Car news

19 February 2014

Audi reveals the 300bhp S3 Cabrio

It has a folding roof. It looks good. And it’s got 300bhp, 4WD and launch control

Vijay Pattni
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Exactly one year after the launch of the Audi S3 Sportback comes this, the new Audi S3 Cabriolet. And the basic premise remains: same bombastic engine, same drivetrain, same speed. Well, nearly the same speed.

The S3 Cabrio is a touch slower than the Sportback because of a 200kg weight penalty over its sibling, but is still indecently quick, and faster than any small convertible has a right to be barring something exotic.

The engine is a 2.0-litre very, very turbocharged four-cylinder producing 300bhp and a whopping 380Nm of torque, fed through a standard-fit six-speed DSG ‘box and Audi's multi-plate clutch 'Quattro' four-wheel-drive system.

All of which is good for a 0-100kph time of 5.4 seconds and a limited top speed of 250kph. That benchmark sprint is 0.4 seconds off the DSG-equipped Sportback S3, but is 0.1s quicker than an S3 Sportback with a manual ‘box.

It's a mighty engine, though, featuring heavy-duty aluminium pistons, stronger connecting rods, an aluminium cylinder head and two balancer shafts for "supremely smooth running". It runs 1.2 bars of turbo pressure together with a powerful intercooler.

We're told the bottom gears of the gearbox are stacked closely together for plenty of off-the-line pace, while the top gears are longer for low rpm motorway cruising. That 4WD system sends most of the power to the front, and redirects to the rear axle when ‘traction decreases'.

As with the S3 Sportback, this Cabrio sits 25mm lower than the regular A3 Cabrio, gets 18-inch aluminium alloys as standard, huge 340mm front brake discs, and adaptive damping.

Inside you'll find a boost pressure indicator (thumbs up), sports seats, some new leather combinations, a sports steering wheel and stainless steel pedals and footrests. There are also many options, too, should you be on first-name terms with your bank manager.

Tags: audi, a3, s3, s3 cabriolet

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