Electronics - for information and entertainment
The new Cabriolet also provides the perfect infotainment experience. The four different audio systems are capable of covering wide-ranging requirements - no matter whether the customer opts for a radio-cassette player, CD changer or the high-grade BOSE sound system. Every system guarantees excellent sound quality, perfectly matched to the interior of the new A4. Even the most basic version comprises ten speakers and has an amplifier output of 150 Watt.
Nor is information given short measure. In addition to the symphony radio with Traffic Message Channel (TMC) facility, in Germany the new Audi telematics telecommunications system provides traffic information on request - tailored to the user's requirements - in conjunction with an emergency-call and service function.
Two different navigation systems, which both use GPS satellite navigation, help the driver find the fastest route from A to B. The navigation system Plus is actually capable of performing intelligent, active route planning on the basis of TMC data and/or Audi telematics. On the basis of traffic congestion warnings, an alternative route recommendation is immediately calculated.
Communication in a broader sense likewise takes place while the car is being manoeuvred into a parking space: the Acoustic Parking System determines the exact distance to the next car - whether to the front or the rear - by means of ultrasonic signals. Sensors integrated discreetly into the bumpers measure the distance and prompt signals which let the driver know how much clearance remains.
A garage door opener saves homecomers the trouble of having to search for a separate remote control for the garage door. An integrated universal remote control replaces up to three hand-held transmitters with a single built-in component. Not only outside gates and garage doors respond to the radioed commands, it is also possible to control compatible security systems and lighting installations on a building.
Audi has also further improved protection against car theft on the A4 Cabriolet. The optional anti-theft device includes an alarm siren with its own power supply, which still even triggers an alarm when the car battery is removed. The system can only be deactivated by a radio signal from the car key.
Customers have the tantalising choice of 14 different paint colours, including ten particularly stylish metallic or pearl effect versions. Seven different 16-inch and 17-inch cast aluminium wheels, with tyres up to 235/45 R17, create a wide variety of sporting accents.
And while on the subject of sport, even a car as dynamic as the new Audi A4 Cabriolet may arouse the desire for a setup that makes even fewer compromises. The accessories range also caters for such a demand.
Specially developed sports suspension with firmer shock absorber/spring rates, for instance, puts the focus on the Cabriolet's sporting potential.
Individuality in the interior
And there are numerous different ways in which the interior can be given an individual look. Cloth/leather, leather and leather/Alcantara seat upholstery are just three options which visibly and palpably underline the special status of the new Audi A4 Cabriolet. High-quality inlays in three different types of wood round off this luxurious ambience.
On warm days the optional cooling box in the glove compartment is very useful: the contents are cooled by the automatic air conditioning while the car is on the move and also remain at a low temperature for some time after the engine has been switched off.
The standard seats in the A4 Cabriolet provide maximum comfort on long journeys. However, they can be customised to meet your individual requirements even more perfectly, for example with a 4-way electric lumbar support for both front seats. Individually adjustable heating can be ordered for all four seats.
The sports front seats in the range of optional extras for the A4 Cabriolet offer an ideal combination of excellent lateral support and maximum seating comfort. They can also be combined with electric adjustment and a memory function as an option. This also applies for the exterior mirrors.
A growing segment: The Audi A4 Cabriolet and the market for four-seater convertibles
When the last Audi Cabriolet left the production line in July 2000, a very special success story came to an end. Even more impressive than the 72,000 Audi Cabriolets built is the growth that has taken place in the four-seater premium convertible segment. A segment that the Audi Cabriolet has played a major role in defining and evolving.
Compared with just 7,675 cars sold in this category in Germany in 1990, 24,899 models were sold in the year 2000. The same trend can be identified worldwide: sales over the past decade have increased from 20,840 to more than 80,000 four-seater convertibles. An increasing number of manufacturers, including several of the most famous European companies, have put their own four-seater convertibles on the market.
So what makes this segment so successful? This success is due to characteristics that were already hallmarks of the Audi Cabriolet and which the new Audi A4 Cabriolet unites in even more sophisticated form: sports character and elegance, luxury and excellent suitability for everyday use.
It is therefore not surprising that almost 44 percent of European customers gave design as the reason for buying the Audi Cabriolet: this is the result of a survey from the year 1998, when the Cabriolet was already in its eighth year of production. This is the clearest evidence not only of the fact that the vehicle's styling still never fails to impress, but also of its continuing success as a trendsetter.
A further factor contributing to the success of the Audi Cabriolet was its extensive range of engines. Around 37 percent of customers opted for six-cylinder engines in 1999, a clear indication of the acceptance of the premium status of the Audi Cabriolet. The decision to offer the new A4 Cabriolet with two powerful six-cylinder engines at market launch also takes account of this status.
A unique feature in the convertible segment is multitronic which is available for all engine versions offered at launch. This continuously variable automatic transmission combines the dynamism and efficiency of a manual gearbox with the convenience of a conventional automatic transmission. It is therefore possible for drivers to cruise along smoothly without hectic use of the pedals - a driving style preferred by drivers of convertibles - or to adopt a distinctly sporty style. A combination which has never before existed in the convertible segment.
The most important target group for the new Audi A4 Cabriolet is the age group of 30-39 year olds. Potential customers include both two-car families and singles or young couples without children. Freelancers and self-employed people account for around 40 percent of the target group in Germany and approximately 60 percent in Great Britain.
One thing that all target groups have in common is a higher than average monthly income in excess of €4600 and a high social status. Such potential customers also have a marked appreciation of quality and brand awareness, value their free time and are not averse to being the centre of attention.
Women account for around 25 percent of customers in both Germany and Europe. More than two thirds of all customers own other cars in addition to the Audi Cabriolet.
The most important sales markets for the new A4 Cabriolet are North America, Germany and Great Britain. Around two thirds of the planned production total of 15,000 units per year are destined for export markets.
Note: All information refers to German models