The next A3 cabriolet will be available as an S3 cabriolet for the first time, with 296bhp and four-wheel drive. The more powerful new cabriolet — identifiable in these spy pictures by the quad tailpipes — is due to be unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show in September.
Based on the new A3 saloon, the cabrio should benefit from more boot space than the old model, production of which has already ended. The switch to the saloon body will make the car slightly longer, too. Both cars will be built at the same plant in Hungary. It retains the fabric roof of the current car to keep weight, complexity and costs down.
The S3 cabriolet should offer potent performance. A dualclutch automatic gearboxequipped S3 cabriolet hatch hits 62mph in 5.1sec, so the cabrio should easily be capable of a sub- 5.5sec time. Cars with the standard six-speed manual will be a little slower. Engines for the standard A3 cabrio range will mirror the hatchback’s. With the saloon going on sale towards the end of this year, the cabrio is expected to follow next year.