Frugal new 1.6-litre diesel engine joins the premium compact cabriolet line-up alongside new quattro versions and wider S tronic availability
- Entry-level 1.6 TDI version is now ready to order, capable of 72.4mpg with CO2 emissions of just 104g/km
- S tronic transmission available for 150PS 2.0 TDI (six-speed S tronic) and 140 PS 1.4 TFSI CoD (seven-speed S tronic) models
- quattro permanent all-wheel drive offered in conjunction with the 1.8 TFSI engine
- A3 Cabriolet 1.6 TDI priced from £25,890 OTR for the SE to £29,265 OTR for S line
Longer spring days have just been complemented by the potential for lengthier spells of top-down driving between fuel stops in the new Audi A3 Cabriolet, which this week adopts a 1.6-litre TDI engine capable of over 72mpg. Drivers who value tenacity in corners and increased capability in adverse weather as highly as economy can also now opt for new quattro all-wheel-drive versions of the 180PS A3 Cabriolet 1.8 TFSI. The additions to the originally three-strong A3 Cabriolet range can be ordered now, as can new S tronic twin-clutch-equipped versions of the 1.4 TFSI 140PS Cylinder-on-Demand and 2.0 TDI 150PS versions. All the new variants will reach their first UK customers in the summer.
Positioned as the efficiency champion in the cabriolet line-up, the particularly frugal 1.6 TDI lowers CO2 emissions to just 104g/km and can achieve up to 72.4mpg according to the combined cycle test. Initially available to order exclusively as a six-speed manual, the A3 Cabriolet 1.6 TDI needs 11.4 seconds to reach 62mph from rest and can continue to a top speed of 124mph.
Peak power from the 110PS four-cylinder unit is available between 3,200-4,000rpm and peak torque matches the similarly efficient 1.4 TFSI with Cylinder on Demand at 250Nm between 1,500-3,000rpm.
Customers can choose the all-new A3 Cabriolet 1.6 TDI with SE, Sport or S line specification options, all of which include features such as the MMI Radio with DAB digital reception and powered retractable colour monitor, preparation for SD card-based satellite navigation, air conditioning or climate control, light and rain sensors and an automatic fabric hood that opens and closes in less than 18 seconds.
Sport models also feature the Audi drive select system which fine-tunes driving characteristics, larger 17-inch alloy wheels, lowered sports suspension and front sports seats, while S line models are fitted with 18-inch alloy wheels, Xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights and S line interior and exterior design enhancements. Sport and S line models also feature a fully automatic acoustic fabric hood which is insulated by three layers of fabric to mute road noise even more effectively.
All-weather traction for the open-top compact class
Sun-seekers who also want to enjoy their A3 Cabriolet at its best in less clement weather can also now opt for a 1.8 TFSI petrol model which offers the added reassurance of quattro all-wheel-drive. At the heart of the all-wheel drive system is a hydraulically actuated and electronically controlled multi-plate clutch which can send power from the front to the rear axle in just a few milliseconds. The clutch, which now operates without a pressure reservoir, weighs significantly less than the previous unit.
In the interest of better axle load distribution, it is located at the end of the prop shaft, in front of the rear differential. Inside it is a package of plates which rotate in an oil bath. During normal driving, the clutch sends most of the engine’s power to the front wheels, but if they start to break traction it can transfer torque in varying degrees to the rear axle almost instantaneously by pressing the sets of plates together under control.
Peak torque increases from 250Nm in the front-wheel-drive version to 280Nm in the quattro, which combined with the optimal traction helps to bring about a slight improvement in the sprint time to 62mph from 7.8 to 7.6 seconds. Top speed is 145mph, and combined fuel economy stands at 42.8mpg with emissions of 154g/km
Greater choice of transmissions
The slick-shifting S tronic transmission is also now more widely available for the A3 Cabriolet, extending its reach to the 1.4 TFSI model with Cylinder on Demand technology and to the 150 PS 2.0 TDI. Carrying a premium of £1,480 over a manual equivalent in each case, S tronic can operate as a conventional automatic, albeit with exceptionally rapid gear shifts, but also allows drivers to shift gear with the central selector lever or with paddles on the steering wheel. When combined with the Audi drive select dynamic driving system (standard on Sport and S line), efficiency mode enables a free-wheeling function to further reduce fuel consumption.
– End –
|A3 Cabriolet OTR Pricing
|1.8 TFSI quattro
|1.4 TFSI CoD S tronic
|2.0 TDI S tronic
Flair with even more frugality – quattro all-wheel-drive and wider availability of the S tronic twin-clutch transmission broaden the appeal of the all-new A3 Cabriolet, as does the newly introduced 1.6 TDI engine, which reduces emissions to just 104g/km and offers up to 72.4mpg.
AUDI A3 IS NAMED 2014 WORLD CAR OF THE YEAR
The Audi A3 is voted ‘number one’ worldwide by industry-leading judges from across the globe
- Third generation of the premium compact Audi is a world beater
- Second overall victory for Audi at World Car of the Year Awards
- A3 now available as a three door, Sportback, Saloon and Cabriolet
- High performance ‘S’ models can now be selected in all body styles
The Audi A3, the premium compact bestseller from the brand with the four rings, is the 2014 World Car of the Year. This is the second overall title for Audi in the ten year history of the World Car of the Year Awards as the Audi A6 won the inaugural overall title in 2005.
The third generation of the Audi A3 is now officially confirmed as a world beater. It overcame the challenge from 23 other cars to win the prestigious World Car of the Year title in 2014. The A3 was voted as the winner by an international jury panel comprising 69 top‑level automotive journalists from 22 countries around the world.
Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, said: “The Audi A6 was the first ever winner of this award and we are delighted that the Audi A3 has repeated that achievement by being voted 2014 World Car of the Year. The Audi A3 showcases Audi’s technical competence in all aspects of car making, not least in the areas of lightweight technology, drivetrain, mobile infotainment and driver assistance systems. This major award win is an achievement that the whole company can celebrate.”
The new Audi A3 is available in the UK as a three door, Sportback, Cabriolet and Saloon. It is powered by a range of TFSI petrol and TDI diesel engines. Later this year, the A3 Sportback will also be available as an e‑tron, whose plug‑in hybrid drive enables journeys of up to 31 miles in all-electric mode.
Audi can look back on a 16‑year success story with the A3. In 1996, the first generation of the model series established an entirely new market segment – the premium compact class. With the second generation, which followed in 2003, the brand extended its lead with the addition of a Cabriolet to the familiar three door and Sportback body styles. The third A3 generation is available in four body styles following the further addition of the Saloon.
With this win for the Audi A3, Audi has maintained its position as the manufacturer with the most World Car of the Year titles. The brand with the four rings has previously won three World Performance Car titles, two World Car Design of the Year titles and the inaugural World Car of the Year title.
In total Audi has won seven titles at the World Car of the Year Awards:
2005 Audi A6 World Car of the Year
2007 Audi RS 4 World Performance Car, Audi TT World Car Design of the Year
2008 Audi R8 World Performance Car, Audi R8 World Car Design of the Year
2010 Audi R8 V10 World Performance Car
2014 Audi A3 World Car of the Year