The compact class open-top will become available for UK ordering in late October, and will reach its first customers here in March 2014.
To achieve its sleeker profile and provide the capacity for complete soft-top concealment when in open mode, the new compact class cabriolet has grown compared to the previous model: its length has increased from 4.24 to 4.42 metres, its wheelbase from 2.58 to 2.60 metres and its width from 1.77 to 1.79 metres. Only its height (1.41 metres) is down on its predecessor, by 15 millimetres. Luggage capacity has also grown by 60 litres (2.12 cubic ft), and access to that space has been improved.
The front of the Audi A3 Cabriolet is characterised by the single frame radiator grille, which is flanked by flat headlamps that can light the way using either halogen or xenon bulbs depending on version, or using optional LED headlamp technology.
The rear overhang plays a key role in the harmonious proportions of the two-door car. The windscreen frame is made of aluminium – and an aluminum-look trim strip runs around the roof aperture. On the flanks, the design features a taut tornado line and contoured surfaces that take full advantage of light and shadow.
The new A3 Cabriolet has a soft fabric roof that is stretched over a lightweight kinematic mechanism made of magnesium-steel, and it complements the car's design perfectly. At the press of a button, the top opens or closes electro-hydraulically in less than 18 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph. When retracted, the top – folded into three layers – rests in a tray that barely affects luggage capacity, which is 287 litres (10.14 cubic ft).
The acoustic soft top has a glass rear window and is available in black, grey and brown - its roof liner can be specified in black or lunar silver. The fully automatic acoustic hood has a thicker inner foam layer which further reduces the already low interior noise level of the A3 Cabriolet. A wind deflector and head-level heating for the front seats will be available from the options list. An active rollover protection system consisting of two spring-loaded plates that are recessed into the body protects the occupants in case of a rollover accident.
Available for UK ordering in late October.