Audi Drops Top on A3 Cabriolet

Another week, another new Audi. Hot on the heels of the Cross Cabriolet quattro at the L.A. Motor Show comes first pictures of the droptop A3 compact hatchback.

Due on sale in Europe in the spring, the car is said to be a true four-seater. Two gasoline engines will be available from launch, with the entry level model getting a 1.8-liter TFSI unit with 160 hp. Mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, it will hit 62 mph in 8.3 seconds.

The more powerful of the pair is a 2.0-liter 200-hp powerplant which completes the sprint in 7.3 seconds but still returns 37.1 mpg. Two diesel engines will also be available, a 1.9-liter and 2.0-liter. At launch transmissions will be limited to front-wheel drive, but quattro 4WD models will follow.

At 166.5 inches long, the car is three-quarters of an inch longer than the standard three-door version of the car. The canvas roof comes with a heated glass rear window and drops into the trunk in just nine seconds.

The interior features four round air vents and side knee cushions on the centre console struts, as on the Audi TT. The speedometer and rev counter's red needles are mounted in black dial backgrounds.

In the standard arrangement the luggage compartment has a capacity of 9.1 cubic feet, whether the hood is open or closed. It can increase to 23.8 cubic feet and the load area lengthened to nearly five feet with the seats folded flat.

The A3 Cabriolet rides on 16-inch alloys, but the Sport model gets 17-inchers and is available with sports suspension that lowers the body by 0.63 in.

Optional extras include a multi-function steering wheel, dual zone climate control, LED daytime running lights, leather upholstery, heated seats, and a parking aid. Adaptive front lighting and a choice of audio and navigation systems are also available.

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