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Audi readies A3 Cabriolet for February launch


NEWS
December 7, 2007/10.58


Audi A3 CabrioletAudi has done well with Lucire’s annual Car to Be Seen in, being its inaugural winner at the turn of the century. And its latest model, the A3 Cabriolet, could fare well when it hits streets in February 2008 in Germany.
   It’s more cohesive in appearance than the A4 Cabriolet, which I had the pleasure of driving in March. The A4 I had was the car assigned to Audi marketing manager Rachel Jones, so I felt rather privileged—especially as I was putting ks on to it before she could.
   When I was in Christchurch testing the S5, I was pleased to note that the boss at the city’s Audi dealer, Archibalds on Manchester, Eric Swinbourne, was a fan of compact cars, especially the A3. We shared a view that it was a lot harder making a decent small car than a decent big one, in terms of packaging and cost. And he was enthusiastic about the A3’s arrival—and I can see why.
   The A4 Cabrio will in essence be replaced by two cars: the A3 you see here and an A5 model next year. The duo make a lot of sense in the market-place, too: the A3 is pert and cute, the A5 glamorous and long. If you like the traditional Bauhaus restraint, then the A3 represents that well, but if you prefer the lithe looks of the new Audis, then the A5 is your car.
   Just as importantly, the A3 Cabriolet is expected to be priced keenly in New Zealand and folks like Eric are predicting healthy volumes. Those people who Volkswagen might have hoped would go for the Beetle Cabriolet or the Eos might just hop over to Audi: this new car is a lot more of a spiritual successor to the VW Golf Cabriolet in terms of its style.
   As with the TT and TT Roadster, the A3 Cabriolet is manufactured at Audi Hungaria Motor, the company’s facility in Gy?r.


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Filed by Jack Yan

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