Convertibles lure the adventure seekers as the thrill of travelling in a ‘roofless’ car can be quite adrenaline pumping. And if the elements are not beating down harshly such a travel with gay abandon can easily turn the car the cynosure of all eyes. The German automobile giant, Audi boasts of a few convertibles in its line up wherein A3 Cabriolet is one hell of a sight to behold. Dressed in Vegas Yellow colour, the beauty comes in a facelift version of its former self accompanied by a few tweaks in its exterior, not to mention interior, powertrain and safety features.
The resplendent exterior
The newbie is a lot less heavy than its predecessor on account of lesser wheelbase and length. The defining feature of this convertible is its fabric soft roof that comes in the shades of red, black or grey. The roof can be folded in 18 seconds flat even when the car hits a speed of 50Kmph. The two door convertible has a redesigned air dam at the front, angular crease lines on the doors, LED lamps, a not so chubby boot of 320 litres with a stop lamp, and dual exhausts clubbed at a corner beneath the rear bumper. In fact, on the looks front, the ones who have used Audi A3 sedan would get bowled over by the latest addition.
The cabin is awash in black colour with a fair sprinkling of silver accentuating the edges of a few features. With the roof up, the convertible offers amazing view of the sides and above as if sitting in the lap of nature. Even though the seats are well contoured with adequate cushioning, one gets the feel of a lack of space especially at the rear. The infotainment unit comprises of Bang and Olufsen speakers, a phone box capable of wireless charging, and an integrated unit carrying CD player, MMI and smartphone interfaces. The multifunctional steering with paddle shifters can make driving an easy affair. Besides, the presence of parking sensors, a rearview camera, four AC vents, and electrically adjustable ORVMs, among others turn the cockpit into a comfort zone.
The convertible gets a less powerful engine compared to its A3 sedan counterpart – a 1.4 litre petrol burner instead of the earlier 1.8-litre. The burner can generate maximum power and torque outputs to the tune of 150bhp at 5000-6000rpm and 250Nm at 1500-3500rpm, respectively. However, those who have used Audi A3 sedan will not rue the new petrol engine as the torque generated, thankfully, remains the same. Importantly, the convertible is more fuel efficient for when the demand for speed is not that great the ‘cylinder on demand’ feature can shut down two cylinders thus saving fuel.
The DSG gearbox with two modes – D and S is calibrated to provide instant thrust to the A3 Convertible. Thus, upon using a particular lever the S mode can be actuated leading to a quick engine throttle. Thanks to the transmission the convertible can touch the 100Kmph mark from zero in 9.65 seconds, and hit a top speed of 220Kmph.
Given its lack of structural rigidity due to the absence of a hard roof, A3 Convertible does give a jerk or two once it hits a bumpy stretch. However, the suspension and broad tyres of 205/55 R16 size do absorb the hiccups considerably once it hits momentum. Competing with the Mini Cooper Convertible, A3 hits the safety grid quite well thanks to the presence of adaptive brake lamps, five airbags, ABS, EBD, ASR and ESC.
Thanks to the above mentioned features, the Audi A3 Cabriolet ticks all the right boxes as far as wooing connoisseurs is concerned.