Spied: Should The Audi A3 Convertible Come To The U.S.?

Droptop A3 Appears Ahead Of Sedan's Debut.

Our spy shooters caught the next Audi A3 convertible testing in Europe. Although we know for certain that the A3 sedan will be sold in America, we can’t help but wonder whether Audi should also import this droptop A3.

The Audi A3 convertible prototype seen here clearly apes the look of its big brother, the A5. A rounded nose with squinty headlights and LED running lights, five-spoke alloy wheels, and a horizontal character line all resemble styling cues on the A5 convertible. Out back, the Audi A3 gets a subtle trunk lid spoiler, what appear to be LED taillights, and twin exhaust tips.

Our source tells us the new convertible is based on the Audi A3 sedan that will bow at this week’s New York auto show, rather than the hatchback already on sale in Europe. The convertible could debut publicly as soon as this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, we’re told. So far, though, there is no confirmation that the car will be sold in the U.S.

The last-generation Audi A3 convertible failed to immigrate Stateside, but at last year’s Geneva Motor Show, officials hinted that could change. Then Audi of America president Johan de Nysschen told us, “I would certainly like to see a comprehensive lineup for the A3 sedan that would include those halo models as well.” By “those halo” models, de Nysschen included the A3 convertible.

The new Audi A3 sedan will debut this week and is expected to use 2.0-liter turbodiesel and 2.0-liter turbo-four gas engines. It will ride on the same MQB flexible architecture as the new Volkswagen Golf. Later this year or early next year, Audi will also introduce a plug-in hybrid version called the A3 e-tron.

Should Audi build upon those models with a convertible? Within the Volkswagen Group range, it would provide a stepping stone between the Volkswagen Eos hardtop and the Audi A5 soft top. More broadly, it would create an affordable premium convertible that could steal sales from convertible versions of the BMW 1 Series. And if Audi is sincere in its stated goal to increase U.S.-market sales, adding another model can only help.

Would it make sense for Audi to import the next A3 convertible to the U.S.? Do you want a smaller droptop Audi in this country? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

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