The latest generation of the Audi A3
was revealed a year ago and so far has proven a sales hit in Europe, thanks mostly to its fuel-efficient MQB platform
and tasteful styling. However, the car is still not on sale in the U.S.
Audi is waiting until the arrival of a brand new A3 Sedan
due later this year before it rolls out its local launch of the latest A3 range, which most likely will happen by the start of the 2014 model year.
We say A3 range
, as we’re not only expecting the new A3 Sedan in the U.S., but the A3 Sportback
and an A3 Cabriolet as well.
We’ve already spied the A3 Cabrio
and its sporty ‘S3’ variant
testing in prototype form, but these computer-generated renderings give us a fairly accurate look as to how the new convertible will be styled.
Audi chose not to introduce the previous generation of the A3 Cabrio
to the U.S, possibly because the car was too small and too close in pricing to entry-level A5 Cabrio models. With many buyers in the luxury market now looking for smaller and more fuel-efficient vehicles, the new generation of the A3 Cabrio could be too hard to resist.
The new A3 Cabrio will be bigger than the model it replaces though it should still be small enough to prevent cannibalizing sales of the larger A5 Cabrio.The car’s only direct rival will be the upcoming 2-Series Convertible from BMW
, which replaces the current 1-Series Convertible, although we could eventually see a convertible added
to Mercedes-Benz’s new small car family.
Powertrain options are likely to include a base 1.8-liter TFSI gasoline engine rated at 180 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, as well as a more powerful 2.0-liter unit. The high-performance S3 Cabrio will feature the same 2.0-liter TFSI with 296 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque found in the S3 Hatch
and S3 Sportback
Inside, owners will find nice round dials and air vents, plus plenty of leather. Audi's latest MMI interface system will handle the media and navigation functions, with displays of either 5.8 or 7 inches available.
Look for a debut of the Audi A3 Cabrio sometime next year, which means you can expect a 2015 model year arrival.