Emotion-packed design, superior dynamism and the proverbial Audi quality: The Audi A3 Cabriolet is the premium athlete in the compact class.
Audi A3 Cabriolet set for success in SA“The Audi A3 Cabriolet is a convertible of real substance”, say Greg Levine - Divisional Head : Audi SA. “It combines functionality of a compact Audi A3 with the emotionally charged driving fun of a fully-fledged four-seater convertible, thus creating a very special driving feel. For the driver, this is an utterly new take on both aspects – uncompromising driving fun and fascinating technology thus highlighting the Freedom of Vorsprung.”
Market introduction in South Africa is September 2008, introducing the 1.8 TFSI manual and S tronic, and the 2.0 TFSI manual and S tronic models.
Audi A3 Cabriolet - PriceAudi A3 Cabriolet 1.8 TFSI manual Ambition (118kW) - R303 500 Audi A3 Cabriolet 1.8 TFSI S tronic Ambition (118kW) - R319 500 Audi A3 Cabriolet 2.0 TFSI manual Ambition (147 kW) - R342 500 Audi A3 Cabriolet 2.0 TFSI S tronic Ambition (147 kW) - R358 500
The Convertible Top
Audi has remained true to its successful line: The new Audi A3 Cabriolet also has a classic fabric top. It perfectly harmonizes the original, authentic notion of open-air driving with the feeling of carefree lightness.
The top keeps its shape thanks to the mechanically movable metal frame that gives an excellent, close fit and the silhouette of a coupe. A large heated rear window ensures excellent rear visibility.
The Audi convertible top comes in two versions: a semi-automatic soft top with two layers and fully automatic, three-layered acoustic top. The semi-automatic version has a central handle for locking and unlocking; in the fully automatic version an electric motor performs this task.
In both versions, a high-pressure pump and two hydraulic cylinders move the top. They open the soft top extremely quickly in nine seconds and close it in eleven – a short stop at a traffic light is sufficient for this process to be completed. The acoustic top can be opened and closed while driving up to 30 km/h – very convenient when driving in city traffic.
The Z fold saves space
When the top is opened, the soft top folds down into a Z-shape, thus taking up very little space. When folded down, the header at the front of the top – which is a board – rests flush with the car body and is hydraulically locked in place. It forms a sturdy cover for the soft top, which is why the car comes without a tonneau cover and without a soft top box cover. The folded-down top rests in a compact steel metal compartment with a slanted floor, which takes up very little space in the boot.
A switch for opening and closing the top is located on the center console. All four power windows can be individually operated as usual, but they can also be opened and closed simultaneously via a central switch. The top can be conveniently opened and closed from the outside by actuating the door lock with the ignition key; if opened and closed, the side windows automatically drop down a bit.
The fully automatic soft top is designed as an acoustic top. Between the outer skin and the inner lining, which completely covers the metal frame, there is a mat six millimeters thick that is made up of three layers. It further improves the thermal insulation and soundproofing. At a speed of 140 km/h with 71 dB (A), it is just one dB (A) louder in the Audi A3 Cabriolet interior than in the hardtop A3.
Audi provides as standard a wind deflector that can be mounted above the back seats. Thanks to its intelligent design, it can be opened up in just a few steps and easily used from one side. The fabric selection guarantees maximum freedom from drafts with the largest possible view to the back. Unused and folded down, the wind deflector can be packed into a bag that takes up very little space in the boot.
The new 1.8 TFSI
When it comes to petrol engines, the newly developed 1.8 TFSI has a carrying capacity of 1798 cc and can power up to 118 kW and 250 Nm of torque, with a constantly available engine speed range of 1,500 to 4,200 rpm. Thanks to its turbo, the compact lightweight four-cylinder engine weighing only 135 kilograms and delivers as much power as an aspirating V6, but consumes much less fuel.
An adjustable intake camshaft optimizes the filling of its combustion chambers. Two balancing shafts compensate for the gravity forces of the second degree, thus ensuring smooth running. Thanks to its new, precise controller strategy, the oil pump consumes little energy, thereby improving fuel consumption.
The 1.8 TFSI is equipped with direct fuel injection technology. The fuel shoots out of a high-pressure reservoir under 150 bar pressure through the newly developed six-hole injectors directly into the four-valve cylinder head. There it is first combined with the turbulent incoming air displaced by the valves in the intake track in precisely calculated degrees of turbulence. The mixture is homogenous, 1 part fuel to 14.7 parts air. The evaporation of the direct-injected fuel extracts the heat from the combustion chambers, permitting a high compression ratio even with the turbo.
Direct fuel injection and the turbo technology form an ideal combination for outstanding drive comfort and impressive efficiency. The turbo responds extremely quickly – at 2,000 rpm, the 1.8 TFSI produces its maximum torque in just 1.2 seconds. The four-cylinder engine is responsive, fleet-footed, high-revving, and heavy on the torque. It accelerates the Audi A3 Cabriolet with a six-speed manual transmission in 8.3 seconds to highway driving speed and faster to 218 km/h. It satisfactorily completes the EU driving cycle with 7.3 l/100 km. Alternatively; Audi offers the sporty high-tech S tronic transmission also with six speeds.
Three-time winner : The 2.0 TFSI
In terms of technology, the 1.8 TFSI is closely related to the 2.0 TFSI, which was voted “Engine of the Year” three times in a row starting in 2005 by a jury made up of international journalists. The two-litre engine has 1,984 cc capacity and at 1,800 rpm jams 280 Nm of torque on the crankshaft. Its maximum torque goes up to 5,000 rpm. Nominal power of 147 kW is produced between 5,100 and 6,000 rpm. The two-litre engine runs with an adjustable intake camshaft and two balancing shafts.
With the 2.0 TFSI engine, Audi has achieved a high compression ratio of 10.5:1 – a value that has so far been reserved for naturally aspirated engines. The thermodynamic efficiency of the engine has also improved further. The four-valve engine fulfills all the tasks it is assigned with playful ease.
With either the S tronic dual-clutch transmission or the standard six-speed manual transmission, theAudi A3 Cabriolet accelerates to 100 km/h in just 7.3 seconds; its top speed is 231 km/h. The 2.0-litre TFSI engine with the S tronic transmission consumes 7.6 l/100 km.
S tronic : Two transmissions in a row
One highlight that makes the Audi A3 Cabriolet an exception among its competitors is S tronic, which combines the advantages of an automatic transmission with those of a manual transmission. The dual-clutch transmission can shift in an instant between its six speeds, almost without interrupting the power flow, in only 0.2 seconds. The driver benefits from this fascinating dynamic driving as much as from the outstanding comfort of the shifting process.
S tronic is a highly advanced construction. Two three-speed transmissions, each with one clutch, are housed in one casing; the two multi-plate clutches are arranged behind one another. The first operates the odd speeds and the reverse gear; the second handles the even speeds. Two input shafts on one common axle are connected together – a solid shaft rotates in a hollow shaft. While one speed is engaged, the next is already pre-selected. To use it, only the clutch has to be closed; this guarantees S tronic its time advance.
The driver can shift S tronic using a one-touch lever or, like race car drivers, using shift paddles on the steering wheel. In addition, two fully automatic drive modes are available: D for drive and S for Sport. The S tronic multi-plate clutches operate in an oil bath and are able to implement various types of start-ups: from a soft start on slippery ground to a sporty, fully loaded acceleration. The computer controlled launch control effortlessly implements the best acceleration.
S tronic has an innate high level of efficiency. Its electronic management in automatic mode ensures that the engine, whenever possible, runs fuel-efficiently at low revs. Even an attentive driver could not do it better.