New Audi A3 Cabriolet spied

30 Jan, 2013 12:58pm Tom Phillips

The all-new Audi A3 Cabriolet will be based on the forthcoming A3 saloon

These are the first pictures of the new Audi A3 Cabriolet, spied testing in Scandinavia.

The new A3 Cabriolet will debut alongside the production version of the A3 saloon on which it’s based at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. The A3 saloon will go on sale towards the end of this year, with the Cabriolet arriving in Audi dealers in spring 2014.

The A3 Cabriolet will switch from being based on the hatchback as it is now, to the new saloon, which should help boost practicality thanks to the larger boot. However, the current A3, A3 Sportback and the new saloon and convertible will be based on the VW Group’s modular MQB platform.

Don’t expect the A3 Cabriolet to spring any styling surprises, though. Like the new A3, the Cabrio will feature the Audi shield grille on its nose, LED headlights and tail-lights, and a subtle but sharp crease down its flank.

The new two-door A3 convertible sticks with an electrically operated three-layer canvas roof, like the larger A5 Cabriolet, with folding metal hardtops rapidly falling out of favour across the car industry thanks to their added complexity, size, cost and weight.

Inside, the A3 will feature a four-seater interior. Like the A5 Cabrio, the rear seats will feature a pyrotechnic roll over hoop which pops up in the event of a crash.

The engine range is expected to mirror the new hatchback, with 1.4 and 1.8-litre petrols, and 1.6 and 2.0-litre diesels.

The new A3 Cabriolet is likely to be priced higher than the saloon, with prices starting at around £24,000 for an A3 Cabriolet 1.4 TFSI.

The saloon is expected to cost around £3,000 more than the A3 hatchback, which starts at £19,205, and mirrors the expected price premium that Mercedes will charge over the A-Class for the new CLA.

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Glad the metal fold-up roofs are falling out of favour, maybe cabriolets will start to look less like boats...

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