Frugal new 1.6-litre diesel engine joins the premium compact cabriolet line-up alongside new quattro versions and wider S tronic availability

  • Entry-level 1.6 TDI version is now ready to order, capable of 72.4mpg with CO2 emissions of just 104g/km
  • S tronic transmission available for 150PS 2.0 TDI (six-speed S tronic) and 140 PS 1.4 TFSI CoD (seven-speed S tronic) models
  • quattro permanent all-wheel drive offered in conjunction with the 1.8 TFSI engine
  • A3 Cabriolet 1.6 TDI priced from £25,890 OTR for the SE to £29,265 OTR for S line

Longer spring days have just been complemented by the potential for lengthier spells of top-down driving between fuel stops in the new Audi A3 Cabriolet, which this week adopts a 1.6-litre TDI engine capable of over 72mpg. Drivers who value tenacity in corners and increased capability in adverse weather as highly as economy can also now opt for new quattro all-wheel-drive versions of the 180PS A3 Cabriolet 1.8 TFSI. The additions to the originally three-strong A3 Cabriolet range can be ordered now, as can new S tronic twin-clutch-equipped versions of the 1.4 TFSI 140PS Cylinder-on-Demand and 2.0 TDI 150PS versions. All the new variants will reach their first UK customers in the summer.

Positioned as the efficiency champion in the cabriolet line-up, the particularly frugal 1.6 TDI lowers CO2 emissions to just 104g/km and can achieve up to 72.4mpg according to the combined cycle test. Initially available to order exclusively as a six-speed manual, the A3 Cabriolet 1.6 TDI needs 11.4 seconds to reach 62mph from rest and can continue to a top speed of 124mph.

Peak power from the 110PS four-cylinder unit is available between 3,200-4,000rpm and peak torque matches the similarly efficient 1.4 TFSI with Cylinder on Demand at 250Nm between 1,500-3,000rpm. Customers can choose the all-new A3 Cabriolet 1.6 TDI with SE, Sport or S line specification options, all of which include features such as the MMI Radio with DAB digital reception and powered retractable colour monitor, preparation for SD card-based satellite navigation, air conditioning or climate control, light and rain sensors and an automatic fabric hood that opens and closes in less than 18 seconds.

Sport models also feature the Audi drive select system which fine-tunes driving characteristics, larger 17-inch alloy wheels, lowered sports suspension and front sports seats, while S line models are fitted with 18-inch alloy wheels, Xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights and S line interior and exterior design enhancements. Sport and S line models also feature a fully automatic acoustic fabric hood which is insulated by three layers of fabric to mute road noise even more effectively.

All-weather traction for the open-top compact class
Sun-seekers who also want to enjoy their A3 Cabriolet at its best in less clement weather can also now opt for a 1.8 TFSI petrol model which offers the added reassurance of quattro all-wheel-drive. At the heart of the all-wheel drive system is a hydraulically actuated and electronically controlled multi-plate clutch which can send power from the front to the rear axle in just a few milliseconds. The clutch, which now operates without a pressure reservoir, weighs significantly less than the previous unit.

In the interest of better axle load distribution, it is located at the end of the prop shaft, in front of the rear differential. Inside it is a package of plates which rotate in an oil bath. During normal driving, the clutch sends most of the engine’s power to the front wheels, but if they start to break traction it can transfer torque in varying degrees to the rear axle almost instantaneously by pressing the sets of plates together under control.

Peak torque increases from 250Nm in the front-wheel-drive version to 280Nm in the quattro, which combined with the optimal traction helps to bring about a slight improvement in the sprint time to 62mph from 7.8 to 7.6 seconds. Top speed is 145mph, and combined fuel economy stands at 42.8mpg with emissions of 154g/km.

Greater choice of transmissions
The slick-shifting S tronic transmission is also now more widely available for the A3 Cabriolet, extending its reach to the 1.4 TFSI model with Cylinder on Demand technology and to the 150 PS 2.0 TDI. Carrying a premium of £1,480 over a manual equivalent in each case, S tronic can operate as a conventional automatic, albeit with exceptionally rapid gear shifts, but also allows drivers to shift gear with the central selector lever or with paddles on the steering wheel. When combined with the Audi drive select dynamic driving system (standard on Sport and S line), efficiency mode enables a free-wheeling function to further reduce fuel consumption.

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Launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2005, the Q7 marked Audi’s first foray into the SUV market. Fitted with quattro permanent four wheel drive and adaptive air suspension it is able to carry 7 in complete comfort on or off-road. All Audi Q7’s are supremely powerful however the Q7 V12 TDI is worth particular mention. With a 6.0 litre V12 twin-turbo diesel engine – the largest diesel engine fitted to a production car and a direct descendant from the engine fitted to the Le Mans winning R10 TDI – it is capable of 0-62mph in a little more than 5 seconds.

Introduced in 2006 with a choice of a 3.0 litre TDI engine or 4.2 FSI petrol V8 the imposing Audi Q7 is as well-appointed as it is practical. With seven seats, quattro all wheel drive and adaptive air suspension fitted as standard it is a true ‘go-anywhere’ vehicle. Available with a wide range of luxurious options, including 4 zone climate control which allows rear occupants to set their individual temperature, a sophisticated BOSE Surround Sound system and Audi Lane-Change Assistant, a system which monitors the area behind the vehicle and alerts the driver if there is a vehicle in the their blind spots – ideal when overtaking.

In 2007 a powerful 4.2 litre V8 TDI engine was added to the range, followed a year after by the ultimate incarnation of the range, the Q7 V12, which features a 6.0 litre twin turbo diesel engine and 500PS.

A facelift in 2009 saw the introduction of an 8 speed tiptronic transmission and a resulting reduction in CO2 figures across the range.

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With its intuitive layout, the Driver’s Information System (DIS) makes it easy for you to keep an eye on a wide range of information such as current and average fuel economy, fuel range and travelling time.


The DIS comes with a colour display as standard.

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New fixed price plan offered by Audi Centres helps with budgeting for drivers of four-cylinder Audi models that are just out of warranty


  • New Audi Service Plan covering cars aged between three and five years and with engines of up to 2.0-litres (excluding hybrids) available to retail customers for a fixed price of £299
  • Plan covers next two consecutive services and brings significant savings compared with booking services individually
  • No age, time or mileage restrictions on when the services are claimed providing that they are the next two consecutive services

A new fixed price service plan for three to five-year-old Audi models is the latest evidence that the Vorsprung durch Technik brand is making real headway in its drive to more closely align pricing structures in its Audi Centre network with those of independent repairers, while retaining the all-important ‘Audi Difference’.

The Audi Service plan is available to retail customers for a fixed price of £299 including VAT, making it easier than ever before for owners to safeguard the optimal future value of their cars with a ‘full Audi service history’. Eligibility extends to all cars powered by TFSI petrol and TDI diesel engines of up to 2.0-litres in size (excluding hybrids) that are more than 36 months and less than 72 months from the date on which they were first registered.

Included as part of the plan are one major service and one oil change service, which combined would cost considerably more than the package price. There are no age, mileage or time restrictions affecting the validity of the plan, and it can also be transferred to a new owner if the vehicle is sold - the only stipulation is that the services must be claimed as the next two consecutive scheduled fixtures in the car’s service regime.

Tasks included as part of the Audi Centre major service include an oil and oil filter change, cleaning, and if necessary replacement, of the air filter, replacement of the spark plugs or diesel fuel filter if required and a full vehicle inspection and road test.

Where an Audi authorised technician concludes that replacement parts are required during the service, Audi can offer highly competitive prices that are fixed nationally for frequently replaced components such as brake pads and cambelts. These are extra cost items that are not included in the service plan.

24-hour online booking

Once the Audi Service Plan has been purchased, customers using the majority of the UK’s Audi Centres can visit the 'Owners Area' to schedule in a service with their local Audi Centre in just a few clicks.

This latest offer, which supplements the fixed cost service plans already available for brand new Audi models at the point of sale, is just one of the added value features that combine to make ‘The Audi Difference’. The cornerstones of this initiative are a set of standards that Audi UK has agreed with its network teams across the UK that, as the name suggests, set Audi Centres apart.

These include everything from the offer of a free vehicle health check conducted with the benefit of the very latest Audi software updates whenever required, through to the option of car collection and return for service and maintenance jobs, and useful features such as complimentary MOT protection, on-site tyre sales and fitting and revolutionary Audi cam video-based diagnoses of work required. Behind all these advantages is of course a network of people equipped with unparalleled knowledge of the intricacies of every Audi model.

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Huge 18-inch high-performance wave brake discs sit behind the standard 20-inch alloy wheels. The brakes deliver truly impressive stopping power whenever required.

The high-gloss black-painted brake callipers – with the RS logo – grip the front vented disc brakes with six-piston fixed callipers. At the back 300mm vented disc brakes stop the car in a balanced, safe and highly effective way.

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