Performance – Replacing the older 1.8-litre TFSI unit is a 1.4-litre engine from the same family. This smaller engine produces 150 HP of power between 5000-6000 RPM and 250 Nm of torque between 1500-3500 RPM. Compared to this, the older powertrain was churning out 180 horses. Mated to this petrol mill is the same 7-speed transmission. When you fire up the ignition, the engine feels super refined and there are hardly any vibrations filtering inside the cabin. Driveability in the low-end is similar to the older powerplant and the car feels very responsive with hardly any lag. The mid-range is also peppy enough for quick bursts of acceleration but if you want to go all out, you will definitely miss the grunt of the older engine, especially near the redline. While the older drivetrain used to feel very punchy at all times, this one comparatively seems to be running out of breath at high speeds.
Performance with the smaller engine isn’t all that bad, but lacks the top-end punch
The TFSI unit comes with cylinder-on-demand technology where the car uses only two cylinders at low speeds and the other two cylinders are activated only when the need arises. This operation is pretty much seamless and you actually cannot feel the cylinders activating or de-activating. With a 0-100 km/hr timing of 9.53 seconds, the updated A3 is almost a second slower than the previous one. Another noteworthy thing is that the updated A3 Cabriolet misses out on Audi Drive Select modes. The transmission is seamless and one of the quickest units around and comes with Sport mode too. Thanks to the smaller engine, the claimed fuel efficiency figure has gone up to 19.20 km/l. All in all, the A3 Cabriolet won’t give you sportscar-like performance but it won’t disappoint you either and it is very good if you intend to go cruising in it.
Driving Dynamics – The Audi A3 has always been a very fun-to-drive car. It is very compact in size and the dynamics are pretty much sorted without much to complain. The steering is precise and direct but is devoid of feedback. The suspension has been tuned very nicely and thus you do get a wonderful ride. Passengers feel comfortable and the suspension works well on our roads which have potholes in abundance. The tyres are also very grippy, encouraging you to push the car hard while the brakes do a splendid job of bringing the vehicle to a halt.