The Cabriolet reverie

Omkar Paranjape
Saturday, 8 July 2017

With Audi bringing its updated A3 Convertible to the country, buyers can look forward to owning the impressive car which has both — the fun factor and decent practicality for Indian roads

Coupes and cabriolets, in India, are a rare species; and Audi has finally brought its updated A3 Convertible to Indian roads this year. The A3 cabriolet competes with the likes of the Mini Cooper Convertible, which is Rs 13 lakh cheaper, but A3 is the car, you want to own because you want the world to take notice of you. This one is not about practicality; it’s about panache and individuality.

The Cabriolet looks particularly good with the roof folded away, as this makes it appear longer than it actually is. In fact, it managed to draw attention from all and sundry like a proper sportscar normally would.

The new design is more sporty, although it is identical to the A3 sedan.

The interiors too are the same as the sedan — two-zone climate control, excellent German build quality and the foldout display unit which can be optioned with Apple CarPlay. As with the sedan, an added feature on the 2017 Audi A3 Cabriolet are the LED headlamps.

The 2017 Audi A3 Cabriolet, like the sedan, now gets a 1.4-litre TFSI engine instead of the previous 1.8-litre engine. It produces 150PS from 5,000-6,000rpm and 250Nm between 1,500-3,500rpm. The engine is super refined and you’ll barely hear it even at high revs. On the highway, the car returned an impressive of 21.67kmpl and 9.21kmpl on city roads.
The Cabriolet isn’t cheap, but it offers a unique combination of convertible exclusivity and fun factor with decent practicality for our roads.
 
The Audi 3 lookouts

The convertible hood
The A3 Cabriolet has a lightweight fabric roof as opposed to a folding metal hood, and that helps keep its weight to a minimum.
Folding down the roof can be done at speeds of up to 31mph, and the operation takes just 18 seconds from start to finish. Its durable interior, excellent build quality and understated styling are some of the A3’s most prized features and separate it from others in the class.

The drawbacks
There’s a lot that goes missing in a car that costs close to Rs 50 lakh. There’s no start/ stop button, keyless entry or electric seats and there are limited storage options. There’s no virtual cockpit either and hardly any space, at the rear. The boot space has shrunk from 425 litres, on the A3 sedan, to 320-litres, as it needs space, for the folding soft top. But, as convertibles go, the 320 litres is a decent number.

The GST effect
With GST kicking in, prices of the Audi A3 Cabriolet have been revised.
For Pune, the price of the convertible now starts at Rs 48.52 lakh, as opposed to Rs 50.15 lakh pre-GST. That’s a difference of Rs 1.63 lakh.

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