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Audi A3 convertible set for Frankfurt

The Audi A3 convertible will be based on the A3 Sportback, but will have a body adapted from the sedan.

A3 product head Frank Hermann revealed at this week’s global sedan launch that a cabriolet will round out the range and will share the sedan’s edgy styling. “The car will debut at Frankfurt and it will launch in Europe in February or March," he tells Carsguide in Hungary.

“Like all of the A3s, the cabrio proportions are right. It will be based on the A3 Sportback but the body has been taken from the sedan.” He makes the distinction because, despite the joint drivetrains, not one exterior panel is shared between the five-door hatch and sedan.

Hermann oversaw the development of the A3 range and says the cabrio is a huge step up from the outgoing car. “The last A3 was designed eight years ago and we have come a long way since then,” he says while noting the lightness and strength of the modular MQB chassis that underpins all new compact cars in the VW Group stable has been a major asset in improving ridigity of the roofless model.

“Flex is always an issue with a cabrio but the (MQB) platform has given our engineers a head-start in this area,” he says. “It will share drivetrains with the other A3 models and, as you have seen, they are strong engines with good character. The interior is also important for cabriolet buyers - they want high-quality - and we have this also.”

Hermann adds there are no plans to develop an A3 coupe to compete with the Mercedes-Benz CLA and BMW 1-Series “at this time”.