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Audi A3 Cabriolet bows before Frankfurt motor show

Mon, 09 Sep 2013

The Audi A3 Cabriolet broke cover on Sept. 8, a few days before its media debut at the Frankfurt motor show. It will be joined on the stand by the new Quattro concept and the sporty RS7 sedan.

Three engines will be offered in the new A3 variant at launch: two turbocharged gas units and one diesel. The 1.4-liter gasoline engine makes 140 hp, while the 1.8-liter will deliver 180 hp. The 2.0-liter diesel will produce 150 hp. Other engines will follow, according to Audi, including the 2.0-liter turbo gas motor, which will make 300 hp in the S3 Cabriolet. Audi says, on average, the three motors have 12 percent better fuel economy than the previous engines.

The 1.8-liter-equipped A3 will come with a seven-speed S-tronic automatic transmission when it debuts; the other two engines get paired with a six-speed manual. A quattro all-wheel-drive system will follow.

The A3 Cab uses a MacPherson front suspension made from aluminum and a four-link rear setup. The electronic stability control system integrates an electronic limited slip differential.

The new A3 is bigger than the outgoing model; its length is up about 7 inches, and wheelbase and width are both up about a half-inch, as well. Luggage capacity grows by 2.12 cubic feet.

The A3 Cabriolet gets the company's new front-end styling, including the narrower headlights, full-size grille and sculpted intakes. We expect the upcoming S3 to look even more aggressive.

A soft-cloth top is standard on the range, stretched over a frame made of a magnesium-steel alloy. It opens and closes with a button in 18 seconds, even while driving up to 31 mph. An automatic acoustic top is also offered with a thicker inner foam layer that reduces noise. The acoustic top is available in black, gray and brown. A3 trim lines include Attraction, Ambition and Ambiente (whatever that means).

Audi has not said whether the new convertible will come here, but we wouldn't rule it out. Between the compact size and fuel-sipping engines, we could see this fitting right in next to the Mini Cooper convertible and VW Eos.

About the show

The 2013 Frankfurt motor show will be held Sept. 10-22 in Germany. Premium automakers appear ready to try to outdo each other with eye-catching electric supercars. Green technology and fuel efficiency will take center stage on the stands of most automakers at the show. For news, reveals and photos straight from the floor in Frankfurt, check out our special Frankfurt motor show section here.

By Jake Lingeman