By Audi Media
Elaborately constructed, sporty and balanced in its tuning – the chassis of the new Audi A3 Cabriolet sets standards. Axle load distribution is finely balanced; in the version with the 1.4 TFSI COD with manual transmission the ratio is 56 percent (front) to 44 percent (rear).
The front suspension is a McPherson design with lower wishbones. Like the subframe, the pivot bearings for engines from 125 kW (170 hp) are made of aluminum. As with the rear axle, a stabilizer is used here too.
Many components of the four-link rear axle are made of high-strength steel. The sword-shaped longitudinal links absorb the propulsive and braking forces; their bearings are large and relatively soft to ensure a comfortable ride. On the other hand, the three transverse links of each wheel are rigidly joined to the steel subframe; this lets them handle lateral forces precisely. The shock absorbers and the compact coil springs are kept separate – this solution enables finely-tuned response and a large luggage compartment. In the quattro versions, the wheel carriers are made of aluminum.
Audi is offering a sport suspension as an option for the new A3 Cabriolet (standard in the Ambition line). It sets the body 15 millimeters (0.59 in) lower; in the sport chassis that is available as an option in the S line it is 25 millimeters (0.98 in) lower. This decidedly taut setup can either be ordered individually or as part of the S line sport package.
The power steering of the new Audi A3 Cabriolet lets the driver feel the contact to the road intensively and precisely. Its electromechanical drive is mounted directly to the steering rack, and it instantly transfers steering forces to the tie rods. When driving a straight course, it does not consume any energy – this reduces fuel consumption. The power assistance is reduced with increasing speed.
The electrically assisted progressive steering system is also available as an option for engines from 103 kW (140 hp). Its steering rack is designed so that the steering ratio becomes increasingly direct when turning. The result is reduced steering effort when parking and when in city traffic, as well as on winding country roads and hairpin bends, thanks to noticeably greater agility. Speed-dependent steering assistance ensures excellent steering characteristics for every driving situation.
312 millimeters (12.28 in) diameter: the front brake discs
Also contributing to the sporty character of the new Audi A3 Cabriolet are its powerful brakes; they convey a taut, finely metered pedal feeling. The internally ventilated front brake discs are 288 millimeters or 312 millimeters (11.34 in or 12.28 in) in diameter, while the rear discs are all 272 millimeters (10.71 in). The electromechanical parking brake is integrated in the rear axle brake system; if necessary it can also serve as an emergency brake.
In the new A3 Cabriolet with front-wheel drive, the electronic limited slip differential is standard; it is a sub-function of the further developed electronic stabilization control (ESC); it makes handling even more agile, stable and precise. When the front wheel on the inside of the curve has excessively reduced load, a minimal brake intervention is made there, and the excess torque flows to the wheel at the outside of the curve. The difference in propulsive forces ensures that the car turns slightly into the curve – this supports the driver.
The new Audi A3 Cabriolet comes off the assembly line on alloy wheels with 17- or 16-inch wheels. 18-inch aluminum wheels are fitted with the S line sport package. Audi offers a wide selection – the top wheels are 8 J x 19 in a machine-polished bicolor design with size 235/35 tires. They are coupled to the sport suspension and Audi magnetic ride options.
A tire pressure monitoring indicator and a repair set are standard, and a space-saving spare tire is available as an option.
Standard in the Ambition line: Audi drive select
The Audi drive select dynamic driving system is standard equipment in the Ambition line. In the base version, this system integrates the throttle valve, power steering or progressive steering and S tronic (with the 1.8 TFSI).
A switch lets the driver vary the functionality of these components between comfort, auto, dynamic and efficiency modes. In efficiency mode, the optional modules deluxe automatic climate control and adaptive cruise control operate in a fuel-economizing manner. The individual mode is added starting with the MMI radio system.
For engines from 103 kW (140 hp), customers can also select Audi magnetic ride, an electromagnetic shock absorber control system; it too is managed by Audi drive select. Circulating inside its shock absorber pistons is a synthetic oil containing tiny magnetic particles. When a voltage is applied to a coil, the particles align perpendicular to the direction of oil flow, impeding flow through the channels in the pistons. The system control unit constantly analyzes the road conditions and the driver’s gear-changing style, continually adapting shock absorber forces within milliseconds.
Regardless of this, the driver can select the comfort, auto and dynamic modes. In comfort mode, the new Audi A3 Cabriolet offers a balanced and comfortable ride. In dynamic mode, on the other hand, the car responds tightly to the road. Steering response is more spontaneous, rolling motion is largely suppressed, and targeted support of the individual wheels in fast driving through curves, which makes the car’s self-steering behavior even more dynamic. When braking, Audi magnetic ride counteracts diving behavior of the body, which is 15 millimeters (0.59 in) lower.