Audi has launched a new body type for the Audi A3 – the new 2008 Audi A3 Cabriolet. The classic fabric top convertible will initially be offered with four engines – two petrol units and two TDI turbodiesels.
Two versions of the soft top are available, a semi-automatic top and a fully automatic version. Both hoods are moved with a high-pressure pump with two hydraulic cylinders. The hood is folded up in a Z-pattern to minimize the space it takes up.
The automatic version has a synthetic fibre mat between the outer skin and the inner lining to improve thermal insulation and soundproofing. At speeds of 140km/h, there is only a 1dB difference in noise with the Audi A3 and the Audi A3 Cabriolet equipped with the automatic roof.
To compensate for the lack of a roof, the body structure has been reinforced with a high proportion of high-strength, ultra-high-strength and hot-formed steels. Rear luggage capacity is 260 litres, but this can be extended to 674 litres by folding the rear seat backs down – this is whether the hood is up or down.
All engines are four cylinder units. The two petrol units include a 1.8 litre TFSI producing 160 hp and 250Nm of torque between 1,500rpm to 4,200rpm, and the other is the popular 2.0 litre TFSI engine that puts out 200 horsepower between 5,100 to 6,000rpm and 280Nm of torque between 1,800 and 5,000rpm. These engines are available with either a 6-speed manual or an S-Tronic dual clutch gearbox.
For fans of oil burners, pick from a 1.9 litre TDI putting out 105 horsepower and 250Nm of torque at 1,900rpm, or a 2.0 litre TDI with 150 horsepower and 320Nm of torque between 1,750rpm and 2,500rpm. The smaller engine comes with a 5-speed manual, while the larger one comes with either a S-Tronic dual clutch gearbox or a 6-speed manual.
More photos and a video after the jump.
Video: 2008 Audi A3 Cabriolet