|February 10, 2002
The New Audi A4 Cabriolet
A modern classic - this status was acquired by the Audi Cabriolet in the nine years or so that it was in production. Now its long-awaited successor is finally about to make its appearance and it, too, has all the makings of a cult object: the new A4 Cabriolet combines dynamism and exclusiveness, state-of-the-art technology and an equipment specification that leaves nothing to be desired. A genuine Audi.
The new model, which is 4.57 metres long and 1.77 metres wide, incorporates the classically elegant characteristics of the Audi Cabriolet in a new design, at the same time underlining the sporty image of the Audi brand.
The new Audi A4 Cabriolet has an electro-hydraulically operated hood with a heated glass rear window as standard equipment. Outstanding acoustic insulation and excellent suitability for winter conditions are attributes that can be taken for granted on an Audi Cabriolet hood.
The uncompromising power flow of the engines, developing up to 162 kW (220 bhp), and the aluminium suspension, coupled with typical Audi simple but elegant design and exclusive equipment, will also characterise the A4 Cabriolet - the perfect basis for a new kind of driving experience. There's no doubt that the new Cabriolet is the emotional spearhead of the sporty A4 model family.
A success story: the tradition of the Audi Cabriolet
Convertibles, or cabriolets as they are also known, enjoy a long tradition at Audi: the very first DKW, for example, appeared as a cabriolet in 1928. The large Horch cabriolets were dream cars of their time, and the NSU Wankel Spider caused a sensation in the 1960s. This was a car that was noted not least for its sporting qualities: a Wankel Spider won the GT Rally World Championship in 1966.
The Audi Cabriolet - already a modern classic - continued this tradition after an interruption of 25 years. 72,000 customers worldwide - around 45,000 in Germany - opted for the Audi Cabriolet between the time it went into production in May 1991 and the end of production in July 2000.
The first version of this open-top four-seater was based on the Audi 80 and had a 2.3-litre five-cylinder engine developing 98 kW (133 bhp). The range was gradually extended to four engine versions throughout the model's production life. A move which represented a new departure in this class was the launching of a 1.9 four-cylinder TDI version with an output of 66 kW (90 bhp).
This engine helped diesel technology break into the domain of open-top cars. In Germany alone, its market share was over 20 percent for quite a number of years. The top engine version of the outgoing model was a 2.8-litre V6 developing 128 kW (174 bhp).
The lasting success of the Audi Cabriolet is reflected in the rate at which it lured customers away from other brands: in 1998, its eighth year on the market, this four-seater convertible still managed to capture 59 percent of its customers from the competition.