Audi has driven-in the drop-top version of the Audi A3 with a price-tag of Rs 44.75 lakh (ex-showroom, pan-India) in the country. Billed as the Audi A3 Cabriolet, the new convertible was previewed at the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo along with the A3 Sedan. While the A3 sedan available here is locally-assembled, the A3 Cabriolet will be sold in India via CBU (completely built units) route.
The Audi A3 Cabriolet is Audi’s second convertible offering after the Audi R8 V10 Spyder in India. The A3 Cabriolet does not have any direct competitor as of now, and hence, it becomes the most affordable premium convertible in the country. Aimed at young and aspirational luxury car buyers, the A3 Cabriolet is a mix of stylish looks, classic interiors, luxury features and sorted dynamics- all of which make for an unparalleled alfresco motoring experience. Audi is confident that this particular trait of the car will help attract decent number of niche-segment car buyers.
Unlike the A3 Sedan, Audi will be offering the cabriolet version in only one engine option. The powertrain on offer in the A3 Cabriolet is a 1.8 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that develops 180PS of power between 5,100 rpm and 6,200 rpm and 250Nm of torque from as low as 1,250 rpm to 5,000 rpm. Audi prefers running the engine on sulphur-free 95 RON type fuel. The drive from the engine is
routed to front wheels via a seven-speed S-tronic automatic gearbox. Performance is brisk, too, with the drop-top claimed to hit 0-100 km/h in just 7.8 seconds. The top-speed is 242 km/h (claimed).
Apart from two fewer doors and a fabric roof, the A3 Cabriolet is almost identical to the A3 Sedan styling wise. And we don’t think anybody should be complaining about that since the A3 sedan is one of the best looking compact luxury cars available in the market today. Like the sedan version, the A3 Cabriolet sports Audi-signature daytime running LED lamps, bi-xenon headlamps, hexagonal grille etc. The roof, like mentioned before, is made up of soft fabric and it can be completely concealed at a touch of a button behind the rear passenger seats. To open or retract the roof it only takes 18 seconds. The function only operates to speeds up to 50km/h.
Inside, the A3 cabriolet gets a ‘sporty’ flat-bottom steering wheel and borrows rest of dashboard layout, material and equipment from the A3 Sedan. The interior is finished in dual-tone and features four Jet turbine shaped circular A/C vents, a 3.5-inch multimedia screen that juts out from the upper dashboard and a dual analogue dial instrument cluster. Safety features like ABS, ESP, Airbags come fitted as standard.
It won’t be apt to say that practicality on the A3 Cabriolet has taken a back seat, since there’s hardly any space at the rear bench! Average sized adults will find it hard to sit comfortably at the rear as the knee-room can be described as cramped at best. Since the roof folds down into the luggage area, a lot of boot space gets eaten up by that, leaving a compromised boot capacity. That said, none of this should really be of any concern to the owners of the A3 Cabriolet since it’s aimed only for joyous and fun-filled drives.
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