The all-new, 300 PS S3 Cabriolet was shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
Order books opened a month later and the first models are now being delivered.
Building on the two-plus-two A3 Cabriolet, the newest addition packs a punch from its highly tuned 2.0 litre petrol engine and mated to a sporting sequential automatic transmission, quattro all wheel drive and tuned steering, brakes and suspension.
It sits lower on the road than its stablemates while the styling is very flowing and muscular and the engineers have also pared weight with lighter panels and architecture.
The electrically folding fabric hood is thickly insulated to protect from weather and noise and can be operated up to 31mph.
Audi soft-top sophistication blends with hard-edged spirited performance in the new S3 Cabriolet.
Aimed at the sporting driver who loves open-topped driving and wants family friendly space and frantic pace, it delivers both in a neat package brimming with high technology and an options list to make your eyes and wallet water.
The immensely powerful 2.0 litre engine and highly responsive dual-mode S tronic transmission is matched to pin sharp steering and massive brakes, all wrapped up in a low-slung four-wheel-drive chassis.
That endows the S3 Cabriolet with confidence inspiring handling and grip whatever the weather and conditions beneath the 8Jx18 wheels and 225/ 40 tyres, and despite their profile the ride is not too hard thanks to the adjustable magnetic dampers.
It’s not a big car based on the S3 but it has very good front passenger room, modest rear seat room and a 285 litres boot.
Those seats securely hold occupants and top down the wind buffeting is modest, but you can specify an expensive baffle if you want to make it even calmer. The hood raises and lowers very quickly if a shower comes out of the blue.
The new Audi S3 Cabriolet will delight owners who want more performance than their current car delivers and it’s a strong rival to the quickest compact convertibles from other manufacturers, but with the major advantage of all-weather capability 4WD under foot.
|Fast facts: Audi S3 Cabriolet||Price: £38,085|
|Insurance group: TBA||Mechanical: 300ps 4cyl 2.0 litre petrol engine, 6sp auto|
|Max speed: 155mph||0-62mph: 5.4secs|
|Combined mpg: 39.7mpg (28mpg on test)||CO2 emissions: 165gkm|
|BIK rating: VED band G 26%||Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles|