Thursday, 12 September 2013


The now-bigger and completely new 2014 Audi A3 Cabriolet was exhibited at the 2013 Frankfurt International Motor Show. It’s now grown to 4.42 metres long, 1.79m wide and has a wheelbase of 2.6m metres. Yet height has been lowered to 1.4m. We’ll all get to ogle it at the 2013 JIMS next month.

So what about it? Well Audi has kept its canvass roof philosophy for the A3 Cabriolet and this system can be opened or closed in a matter of 18 seconds at speeds of up to 50km/h. All this is done through the push/ pull of a button. Kerb weight has been reduced despite the gain in dimensions. In total, the baseline model weighs just 1 365kg, which in general is around 50kg off the previous-generation car.

For the European spec, which Mzansi follows quite closely, Audi will offer wheels from 16-inch to 19-inch in size, with tyres of up to 235/35 in size. Some derivatives will even come with an adaptive suspension control system, adaptive cruise control and progressive steering. Knowing South Africans and their taste for the optional, these should go down well in these parts.

Mzansi doesn’t really get all the available A3 Cabriolet models but in case you are interested, here is what they are out there. Petrols consist of a 1.4 and 1.8-litre, respectively making 103kW and 132kW. Guess which one we’d like to take for a spin? Moving along into diesel territory, the 2.0-litre TDI is good for 110kW. This one is highly unlikely to see the light of Mzansi, given our general, inexplicable disdain for diesel cars. Both the 7-speed S Tronic and 6-speed manual will be made available.

Some of Audi’s best interior infotainment technologies are to be found in the A3 Cabriolet, including MMI Navigation Plus with Google Maps, LTE WiFi internet access (in certain markets), Parking Information which shows available parking spaces in certain spots, and an optional Bang & Olufsen sound system.

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