Audi A3 Cabriolet

Audi has unveiled its A3 Cabriolet. Despite being seen in prototype form on U.S. soil earlier this year, Audi's press didn't have any mention of a U.S.-bound version of the A3 Cabrio. Sales of the drop top A3 will begin in February of 2008 in Germany.

Because the A3 Cabrio is a Euro-only car, powertrains will consist of two diesels and two gasoline units. Customers can choose from two TDI engines: a 1.9L -- rated at 105 horsepower -- and a 2.0L -- rated at 140 horsepower. Both powerplants are said to combined fuel economy north of 44 mpg.

Gasoline units will consist of a 1.8L TFSI -- outputting 160 horsepower -- and Audi's familiar 2.0L TFSI, generating an even 200 horsepower.

The 2.0L TDI and both TFSI engines can be mated to Audi's S Tronic dual-clutch gearbox -- formerly DSG -- with traditional manual transmissions available. All A3 Cabrios will be front-wheel drive.

Styling is typical Audi and is highlighted by a large, siingle framed grille upfront. The retractable soft-top can be had as a semi or fully automatic unit, with the fully automatic version receiving more sound insulation. According to Audi, the top can be raised or lowered at speeds up to 30 km/h and only impacts trunk space minimally.

While there are no plans to bring the A3 Cabrio to the U.S. initially, it could eventually find its way across the pond. If it doesn't, the recently shown Cross Cabriolet quattro concept could be an indication of a similar vehicle headed our way.