As with most convertible offerings, the S3 Cabrio’s price tag places it above its stablemates, which start at $59,990 for the hatch and $62,200 in sedan form.
All three models are powered by Audi’s 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, which produces 210kW (an MY15 update from the earlier 206kW figure) and 380Nm of torque.
(Fans - and detractors - will be aware that the S3 models deliver a meatier 221kW in overseas markets, but Audi has yet to confirm if it will ever get past the “hot weather market” line that keeps Australian outputs at their current figure.)
Likewise, all three styles in the S3 range send power to Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system, but while the hatch can be had with a six-speed manual, the Cabrio and Sedan are limited to a six-speed dual-clutch auto.
Audi says the S3 Cabrio will hit 100km/h in 5.5 seconds, making it a tad slower than its hardtop siblings - a common outcome for any convertible (being a little heavier, thanks to additional body bracing).
Top speed is listed at 250km/h, and fuel consumption is listed at 7.1 l/100km.
Like the regular A3 Cabriolet, the topless S3 gets an electric fabric roof that can retract in 18 seconds.
The retractable roof arrangement means 285 litres of storage in the boot when the roof is in place, and 245 litres when retracted.
As a convertible, the S3 Cabrio also gets active rollover protection.
The new special is rounded out by sports suspension and enhanced steering, along with the usual assortment of S-specific styling and interior trim features.
Audi’s S sports suspension is standard, bringing sharper springs and dampers, along with a 25mm lower ride height.
There’s also 18-inch alloys, xenon headlights with LED daytime lights, dual-zone climate control with rear vents, satnav with touchpad input, parking assist with front and rear sensors, and a reversing camera.
Audi’s $4990 S Performance pack is also available, adding Magnetic Ride Control, red brake calipers, LED headlights, diamond-stitch leather seat trim and 14-speaker 705W Bang & Olufsen audio.