Audi’s all-new, 296 bhp S3 Cabriolet is set to debut at next month’s Geneva Motor Show.
The open-top four-seater features a soft top with an electrohydraulic drive. Audi says magnesium, aluminium and high-strength steel keep its weight low. It opens or closes in 18 seconds up to speeds of 31 mph. An active rollover system protects passengers in the event of an accident.
Dimensionally, the S3 Cabriolet is 4.43 metres long, has a wheelbase of 2.60 metres, and is 1.79 metres wide and 1.39 metres tall.
Design details include the “Singleframe” grille, surrounded by a chrome frame that features a platinum-grey insert and double cross-struts with an aluminium look. The air intakes are framed by edges and filled with double ribs and honeycomb inserts. S3 badges adorn the front and rear, while aluminium strips on the windshield frame and beltline, aluminium-look exterior mirror housings and edged sill trims define the sides.
The taillights are equipped with LEDs as standard. The luggage compartment lid has a spoiler edge, and the bumper has been redesigned. An aluminium-look bar and four vertical ribs give shape to the platinum-grey diffuser, which frames the four tailpipes typical of Audi S models.
The convertible is powered by a 2.0 TFSI which delivers 296 bhp between 5,500 rpm and 6,200 rpm and produces 280.27 lb-ft (380 Nm) of torque from 1,800 to 5,500 rpm. With S tronic the car accelerates to 62 mph in 5.4 seconds, and manages an overall top speed of 155 mph (electronically limited). When empty (without the driver), the S3 Cabriolet weighs 1,620 kilograms. The passenger compartment consists primarily of high-strength steel, and the bonnet is made of aluminium.
Audi claims the S3 Cabriolet with S tronic will return up to 39.8 mpg combined, equating to 165 grams of CO2 per km. The technologies from the Audi modular efficiency platform contribute to this figure. Of particular interest here is the additional indirect injection into the intake manifold, which replaces the petrol direct injection FSI in the part-load range, where it lowers fuel consumption and particulate emissions.
In the standard six-speed S tronic transmission, Audi engineers say the bottom gears are close-stepped for a better response, whereas the long gear ratio of the top gear lowers rpm and therefore fuel consumption. The driver can operate the dual-clutch transmission in the automatic D and S modes or take control using the gearshift lever in the touch control gate or the standard shift paddles on the steering wheel.
An additional efficiency function of the six-speed S tronic is the one-way clutch. It becomes active when Audi drive select is in efficiency mode and the driver steps off the accelerator.
Synonymous with every Audi ‘S’ model, the S3 Cabriolet also makes use of quattro permanent all-wheel drive.
In terms of the car’s chassis, the axle load distribution is balanced at 56:44; the rear-inclined installation position of the engine contributes to this, as does the front axle situated far to the front. Both solutions are from the Group’s modular transverse platform. The subframe and pivot bearing on the front suspension are made of aluminium, and a four-link structure is used for the rear axle.
Compared with the Audi A3 Cabriolet, the body is 25 millimetres lower due to the S Sport chassis.
As well as large front brake discs, an electromechanical parking brake is integrated into the rear brake system.