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Audi A3 loses its head


The Audi A3 Cabriolet has been with us since 2008 and has since sold 1,260 units. The previous generation Audi A3 was the first to include the Cabriolet body shape. In a bid to complete the local third generation A3 line-up, Audi South Africa has released the A3 Cabriolet, a compact four-seater soft top.

Mechanically, the cabriolet shares many components with its sedan and hatch siblings. There will be two engine derivatives offered at launch. The first being the stalwart 1.4T FSI that produces 92kW and can help the drop-top achieve a fuel consumption figure of 5.3 litres/100km and a 0-100km/h time of 10.2 seconds. The second, engines  the sprightly 1.8T FSI that produces 132kW and makes for a 0-100km/h sprint time of 7.8 seconds and a fuel consumption figure of 5.8 litres/100km.

All engines in the new Audi A3 Cabriolet combine the technologies of direct injection, turbo-charging and a Stop/Start system. Both engine variants can be had with either a manual and S tronic automatic transmission. All models come with an ESC stabilisation control system featuring an electronic limited slip differential.

The new Audi A3 Cabriolet is based on the sedan A3 and is therefore bigger than the previous model. It is now longer, wider and has a longer wheelbase. However, it is lower by some 15mm. The increased size means more occupant and luggage space with the boot growing from 260 to 320 litres.

Despite its bigger dimensions, at 1 345kg the 1.4 TFSI is 50kgs lighter than the previous model. Weight was saved by using aluminum in the vehicle’s body while other weight reduction measures have been included in the interior and engine.

The soft cloth top, stretched over a lightweight kinematic mechanism made of magnesium-steel, is operated at the push of a button. The electro-hydraulic top takes 17 seconds to go down and 18 seconds to go up and can be used at speeds of up to 50km/h.

There will be two trim levels available. The S-trim line gets standard features like a fully electrically operated roof, 16-inch alloy wheels, MMI Radio with full colour LCD screen, LED interior lighting package, exterior aluminum package, front centre armrest, leather covered multi function steering wheel, light/rain sensor, driver information system, Bluetooth telephony and audio and a knee airbag.

The SE models have large 17-inch wheels, sports seats and suspension, fog lights, Drive select, dual zone air-conditioning and the Audi sound system. The 206kW Audi S3 Cabriolet will join the line-up later in the year.

The Audi A3 Cabriolet comes with a 5-year/100 00km Audi Freeway Plan, available to extend to seven years/200 000km:


Audi A3 Cabriolet 1.4T FSI S manual R419 500
Audi A3 Cabriolet 1.4T FSI S S tronic R436 500
Audi A3 Cabriolet 1.8T FSI  SE manual R448 000
Audi A3 Cabriolet 1.8T FSI SE S tronic R465 000


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