Audi Takes The Lid Off The New A3 Cabriolet

Keen viewers will have noticed that when we did a comparison of the new Audi A3's bodystyles in July there was one version missing from the lineup. Though Audi had released new versions of the A3 3 door hatch and 5 door sportback - and even added a booted 4 door saloon to the mix - the convertible back then was still the previous generation of A3.

As part of its Frankfurt Motor Show effort, Audi has finally lifted the lid on the new A3 convertible.

At first glance the body of the convertible seems largely based on the 3 door, but the rear end is unmistakeably the 4 door and this contributes to an increase in length over the hatch from 4.24m to 4.42m - a little shorter than the 4.46m saloon.

However, popping the boot will lead to disappointment if you're expecting saloon-like storage. The cabrio's boot is good for 287 litres, slashing a third off the saloon's miserly 425 litres and even looking small compared to the hatch's 365 litres.

Of course this is a part of the parcel of convertible ownership that roof - an electrically operated fabric affair that folds up or down in 18s at up to 31mph - has got to go somewhere!

The powertrains available from launch will be instantly familiar. The cabriolet uses the same 1.4 (140hp) and 1.8 (180hp) TFSI petrol engines and 2.0 (150hp) TDI engine as the rest of the A3 range, with more engines to follow after launch. This will include a 300hp 2.0 TFSI powering the S3 cabriolet.

With a weight reduction over the outgoing model, fuel economies are up by just over 10% too - with up to 67mpg (110g/km) combined from the 2.0 TDI and 56mpg (114g/km) from the 1.4 TFSI.

Available from: October 2013 (orders); March 2014 (deliveries)
Priced from: est 22,000


The new A3 cabriolet slots into the range like it never left, adding open-top motoring to all the A3's existing virtues - at the expense of a little boot space.

While the comparison in July focussed on practicality and value for money, the A3 cabriolet is the variant that you buy with your heart rather than your head - but with the other bodystyles all scoring well in reviews there's little reason to suggest that it'll be anything less than a success.

One to keep an eye on will be the S3 cabriolet - Audi's first open-top S3 model - when it hits the roads next year.

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