Audi A3 Cabriolet Minds the Gap – Parking Assist

Posted on 8 August, 2008

Audi A3 Cabriolet Minds the Gap - Parking Assist
New Parallel Park Assist system available now for all A3 Cabriolet models uses ultrasonic sensors to seek out suitable parking spaces, alerts the driver via the in-dash Driver’s Information System (DIS) and then steers the car automatically into the space in one manoeuvre
Priced at £725 for Sport and S line versions fitted with DIS, and £925 for standard models which also require upgrade to DIS
A3 Cabriolet range priced from £19,995 OTR for the new 1.6 model to £27,060 OTR for the 2.0 TFSI S line
Three specification levels – Standard, Sport (£1,850 premium over standard) and S line (£1,550 premium over Sport)
Standard specification includes alloy wheels, semi-automatic hood operation, air conditioning, powered windows and mirrors and a CD audio system
Sport and S line models incorporate a fully automatic acoustic hood and wind deflector which can be lowered in just 9 seconds and raised in 11 at speeds of up to 19mph

The new Audi A3 Cabriolet is already adept at getting its driver out of a tight spot thanks to a powered roof which can shrug off sharp showers in as little as 11 seconds, but it can now also find its way into one with the help of a new Parallel Park Assist feature. This sophisticated urban stress reliever is available right across the A3 Cabriolet range, which is priced from £19,995 OTR for the new 1.6 petrol model to £27,060 OTR for the 2.0 TFSI S line.

Working in conjunction with the A3 Cabriolet’s sophisticated in-dash Driver’s Information System (DIS) – a standard feature of Sport and S line versions – the new Parallel Park Assist system is available as an optional extra costing £725, or £925 in combination with the £200 option of DIS for standard models.

Using ultrasonic sensors, the system monitors longitudinal parking spaces at speeds below 19mph, and if it detects that a space is sufficiently large to reverse into, the driver is alerted via the DIS. If the driver then engages reverse gear and touches the accelerator pedal, the Park Assist system takes over the electromechanical steering and automatically steers the car into the space in one manoeuvre. The driver can hand over complete control of the steering wheel to the car, and only has to operate the accelerator, the clutch and the brake for obvious safety reasons. Audible chimes which increase in frequency depending on proximity to cars in front and behind allow the driver to position the car perfectly in the space once the ‘hands-free’ steering input has been completed.

Wide engine choice
Power for the A3 Cabriolet range comes courtesy of five responsive petrol engines, including the 1.6-litre 102PS four-cylinder petrol which has just been introduced, the 160PS 1.8 TFSI petrol and the 200PS 2.0 TFSI petrol, and in the diesel camp the 105PS 1.9 TDI and the 140PS 2.0 TDI with common rail piezo fuel injection. These are combined with either a five or six-speed manual gearbox, depending on version, or the option, for all models bar the 1.6 and 1.9 TDI, of the acclaimed six-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission.

Practicality has been considered as carefully as optimum performance, the A3 Cabriolet not only converting to topless mode and back extraordinarily rapidly, and at speeds of up to 19mph, but also comfortably accommodating four passengers without ruling out impressive luggage capacity that is expandable thanks to the standard split/fold rear seat. An ingenious Z-fold mechanism eliminates the need for a deep stowage compartment for the roof within the body of the A3 Cabriolet, and therefore also eliminates the compromise in boot space that is often required.