By: IOL Motoring Staff
Audi has revealed the Cabriolet version of its latest A3 and the newcomer has taken a stretch to ensure a more mature and substantial look.
Overall length grows by 180mm to 4420mm while its height has been reduced by 15mm. Despite its increased proportions, the new MQB weight-saving platform ensures that it weighs 50kg less than it predecessor.
The A3 Cabriolet retains its fabric-roof, which can be ordered in black, grey or brown. It's stretched over a lightweight kinematic mechanism that allows the roof to be opened or closed at the press of a button in just 18 seconds and at speeds of up to 50km/h. Boot space, with the top down, has grown by 60 litres to a more useful 287 litres.
The cabin design mimics the hatch version with 'jet' air vents and an electronically retractable 5.8-inch colour screen for the Driver Information System. One can also go wild on the options list, breaking the bank with features like a Bang & Olufsen sound with MMI Navigation plus, adaptive cruise control, active lane assist and a 4G/LTE integrated WLAN hotspot.
According to Audi, the cabin has enough space for four occupants and those up front can make life even cosier if the driver ticks head-level heating for the front seats and the wind deflector on the options list.
The European market will enjoy a wide range of turbocharged direct injection engines, including the 103kW 1.4- and 132kW 1.8-litre petrol units as well as 1.6- and 2-litre diesel motors.
The most enticing news, however, is that a 221kW/380Nm S3 version will be available soon, bringing Audi's smallest cabrio into a new performance realm with a 0-100km/h time of 5.4 seconds.
According to Audi SA, the new A3 Cabriolet will hit our streets during the second half of 2014 and the exact engine-line up will be confirmed closer to the time.