The summer is fast approaching and to ensure that we can have the open-top motoring experience which is such a necessity for summer driving in Ireland, Audi have fixed a March date for the arrival of the new open-top A3 Cabriolet. It’s billed as the premium option in the compact class and matches the genes of the A3 range, including harmonious elegance and coupe-like sportiness. In appearance, it has a face dominated by the now-familiar single-frame grille. Headlights are an eye-catching feature with daytime running lights formed by a strip of seven white light-emitting diodes. Rear lights are fibre optic. Its lightweight fabric top is available in semi-automatic and fully automatic versions are available. It can be opened hydraulically in just nine seconds and, when open, it takes up very little space. Standard features on Attraction models include ESP, Climatronic air conditioning, concert radio system, wind blocker, exterior chrome package, leather steering wheel, front centre armrest, Isofix preparation and 16′ alloy wheels. There are four four-cylinder engines to choose from – two TFSI petrol and two TDI units – all direct injection with turbo charging delivering performance in the 105 bhp to 200 bhp range. Petrol models, both with six-speed manual transmission, consist of a 1.8 TFSI, 160 bhp unit with a 0-100 km/h speed of 8.3 seconds and a top speed of 218 km/h and a 2.0 TFSI, 200bhp unit – voted ‘Engine of the Year’ – with a 0-100 km/h of 7.3 seconds and top speed of 231 km/h. S-tronic transmission is also available. Diesel versions consist of a five-speed manual 1.9 TDI, 105bhp unit with 0-100km/h speed of 12.3 seconds and top speed of 185 km/h and a new six-speed manual 2.0 TDI, 140 bhp version with 0-100 km/h speed of 9.9 seconds and top speed of 204 km/h. Prices begin at €38,800 (ex works) for the 1.9-litre TDI followed at €42,100 for the 1.8-litre TFSI, €43,300 for the 2.0-litre TDI and €46,900 for the 2.0-litre TFSI.