The Audi A3 Cabriolet introduced in 2008 when Audi’s 8P platform received a facelift to its standard hatchback A3 model.
This was the beginning of Audi’s small engine with turbo fitted to increase power output and reduce emissions campaign. which all marques have seemed to follow suit Since. TFSI or Turbo Fuel Stratified Injection. In 1.2i form was surprisingly punchy for such a small unit to pull its FWD system forward making light work of the additional weight gained in chopping the roof off and adding bars for strengthening the chassis.
To my mind the work paid off. A solid drive was achieved with the steering feeling direct yet almost chuck-able in the bends. You could accelerate with confidence thanks to the Sticky 19inch Bridgstones in each corner low profile with the specific AO ‘Audi Original’ spec.
This particular model in S-Line trim meant that unlike the sport models you had full electronic roof controls. Meaning you could go from 0 to Joey Essex in 15 seconds or so.
interior trim was half leather with S line embossed seats. To complete the sheep in wolves clothing look the S-line body kit deployed to the cars nose. Giving it a somewhat frowning face. It was a look I was rather fond of.
The usual 2 seats up front 3 in back on the hatch version. Had gone to make room for the folding roof Gubbins. Meaning the boot space was reduced to that of a carry on suitcase in the back. and the car now a 4 seater. To be fair all you needed was a pair of shades on your face and a spare pair of pants in the boot to kick the weekend off though, right?
I personally did not mind as the changes to the dimensions of the car made it feel more of a mini saloon than a chopped up hatchback.
The engine though small could still provide a comfy surge although quickly run out of puff once the turbo kicked in at 2500 rpm Then cried off by 3500rpm.
Meaning in the body of the lion beat the heart of a very willing but not always capable hamster.
The car would certainly win no drag races. The sport suspension did somewhat give some flair in the bends just be aware that an uneaven track could wreak havoc with your back.
In car entertainment in this case came in the form of an Audi Concert head unit originally. Of course this wouldn’t do. So with the car only a week old Darren and I stripped her down and added an OEM RNS-E sat nav system.
Originally a £2.5k option in the price list. We had her kitted out for a few hundred quid. and a bit of 3M tape to keep the GPS antenna planted in the dash.
A worthy accessory that served me well and also showed me the price markup you would see for ‘premium brands’
My Audi A3 Cabriolet
‘vorsprung durch technik’ Words that are said to inspire thoughts of advancements in motoring technology. Think, The Audi Quattro or Audi Rally sport in the 1980s
English Translation: ‘Lead in Technology’ it’s ironic that my final year of Audi A3 ownership lead to a case of 6 breakdowns, 4 of which caused by each individual HT lead inexplicably disintegrating whilst many miles from home. I managed to get on first name terms with Mr. AA. As I spent many a time in the front of a recovery truck cab catching a ride back to the Audi dealer service department as there was ‘nothing they could do’ at the side of the road.
A further 2 breakdowns were caused by a faulty pedal position sensor. Causing the cars electric brain to revert to thinking it was no longer a car but a horse and cart. Going into a terminal limp mode with Mr. AAs OBD kit failing to clear the fault codes as the sensor was re-seated and cleared.
Each time a diagnostic fact find from Audi’s dealer. Each time a diagnostic fee. The Audi service manager each time appearing oblivious to the fact the car and spent more time with the tyres on the ramp than the tarmac. Despondent, it was time to go, and much like the UK summers. The three days a year that the weather is sunny and hot. Were not enough to save the car from it’s fate. It was off to auction and onto shiny new pastures.
On one of my many chats with Mr. AA headed back home, one sentence resonated with me. ‘There’s no replacement for displacement’ Which may have lead to the forthcoming purchase in March 2018. Still German yes, but a car 22 years old and technology free in comparison to the A3 i’d left behind.