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Audi preps S3 Cabriolet for Geneva

Wed, 19 Feb 2014

Audi revealed the S3 Cabriolet on Wednesday, before its Geneva motor show debut. The go-fast version of the small A3 Cab shares the same widespread MQB architecture as the rest of the 3 range, but it gets a hotter engine, a lower stance and, of course, a rag top. It’ll arrive in Germany this summer, and possibly here sometime after the S3 sedan in early 2015.

The S3 Cabriolet gets Audi’s turbocharged 2.0-liter TFSI engine making 300 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission sends power to all four wheels, though the fronts do most of the work. The S3 returns 33 mpg (on the European cycle), according to Audi.

The soft top gets an electrohydraulic drive, with framing made from magnesium, aluminum and high-strength steel to keep weight down. Audi says the top opens in 18 seconds, at speeds up to 31 mph.

The S3 is nearly identical in size to the A3, with a 174.3-inch length, 70-inch width and 54.7-inch height. The S3 is about an inch lower to the ground. Twelve colors are offered for the paint, three for the soft top.

For the S3, Audi’s big grille gets a chrome surround and features a platinum gray insert. The intakes are emphasized with bodywork and feature chrome “rib” lines and honeycomb inserts. S3 badges adorn the front and rear.

Standard equipment includes a sport leather steering wheel, brushed stainless-steel pedals, keyless entry and startup, xenon headlights, S3 logos in the door sills and some other bits. Paddle shifters are optional, as is a multifunction flat-bottom steering wheel, LED headlights, navigation and a premium sound system.

The S3 Cabriolet will cost 48,500 euros when it comes to Germany, which translates to $66,700. We’re sure it won’t cost that much if it comes here: Normally the S version is about $15K more than the A, which would put this near $45,000.

By Jake Lingeman