The Frankfurt Motorshow will open its doors tomorrow but Audi couldn't wait to unveil its new A3 Cabriolet ahead of the show.

As with its predecessor the new model is based on the hatch sibling. The new model has grown with a length that has increased from 4 240 mm to 4 420 mm and a width that is up from 1 770 mm to 1 790 mm. Lending a sleeker overall look is a height reduction of 15 mm to 1 410 mm. Good news for anyone that plans to use their A3 carbio as a people carrier is that the wheelbase has been stretched from 2 580 mm to 2 600 mm. Not only does this create more legroom but Audi has also endowed the boot area with an additional 60 dm3 of carrying capacity. Despite these increases, the car has shed a considerable 50 kg  compared to the model it replaces.

Audi bucks the trend of folding hard-top roofs and maintains a soft cloth top that can be opened or closed in less than 18 seconds at speeds of up to 50 km/h. An optional "acoustic top" can be specified. This boasts a thicker inner foam layer meant to reduce interior noise.

While Audi will be offering several engine/transmission options for overseas markets, the local line-up is likely to be fairly pared down, not dissimilar to the range that we saw with the outgoing cabrio models: two engine derivatives with either manual or automated transmissions.