Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
17 May 2014
2:00 pm

A3 Cabriolet impressive

Citizen Reporter

Audi South Africa has unveiled the new A3 Cabriolet, available with two different engines: the 1.4T FSI (92 kW) and the 1.8T FSI (132 kW).

The Audi A3 Cabriolet 2.0 TDI. Picture supplied

All engines in the new Audi A3 Cabriolet combine the technologies of direct injection, turbocharging and a start-stop-system. Both TFSI engines will be available in manual and in S tronic.

On average, the two engines offered at the market launch have 12% better fuel economy than the engines in the previous model – and they do so while improving driving performance. The 1.4 TFSI, for example, accelerates the new Audi A3 Cabriolet from 0–100km/h in 10.2 seconds, yet its combined fuel consumption value is 5.3 litres per 100 kilometres.

The A3 Cabriolet 1.8T FSI will accelerate from 0–100km/h in 7.8 seconds.

The ESC stabilisation control system integrates an electronic limited slip differential – this makes handling even smoother and safer at the vehicle’s cornering limits while driving fast through curves.

High-end features in the new A3 Cabriolet include the Audi drive-select vehicle dynamics system. The driver can use this system to modify engine management, power steering, S tronic and air conditioning operation over several modes.

The Audi A3 Cabriolet 2.0 TDI. Picture supplied

The Audi A3 Cabriolet 2.0 TDI. Picture supplied

The new Cabriolet has grown compared to the previous model due to the fact that it is based on the Audi A3 Sedan. Only its height (1.41 metres) was reduced by 15 millimetres, giving the four-seat convertible a more elegant and sporty exterior appearance. Luggage capacity has increased to a total of 320 litres, with improved loadability.

The front of the Cabriolet is characterised by the Audi trademark single-frame grille and a more pronounced bonnet.

The windshield frame is made of aluminium and an aluminium trim runs around the entire car. The Cabriolet has a soft cloth top that is stretched over a lightweight kinematic mechanism made of magnesium-steel. At the press of a button, the top opens electro-hydraulically in 17 seconds while driving up to 50 km/h. The roof can be closed in just 18 seconds. In the opened state, the top rests in a tray that barely affects luggage capacity.

The fully automatic acoustic soft top has a glass rear window and a thicker inner foam layer, which further reduces the already low interior noise level of the Cabriolet.

An active rollover protection system protects the occupants in case of an accident. It consists of two spring-loaded plates that are recessed into the body.

The Audi A3 Cabriolet 1.4T FSI weighs just 1 345 kilograms, which is 50 kilograms lighter than the previous model. Including its special reinforcements, the body weighs 30 kilograms less than previously due to the engine hood, which is made of alumi-

nium. Weight was also significantly reduced in the interior and in the engines.

Elegantly drawn lines and clean surfaces also characterise the interior design. The instrument panel is lean and low, and the centre console is angled towards the driver.

Completing the range in the fourth quarter of 2014 will be the Audi S3 Cabriolet, which will feature the same 2.0T FSI engine available in its S3 siblings.