Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Topless Beauty; Impressively Quick and Not a Hairdresser in Sight

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Topless Beauty; Impressively Quick and Not a Hairdresser in Sight

Article excerpt

Byline: Grant Edwards

Vital Statistics

Model: Audi S3 Cabriolet.

Details: Two-door four-seat all-wheel drive luxury compact convertible.

Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol generating maximum power of 210kW @ 5300-6200rpm and peak torque of 380Nm @ 1800-5200rpm.

Transmission: Six-speed automatic with paddle shifts.

Consumption: 7.1 litres/100km (combined average).

CO2: 165g/km.

Performance: 0-100kmh in 5.5 seconds.

Bottom line plus on-roads: $69,300.

SPORTY and topless is sure to raise an eyebrow.

That concept may lead to some unsavoury thoughts, although the Audi S3 Cabriolet is nothing but class.

Initially launched in basic guises mid-way through last year, this sporting derivative was a late arrival but is deserving of its own spotlight... this is the first drop-top version of the A3 that we've seen here with an 'S' badge.

Starting just shy of $70,000, it's a heavy premium over the base A3 convertible price which starts at $47,300. For the extra investment you get a meaty powerplant, Quattro all-wheel drive and gorgeous proportions.

Comfort

Like others in this genre the dimensions are tight. Back seat legroom is limited and best left to kids, and even then the front passengers have to slide a fair way forward.

Our test ride had the $4990 optional package which incorporates sports seats in fine Nappa leather with diamond stitching. They are cosseting and look the part, fitting beautifully with the flat-bottom steering wheel which begs for some see-sawing on

challenging roads.

All the materials feel and look the goods, while the acoustic cloth roof (for a quieter ride) will fold into the boot within 20 seconds and at speeds up to 50kmh.

Having sampled the new TT coupe recently we're converts to the groovy cabin style and functionality. It features niceties like all the sat nav and digital features within the

driver's instruments, while fan and temperature controls are on the vents.

It's good. Actually it's outstanding, and really has set the Audi standard in our

opinion.

Not that there are too many issues with the S3's cabin - the driver has two large instruments, speedometer and tachometer, and can toggle between information on the mid-mounted digital computer.

On the road

Compact convertibles are often labelled "hairdresser cars", but this turbocharged four-cylinder donk has an ability to remove follicles from your head with the top dropped.

Wind it up and the S3 will sprint from stationary to 100kmh in just over five seconds. That's impressively quick and you'll need to dig far deeper in your pocket to get something that does the job equally as well.

There are some brilliant exhaust pops on shifts when under power, and it's best to embrace the lovely tune with the lid tucked away. …

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