Shortly after Audi unveiled new generation A3 hatchback at the 2012 Geneva Motor it has been rumored that a convertible version will arrive in just a few months time. If until now all we had were rumors, today our spy photographers have caught the car testing for the very first time. To make it even better this is not just the standard A3 Convertible, but the even more powerful S3.
The new generation A3 Convertible will be based on the A3 sedan version we have caught testing the other weeks, meaning that it will be a little bit prettier than the current generation: you should imagine something like a smaller A5 Convertible.
In fact this is a move everyone expected, considering the current generation A3 Convertible is not the prettiest thing we have seen.
Expect the new Audi S3 Convertible to be unveiled at the end of 2013, most likely in Frankfurt.
If you want to know what the next S3 convertible will look like, you should take a second look at the S5 convertible, and then shrink it down a few sizes. As a result, you should expect the same LED headlights and taillights seen in all the revised Audi models.
You can also expect to see some design elements that will further distinguish it as an Audi S model. These distinguishing marks include a glossy black upper grille, a more contoured hood, larger air intakes on the bumper and crystal-effect paint finishes.
For now, this is all we have on the exterior, but we’ll bring you more information as time moves on.
Unfortunately, our spies weren’t sneaky enough to snap a few shots of the interior this time around, so we are stuck guessing. We expect to see the typical high-grade leather treatment from Audi on the seats and dashboard, and some contrast stitching to set it all off. Also expect to see your typical S badges strewn throughout the cabin.
In terms of technology, you can expect Audi to throw everything, including the kitchen sink, at the new S3. We expect to see a 10-plus-speaker audio system, Bluetooth connectivity and dual-zone climate control.
We’ll bring you more on the interior once Audi releases the details.
The standard A3 Convertible will deliver up to 180 horsepower, but this is a S3 we’re talkin’ about here. The S3 scoffs at the paltry 180 ponies under the A3’s hood, as it packs a stout 300 horses in its stable. The S3 will only be offered with a seven-speed S tronic transmission.
There is no word on the drive system, but we doubt that Audi would dare unleash this 300-horsepower drop top lacking its famed quattro AWD system. So, you can pretty much rest assured that those horses will be directed to all four wheels, as needed.
There is also no word on its 0-to-60 mph time, but we do know that the 2.0-liter-powered A3 wagon hits 60 mph in 7.2 seconds with only 200 horsepower at its disposal and front-wheel drive. This would put the S3 somewhere in the low-6-second range, given the added horsepower and quattro AWD.
|Engine|| TBD |
|Horsepower|| 300 horsepower (estimate) |
|Transmission|| Seven-speed S tronic |
|Drive|| quattro AWD |
|Acceleration (0-60 mph)|| Low-6 Seconds (estimate) |
The S3 is not yet available in the U.S. market, but considering we will get the A3 sedan, we expect this to change. If it does hit showrooms in the States, the S3 Convertible will be priced just under the S5 convertible. We are thinking somewhere in the $40k range.
BMW 2-Series Convertible
If you are looking for a competitor for the upcoming Audi S3 Convertible, then the high-end versions of the future BMW 2-Series Convertible will be the best choice. Rumors suggest the BMW model will only be offered with four-cylinder engines with a maximum output of 220 horsepower. We are pretty sure that BMW will have something better prepared to battle the S3 in the future — maybe an M-variant. We’ll just have to wait and see if we’re right.
You know what’s awesome about the S3 convertible; the fact that there is really nothing to compete with it. Anything in its class in terms of speed and luxury is way over priced and anything that is near its price point and luxury level cannot hang with its anticipated performance. This is truly digging yourself a nice little niche in the market – something that Audi has come accustomed to.
However, with an anticipated release date still nearly a year away, other automakers have time to start planning. Bimmer is one that we are pretty sure will develop an M-variant 2-Series, or at least a higher-performance version, that will compete with this model. Don’t be shocked to see Volvo dive in with a compact convertible to replace the outgoing C70.
For now, the S3 is the only show in town, so it wins by default.
|Driving|| TBD || We cannot rate what we cannot do |
|Performance|| A || On paper, it looks like a monster. We’ll see the final result |
|Look|| C- || Audi really needs to update its design a little. It’s getting pretty dated. |
|Value|| A+ || Though we do not know the final price, we expect Audi to deliver yet another car that packs plenty of fun for the money |
|Overall|| B+ || On the surface, things look good for the S3, but we have to await all of the final details to get you a full evaluation |