Update: The new Audi A3 Cabriolet has been unveiled ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show. It’s set to go on sale at the end of October, with deliveries starting in March 2014.
Audi hasn’t officially confirmed the price of the A3 Cabriolet in the UK, but the newcomer will cost from 31,700 euros in Germany. That should equate to about £25,000.
The new model will be based on the A3 saloon, rather than the hatchback. That means the Cabriolet is 200mm longer than before, at 4,420mm, with a 20mm longer wheelbase. But despite its larger footprint, the new MQB chassis it uses is much lighter, so Audi has achieved a 50kg weight saving.
As with the old A3 Cabriolet, the car has a soft-top which can be opened or closed in less than 18 seconds, even when driving at speeds of up to 30mph. And the roof now folds into a tray hidden in the boot, rather than being stored on top of the rear deck. Plus, the previous model’s chrome rollover hoops have been replaced by two spring-loaded bars, hidden out of sight.
The standard soft-top, finished in black, can be upgraded to an acoustic roof with a thicker foam layer to boost refinement. This quieter roof comes in black, grey or brown. Higher-spec cars get a standard wind deflector, and Audi will offer head-level heating as an extra for the front seats.
At launch early next year, the Cabriolet will only be available with the most powerful engines from the A3 line-up: 138bhp 1.4 TFSI and 178bhp 1.8-litre TFSI petrol engines, or a 161bhp 2.0-litre TDI diesel.
Other engines – including the 109bhp 1.6 TDI – will be offered shortly after first deliveries are made. An S3 Cabriolet will also follow later, using the same 296bhp 2.0-litre TFSI as the S3 and S3 Sportback. It’ll have quattro four-wheel drive and a six-speed S tronic box, and cover 0-62mph in 5.4 seconds.