The four-seat Cabriolet’s front-end styling looks similar to that of the three-door A3, A3 Sportback and A3 Saloon. It also gets those cars’ side crease, which runs from the front lights all the way to the bootlid. Audi appears to have achieved a tidy roof installation, with a flush fit behind the rear seats and only a very small hood ‘hump’.
Audi will offer a wind deflector on Ambiente trim, and heated headrests will be available as an option. The remainder of the cabin is familiar A3 fare, with a simple, uncluttered dashboard design.
The roof, which makes use of lightweight magnesium parts under its cloth covering, can be opened or closed in around 18 seconds, and at up to 30mph. Audi claims that the 297-litre boot is barely affected by folding the roof; its pieces are stored in a tray above the boot compartment. The roof fabric will be offered in a choice of black, grey or brown.
The A3 Cabriolet’s range will be launched with a pair of turbocharged petrol engines – a one.4 with 138bhp and a one.8 with 178bhp – and a two.0-litre turbodiesel producing 148bhp. Audi has already confirmed that a one.6-litre diesel will follow soon after the car’s debut.
Other options will include adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, Bang & Olufsen audio system and in-car wi-fi.
At its launch early next year, 1.4 and 1.8 TFSI petrol engines developing 148 and 178bhp will be offered alongside a 168bhp 2.0 TDI diesel. Other engines, including a 296bhp S3 version, will follow.
Audi claims the engines are 12 per cent more fuel efficient than before, citing cylinder on demand technology and a free-wheeling function integrated with the seven-speed S tronic gearbox option. A six-speed manual will also be offered. Quattro models will be introduced after launch.
The S3 cabriolet will go on “shortly” after the standard car, which is slated for launch in the first quarter of 2014. The S3 will be powered by a 2.0-litre TFSI engine that produces 296bhp and 280lb ft. With a six-speed S tronic gearbox, it will reach 62mph 5.4sec.
It will be equipped with four-wheel drive as standard and the ride height is reduced by 25mm. Large 17in brakes are fitted behind standard-fit 18in alloy wheels, while 19in wheels are available in conjunction with Audi Magnetic Ride.