With a handful of cosmetic updates, the facelift model of Audi A3 Cabriolet has finally entered the Indian luxury car market at a starting price of Rs. 47.98 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) after a longing wait of nearly 2 years. The company has started accepting the bookings for the 4-seater convertible and the model will be imported in the country as fully built unit.
On the other hand, the A3 sedan, which was expected to be launched first, along with diesel-engine powered A4 are now presumed to be launching by the end of this month. However, the company chose not to speak any word regarding the launch date and price of the two. The A3 sedan when launched is touted to be the most affordable sedan in the country and will be assembled locally. The company introduced the facelift version of A3 Sedan last year globally and since then car enthusiasts have been eagerly waiting for its launch in India.
Coming back to the A3 Cabriolet, the changes in the soft-top convertible are very much in line with the new A4 sedan. The inclusion of full LED gives the headlamp a new touch, whereas the addition of signature LED daytime running lights make the design more prominent. A new bumper with aggressive looks has been added to the front alongside a new single frame hexagonal grille. Whereas, the rear end receives a revised bumper and re-profiled LED tail lamps.
From the inside, the convertible has received a three-spoke multi-functional steering wheel in a completely new design along with a flat instrument panel and lender. Coming to the centre console, it has a 7-inch touchscreen MMI interface which is electrically retractable. The AC vents too have received changes and they now look a bit different whereas the seats have been enveloped in Milano leather upholstery. Other features include optional smartphone interface, 5 airbags, ABS with EBD, Audi Parking system, dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors with a camera, satellite navigation and a Bang & Olufsen hi-fi audio system.
According to the officials, the retractable roof insulates the cabin perfectly without letting any exterior sound in. It can operated using the hydraulic drive where the speed can be up to 50Kmph.
Under the hood, the 2017 Audi A3 convertible has been changed drastically and now comes with a downsized 1.4-litre TFSI petrol engine, which earlier was 1.8-litre. Earlier Audi has made such change in its A4 sedan for which it has been receiving criticism for long. Now the power has been reduced from 180BHP to 150BHP, however the torque remains unaltered at 250Nm. The advantage can be seen in the form of fuel economy, where it is claimed to be 19.20Kmpl on an average. The credit goes to the ‘cylinder on demand’ technology wherein the engine uses fewer cylinders in case it is not working too hard. The petrol mill is mated to a 7-speed S-tronic gearbox to generate the aforementioned power and torque.
In terms of competition, the A3 cabriolet sits in a segment where it does not have a direct competitor in the country. However, neglecting the price bracket, Mini Cooper Convertible can be its rival which is less expensive than A3. Moving to its main rivals, the convertibles from Mercedes-Benz and BMW are way too expensive than the A3 and are priced above the mark of Rs. 60 lakh.