The Audi Cabriolet was a two-door convertible available from 1991 to 2000. Other Audi vehicles, including the 2022 Audi A5, come in cabriolet convertible offerings, but this article for uses on the Cabriolet model itself. It was internally known as the Typ 8G.
Audi Cabriolet Design and Introduction
Constructed on the Volkswagen Group B3 platform, the Audi Cabriolet was Audi’s step into the world of soft-top convertible vehicles after a long pause. The last soft-top convertible vehicle they made was the Auto Union 1000 Sp made in 1959. It shared most parts and design as the Audi B3 Coupe, but had to go through extensive redesign to allow for the convertible top while maintaining structural rigidity. The front windshield was reinforced and negated the need for an independent roll bar, giving the convertible an expansive opening for the driver and passengers to feel the wind and sun. It kept the majority of suspension components as the B3 Coupe, including the MacPherson struts, coil springs, and sway bar, but was never offered in the famous Audi Quattro four-wheel option. It was front-wheel drive and had a 5-speed manual transmission. Vented front disc brakes and standard rear disc brakes were used for stopping power. The hood of the Cabriolet was similar to the B3 Coupe with its grille integrated into the hood itself. The soft-top roof could be rolled down and stored in a sealed compartment just behind the seats. The notchback-like design also featured a small trunk, capable of handing a bit of luggage but nothing extraordinary.
Engine and Performance
The engine used in the first Audi Cabriolets was a 2.3L 10v inline-5 with 133 horsepower. It was a reasonable engine with around 31 mpg, but wasn’t focused on complete performance. It could go 0 to 62 mph (0 to 100 km/h) in 12.9 seconds and had a top speed of 116 mph. In 1993, some other engines used in the B3 Coupe were extended as options for the Cabriolet, including the 2.0L inline-4 with 140 horsepower and 2.6L V-6. These changes allowed for a moderate increase to performance without destroying the overall economic aspect of fuel mileage. The Cabriolet was introduced to the United States market in 1993, featuring a different 2.8L V-6 engine that produced 174 horsepower. Its production span for the US market lasted only until 1998 and resulted in a total of 5,445 units for that market in particular. The US did not show demand for this soft-top convertible from Audi. But other markets still showed demand for the Cabriolet and production continued. In 1997, the Audi Cabriolet featured various changes including bumper and headlight redesigns and a rounder grille. It also received an upgraded engine to replace the 2.0L. It was now a 1.8L 20v inline-4 that was also used in the new Audi A4 model.
Special Variants and Total Sales
A special edition variant of the Audi Cabriolet was released in Europe in 1997. This upgraded model, known as the Audi Sunline, included an array of luxurious features like air conditioning, all-leather seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and larger wheels. These components were later incorporated into a Final Edition model in 1999 to the end of production in 2000. In total, 71,350 units of the Audi Cabriolet were produced before the end of the run. Audi took a small pause in the world of convertible four-seaters, but in 2002 the Audi A4 built on the B4 platform was released in a Cabriolet variant. In the meantime, people who wanted a convertible option from Audi could look toward the smaller Audi TT, which proved to be an extremely popular car.