Audi Cabriolet Model Overview
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Audi Cabriolet Overview
Solid German engineering, classic muted styling, and staid sophistication would seem to rule out any time for spirited fun. Enter the Audi Cabriolet, which hit the U.S. market in 1994. A solid, stylish, and sophisticated automobile, this two-door convertible was a kick to drive. It has held up well over the years, and owners today say they still get comments about their little drop-top car.
Based on an Audi 90 platform, the Cabriolet wheelbase was actually about two inches shorter. It featured seating for four, and a convertible top that folded back under the rear seat out of sight. Though convertibles are meant for enjoying the summer air, the wind effect can be annoying, so Audi offered a noise-reducing windscreen that could be put up when the backseat was unoccupied. They also somehow designed the Cabriolet to be amazingly quiet when the top was up, a task that many convertibles find hard to accomplish.
Inside, though not chock-a-block with all the normal Audi bells and whistles, the Cabriolet was still comfortably luxurious. For a while, leather seats and trim were standard, as were power mirrors, power locks and windows, and air conditioning. Special packages added such features as heated locks and seats (to keep your bum toasty in the winter wind), sports seats, and wood trim.
The Audi Cabriolet never sold particularly well in the U.S. as a stand-alone, though Cabriolet trims on other Audi models continued to be offered. It's hard to say why, since owners seemed to love not only its looks, but its precise, sturdy handling and excellent braking. Gas mileage, too, wasn't stellar, but wasn't terrible. Perhaps it was an inadequate powertrain for such a large convertible -- the 2.8-liter V6 and 4-speed automatic combination never changed over the course of the Cabriolet's brief lifespan.