audi rings protruding in a 3D way. The grill is surrounded by a slender, chrome frame. Moreover, the car’s wedge-shaped headlights with wave-like lower edges have been cut with flat profile, while the car’s interior has chrome-plated wing contours.
The carmaker is offering more headlight options for the A3 Cabriolet, including the xenon plus models’ adaptive lights. Its computer is the one that controls the swiveling modules, allowing them to always project the appropriate light for city, highway, and country roads.
There’s also a special turning light, all-weather light, and cornering light. You can also control adaptive light operation through the optional drive select system (which is standard in the Ambition line). Along with the optional MMI navigation plus, the adaptive light can make use of predictive route data for a variety of purposes, like activating the highway light even while the car is still by the entrance ramp.
Yet another function of Audi’s adaptive light is variable range control. It can recognize built up areas and other vehicles based on image data as captured from its video camera. Its control unit adapts accordingly to the range of its light.
Meanwhile, the high-end alternative in Audi’s A3 Cabriolet is its LED headlights, which is a technology that directly came from the full-size class. The light of the LED headlight has around 5,500-Kelvin color temperature, which resembles daylight and which is less tiring to the eyes.
LED or light-emitting diodes were designed to last the vehicle’s lifetime and are highly efficient. LED headlights offer special functions for highways, country roads, intersections, and driving on the left and on bad weather. Some also involve interaction with the MMI navigation plus.