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Audi does the S3 + Cabriolet sum

By: IOL Motoring Staff

Audi's A3 family tree has no shortage of branches.

For octane-blooded enthusiasts, there's the S3. For those that like to cruise with the top down, Audi offers an A3 Cabriolet. Now, for those that find both lifestyles (and the odd bad hair day) enticing, Audi has revealed an S3 Cabriolet - joining the existing S3 three-door hatch, five-door Sportback and four-door sedan versions.

All the usual S3 performance trappings apply here.

This means a 2-litre turbopetrol engine generously tuned to 221kW (206kW in SA models) and 380Nm, mated to a six-speed S tronic dual-clutch gearbox that transmits power to all four wheels via Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system. Road holding, of course, is aided by a modified suspension that also perches the S3 25mm lower to the ground than ordinary A3s.

Engine, gearbox and steering assistance systems can be varied at the touch of a button, with comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency and individual modes being available.

Due to the extra weight induced by necessary open-top reinforcements, the S3 Cabriolet is a little slower off the mark than its siblings, taking a claimed 5.4 seconds to get to 100km/h - 0.5s down on the S3 Sedan.

But is accommodation sorted?

According to Audi, the S3 Cabriolet's cabin can accommodate four adults and swallow 285 litres of luggage while the top is up and 245 litres when it's down.

Aesthetically, the cabin is draped (almost) completely in black, which is contrasted by matt brushed aluminium inlays. The seats are finished in Fine Nappa leather with S embossing and contrasting stitching.

Our Audi SA contact tells us that the S3 Cabriolet will hit our sunny shores during the second half of 2014, hopefully just in time for Spring.

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