Completing the quadruple A3 bodystyle line-up is this new drop-top: the Audi A3 Cabriolet. The new soft-top is bigger yet lighter than the old convertible A3, and has morphed into a more resolved silhouette courtesy of its booted rear instead of the old version’s chopped hatch profile. Plus, for the first time ever, an S3 Cabriolet is set to join the range, offering a 155mph breeze in your hair, and 0-62mph in around 5.0sec.
>> Click here for CAR's A-Z guide to the 2013 Frankfurt motor show
Audi A3 Cabriolet: the numbers
At 1365kg, the new A3 Cabriolet weighs 50kg less than its predecessor, despite its dimensions stretch and a 60-litre increase in boot capacity. Not only is the bodyshell itself lighter and stiffer, the bonnet is aluminium, and the roof mechanism is a magnesium-steel contraption that’ll drop in 18sec provided the A3's travelling at 31mph or less.
There’s a glass rear window for better refinement with the hood up, though for the quietest cabin you’ll want the optional triple-layer acoustic top.
>> Click here to read CAR’s long-term test of the new Audi A3 Sportback
Which engines are going into the Audi A3 Cabriolet?
There’s a choice of three: the familiar 1.4-litre and 1.8-litre petrols (the latter only available with the seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch gearbox), and a 2.0-litre diesel. A 1.6-litre dieselis on the way, along with the aforementioned flagship S3 Cabriolet, which uses a 2.0-litre turbo motor and quattro all-wheel drive – the first time a VW Group drop-top has been engineered for all-wheel drive.
All of the engines employ fuel-saving measures such as direct injection, stop-start and, as per the current downsizing trend, turbochargers. Audi claims that on average, the engines available at launch have 15% better fuel economy than the powerplants used in the old A3 soft-top, and they weren't exactly guzzlers.
When, where and how much?
The Audi A3 Cabriolet goes on sale in Germany first, with wider European orders following later in autumn 2013. First deliveries will arrive in the first quarter of 2014, with prices for the base 1.4-litre model expected to start from around £27,000.
That’s steep, but Audi counters by heaping optional equipment into the A3 Cabriolet as standard. Keyless entry and go, sports seats and deluxe stitching are all factory-fit in the drop-top.