Audi A3 Cabriolet

From Audi press: Refined style, agile driving fun and elaborate technology - the Audi A3, the A3 Sportback, the A3 Cabriolet and the S3 are the sporty models in the compact segment. Audi now displays its premium character even more explicitly through new attentive details on both the exterior and the interior.

The sporty elegance of the A3 models is already perfectly expressed in their design; their harmonious styling now acquires a host of new, exclusive touches. The single-frame grille element and the trims on the B-posts are painted in high-gloss black, the lower air inlets have chrome struts, the exterior mirrors are aerodynamically optimized and there are chrome strips in the door handles (except on the S3). At the rear, all A3 versions have a new diffuser insert with eye-catching separating edge, and the rear lights are tinted on the three-door version.

The engine range for the Audi A3 and A3 Sportback is very extensive - it comprises nine power units, five of them gasoline and four diesel. All are cutting-edge turbocharged four-cylinder direct-injection units badged as TFSI and TDI. They encapsulate all the strengths of Audi engine technology - performance, refinement, high torque and efficiency. Five of the nine engines also feature in the new A3 Cabriolet, with the most powerful version reserved for the dynamic S3 and S3 Sportback - the 2.0 TFSI developing 195 kW (265 hp).

The entry-level gasoline version is the 1.2 TFSI; it is a prime example of the merits of Audi's downsizing strategy - prioritizing supercharging ahead of displacement. This four-cylinder power unit develops an ample 77 kW (105 hp) from a swept volume of 1,197 cm3 and generates a hefty 175 Nm of torque (129.07 lb-ft), yet averages just 5.5 liters of fuel per 100 km (42.77 US mpg).

Audi fits a start-stop system including energy recovery on five engines in the three-door A3 and the Sportback - the 1.2 TFSI, the 1.4 TFSI, the 1.6 TDI developing 77 kW (105 hp), and the two 2.0 TDI versions with outputs of 103 kW and 125 kW (140 hp and 170 hp). In a new departure for compact cars, it is irrelevant whether a manual transmission or the S tronic dual-clutch transmission is fitted. It proves a big advantage in city traffic - it deactivates the engine while stationary and restarts it when the clutch is pressed or, on S tronic versions, the brake pedal released.

The running gear of the A3 car line combines a sporty character with superb safety and high comfort. Its precision and poise stem from technically elaborate solutions such as four-link rear suspension, which handles longitudinal and transverse forces independently, and the electromechanical power steering, which is as responsive as it is efficient.

On all versions with front-wheel drive, the ESP electronic stabilization program incorporates an electronic differential lock. When close to the limits of handling on bends, this intelligent software solution manages how the drive torque is distributed among the wheels by small, barely detectable brake applications. These suppress any understeering, improve traction and further enhance driving safety.

Gallery: Audi A3 Cabriolet