World Debut For The New Audi A3 Cabriolet | Part Three

Audi A3 Cabriolet
Audi A3 Cabriolet

The Interior

The interior of the Audi A3 Cabriolet is immediately recognisable as a modern Audi; its materials, Audi's familiar uncompromising build quality and its elegant design accentuate the premium character of this new convertible. Elegant lines border its large surfaces. The four round air vents and the side knee cushions on the centre console's struts are reminiscent of the Audi TT.

The speedometer and rev counter's red needles are mounted  in black dial backgrounds. On the Sport model, the A3 Cabriolet is supplied with a three-spoke leather sports steering wheel. Multifunction keys are available as an option, and the S tronic transmission features shift paddles. The switches are highly ergonomic in  design. The two navigation systems available use an operating logic adopted from the superior MMI concept as familiar from Audi's larger cars.

Audi offers a broad range of options for the seats; on the Sport model, both front seats are sportily contoured. An electric four-way lumbar support is available as an option, as well as  heating for the front seats or for all four seats.

The interior: that free, open-air feeling

The classic convertible character that the open top creates in the A3 cabriolet is evident in the way the interior space is used. The windscreen is as upright as on the A3 with permanent roof, creating an unobstructed, airy impression of openness - unlike many competitor concepts with a steel roof, where the windscreen lies flatter. Because the folded hood occupies such a small proportion of the luggage space, it has not been necessary to move the rear bench seat further forward. This leaves ample legroom at the rear, thanks in part to the generously long wheelbase of 2,578  millimetres.

Another of the Audi A3 Cabriolet's major strengths in everyday use is its variable luggage compartment. The rear seat backs  can be split 50:50 and released to fold flat to expand  luggage compartment capacity. The wide, high through-loading space that is created increases the luggage capacity to 674 litres and the load area length to 150 centimetres - ample even for large items of sports equipment. In the standard arrangement the luggage compartment has an ample capacity of 260 litres, whether the hood is open or closed.

The Drivetrain

The A3 Cabriolet is being built in four, four-cylinder engine versions, two of them petrol and two diesels. All of them are turbocharged direct injection engines - their designations TFSI and TDI embody technological combinations that blend impressive output with high efficiency. TFSI technology demonstrated its potential over many years in the realm of motor sport - the sports prototype R8 won the Le Mans 24 Hours five times between 2000 and 2005. The Audi R10 TDI added to the string of successes in 2006 and 2007 with its immensely powerful V12 TDI.

The new A3 Cabriolet is available with a choice of two TDI engines - a combination with which Audi already established a trend in 1995; back then, the 1.9 TDI became the first diesel engine in the World to be used for powering a convertible in the Audi 80. In the A3 Cabriolet, the smaller of the two four-cylinder engines musters up an output of 77 kW (105 PS) and a hefty 250 Nm of torque at just 1,900 rpm from a swept volume of 1,896 cm3. The speedometer needle takes 12.3 seconds to pass the 100 km/h mark, and the top speed is 185 km/h. This diesel version uses just 5.1 litres of fuel per 100 km. The A3 Cabriolet 1.9 TDI is available with a five-speed manual gearbox.

The new 2.0 TDI with its displacement of 1,968 cm3 displays the strengths of the TDI concept in its most advanced interpretation - efficient, powerful and very quiet. The four-valve engine, which is equipped with two balancing shafts, has been fitted with a newly developed common rail system. Its turbocharger has variable vanes for greater responsiveness and the pistons have acquired an optimised geometry that further enhances the efficiency of the combustion process.

The two-litre engine develops 103 kW (140 PS). Between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm it generates 320 Nm of torque - enough to accelerate the A3 Cabriolet from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.9 seconds and up to a top speed of 204 km/h. The 2.0 TDI is content to clock up 100 kilometres on an average of just 5.3 litres of fuel and its emissions already undercut the limits of the future Euro 5 standard. As an option, Audi can supply the high-tech S tronic transmission instead of the manual six-speed gearbox.

Audi A3 | Part Four

Published : 30/11/07 Author : Melanie Carter

Audi A3 News

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