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Audi to offer softer suspension as standard on A3

The offer comes as the A3 Cabriolet arrives in dealers and will be available across the complete line-up of eight A3 models.

Julie Salisbury, A3 and TT product manager for Audi UK, told news agency Headlineauto that she anticipates about half of all buyers will opt for the softer suspension, which is also expected to be made available on other Audi models.

Four out of every ten A3 buyers go for the top S-Line trim, which normally has its suspension lowered by 15mm (it is lowered by 25mm for those who specify sports suspension) but this firmer ride doesn't suit everyone, especially with the notorious state of the UK's roads, she said.

Cabriolet sales are expected to stay constant at around 3,400-4,500 a year and account for between 8 and 10% of A3 sales.

The arrival of the A3 cabriolet takes the total number of Audi models on sale in the UK to 48 from just six in 1998 and 17 in 2000.

Ben Fish, product marketing manager for Audi UK, said that growth was in response to customer demand ‘and being clever in certain niches. If we don't offer exactly what a customer wants, they will go elsewhere,’ he said, adding that every model Audi sells is profitable for both the dealer network and Audi. ‘We don't have a single model subsidising another one,’ he noted.

Prices for the new A3 Cabriolet range from £25,790 to £32,420; engines choices are 1.4 or 1.8-litre TFSI petrol or 2.0 TDI. 

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.