Audi A3 Cabrio

03Dec07

Audi A3 Cabrio

Audi A3 Cabrio

The new Audi A3 Cabriolet is making its appearance in the spring of 2008. Audi convertible models sport classic fabric tops notable for their light weight and space saving. The light, compact fabric top lowers the overall weight and the centre of gravity. The hood comes to rest on top flush with the body making a tonneau cover or a cover flap abundant.  Available in semi-automatic or fully automatic version with a special soundproofed acoustic hood.  The synthetic fibre mat further improves thermal insulation and soundproofing – at a speed of 140 km/h it is only 1 dB louder inside the Audi Cabriolet than in the normal A3. The high-performance kinematics mean that the acoustic hood opens in just nine seconds and can be operated up to 30 km/h. The process is controlled by a switch on the centre console or via the ignition key in the door lock. 

Body 

An extensive package of measures gives the body of the A3 Cabriolet its rigidity, 45 percent of the bodyshell is made from high-strength steels, while nine percent consists of ultra-high-strength steels, combining low weight with maximum rigidity. Head/thorax side airbags are integrated into the backs of the front seats. In the event of a rear-end collision, the Audi integrated head restraint system promptly cushions the head and upper body.

Luggage space 

The rear seat backs can be folded down to increase the luggage capacity from 260 to 674 litres – whether the hood is up or down. Another of the Audi A3 Cabriolet’s major strengths in everyday use is the folding rear seats that are operated from the boot. Increasing luggage capacity to 674 litres and the load area length to 150 centimetres.

Engine 

The A3 Cabriolet is being built in four engine versions – two petrol engines and two TDI diesels. All of them are direct injection units with turbocharging. The performance range extends from 105 bhp to 200 bhp. As an option, the innovative S tronic dual-clutch gearbox takes charge of applying the engine’s power to the wheels. 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 A3 Cabriolet, the smaller of the two four-cylinder engines musters up an output of 105 bhp and 250 Nm of torque at just 1,900 rpm from a 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. The A3 Cabriolet 1.9 TDI is available with a five-speed manual gearbox.

The new 2.0 TDI displays the strengths of the TDI concept in an evolutionary interpretation. The four-valve engine comes with two balancing shafts and a new common rail system. Its turbocharger has variable vanes for greater responsiveness and the pistons have optimised geometry. The two-litre engine develops 140 bhp and 320 Nm of torque between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm – enough to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 9.9 seconds and up to a top speed of 204 km/h. Its emissions undercut the future Euro 5 standard. As an option, Audi can supply the high-tech S tronic transmission instead of the manual six-speed gearbox.

The new 1.8 TFSI petrol produces 160 bhp and 250 Nm from 1,500 to 4,200 rpm. An adjustable intake camshaft optimises combustion while two balancing shafts guarantee refinement. It accelerates the A3 Cabrio with six-speed manual gearbox to 100 km/h in 8.3 seconds and on to top speed of 218 km/h. Alternatively Audi can supply the S tronic transmission. Technically the 1.8 TFSI is a very closely related to the 2.0 TFSI that captured the award “Engine of the Year” three times in a row.

The two-litre version puts 280 Nm of torque onto the crankshaft from 1,800 to 5,000 rpm, and between 5,100 and 6,000 rpm it develops 200 bhp. The 2.0 TFSI also operates with an adjustable intake camshaft and two balancing shafts while its compression ratio of 10.5:1 guarantees high thermodynamic efficiency.With the S tronic dual-clutch gearbox that is available alongside the six-speed manual gearbox, the A3 Cabriolet 2.0 TFSI sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds; its top speed is 231 km/h.

Transmission

The engine’s power is directed to the front wheels on all versions of the Audi A3 Cabriolet. The engine versions from the 140 bhp upwards come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. S tronic combines the advantages of both automatic and manual transmission. At high loads and engine speeds, it shifts between its six gears in just 0.2 seconds without interrupting the power flow.The driver can operate the S tronic by touching the gear lever or using the paddles on the steering wheel. There are two fully automatic modes available, D for Drive and S for Sport. The S tronic electronic management in automatic mode ensures that the engine runs as economically as possible at low engine speeds. 

Suspension 

A classic layout for the front suspension: McPherson design with triangulated lower wishbones. The four-link rear suspension registers and responds to longitudinal and lateral forces separately. Here again, a subframe connects the suspension with the body; compact coil springs and dampers provide vertical support. There is also the option of sports suspension. The subframe is made from aluminium. The rack-and-pinion steering with speed-dependent power assistance doesn’t reqiure energy when driving in a straight line, saving 0.2 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres on average.

Equipment 

The Audi A3 Cabriolet is offered with Attraction and Ambition equipment lines.

The Ambition line includes 17″ cast aluminium wheels with size 225/45 tyres, sports suspension and seats, among other features.

The Attraction line comes with 16-inch wheels with size 205/55 tyres.

Options

An S line exterior package and S line sports package are available from quattro GmbH. Audi can also supply four other wheels up to 18″ versions as options, as well as a tyre pressure monitoring system.

For the Ambition equipment line, the A3 Cabriolet is available with sports suspension that lowers the body 15 mm.

Brakes

The brake system of the A3 Cabriolet satisfies sports standards. The front discs are ventilated and have a large diameter. Particular emphasis was placed on reducing the braking distance when the stabilisation program (ESP) was being fine-tuned.

The Attraction line of the Audi A3 Cabriolet already comes with a semi-automatic hood. Four electric windows and the standard daytime running lights.The sporty Ambition line has the distinguishing features of 17″ wheels, front fog lights and sports suspension. Inside, the equipment includes sports seats, a driver information system, a leather sports steering wheel, a wind deflector and special trim.The storage package for the interior and luggage compartment and a ski and snowboard bag further add to the practical utility of the A3 Cabriolet.The A3 Cabriolet features a broad range of multimedia technologies, from the chorus CD radio, with four speakers, to the Bose sound system. All audio systems from the concert radio upwards include an interface for connecting up an MP3 player. Two navigation systems – with monochrome or large colour monitor – help with providing directions. For mobile telephony, Audi offers a mobile phone preparation in combination with the audio systems.Those who are fond of very special features will appreciate the equipment lines on offer from quattro GmbH. The S line comprises an exterior package for the body and a sports package. A third option available from quattro GmbH is the Audi exclusive line. Exterior The face is dominated by Audi’s trademark single-frame grille and headlight design. The lights with their chrome coated wing-shaped contour and LED daytime running lights can be optioned with xenon plus lights. The daytime running lights in the form of  seven white LED’s in conjunction with the xenon plus units. The rear lights of the A3 Cabriolet are based on fibre optic rods, the visual effect is of two radiant rings that clearly distinguish the car as an Audi even after dark. Audi supplies the A3 Cabriolet in 15 paint colours that can be combined with three hood colours – black, blue and red.InteriorInside, there is ample space here for four occupants. The interior of the Audi A3 Cabriolet radiates sporting elegance; its materials, Audi’s accustomed uncompromising build quality and its design accentuate the premium character of this new convertible model. Calm 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. It is a matter of honour for Audi to maintain the perfect standards of ergonomics that it has pioneered. The speedometer and rev counter’s red needles sweep across dials in a sporty black. On the Ambition equipment line, 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 adopt an organic, ergonomic design. The two navigation systems available use an operating logic adopted from the superior MMI concept as familiar from Audi’s large car lines.Audi offers a broad range of options for the seats. On the Ambition line, both front seats are sportily contoured. An electric four-way lumbar support is available as an option, as is heating for the front seats or all four seats.The interior: that free, open-air feelingThe 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 little 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 long wheelbase of 2,578 millimetres.

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