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The 2015 Audi A3 adds the A3 Cabriolet and Q3 to the family

The whole concept of the A3 cabriolet is wonderful because it is the best melding of man, his machine, and nature. Where else can any human experience a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 200 horsepower, the latest MMI infotainment system, and sun warming the body in soft leather other than in an A3? A neck-heating system and a wind deflector are part of the A3 cabriolet specifically for enjoyable rides watching the flowers bloom on a chilly spring day, or the leaves change and fall in late blustery autumn. With seating for four, large picnic days will be a staple, especially with the generous cargo space, for a convertible, of 10 cubic feet.

Under the open sky, gliding with the Magnetic ride adjustable suspension, driver and passengers are able to enjoy a ride that adapts to the road, rather than reacting because it takes only milliseconds to adjust to road conditions; not very different than the way birds catch and utilize air currents, which can clearly be seen when driving with the top down. The aluminum-finished windshield frame has rain-sensing wipers for those days the soft-top has to be up. The aluminum-finished beltline strip also frames the passengers with the same striking hallmark as it did the first time back in the 1990's. The wipers, and piercing LED headlights aren't the only form of technology in the A3 cabriolet, techies can ogle the entirety of the MMI infotainment system. Today, what dashboard could be considered complete without 4G LTE connectivity for Google Maps integration and other internet-type functions, and a 705-watt, 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, and an Audi “phone box.” What this new retro throwback name redefines the use of a “phone box” because it allows the driver to drop the phone into the center bin under the armrest, and have the car boost the cell signal using an antenna embedded in the rear glass. What else would be the epitome of suave vibrance other than wholly understanding, and appreciating, the cliché of “the wind through your hair” when enjoying the A3 cabriolet?

All the beautiful amenities of the A3 have been taken note of by the professional and sporty, and included in the five passenger Q3 with pricing starting at around the low $30,000 range. This new and young crossover has all the potential options needed, some highlights are the ever-useful Audi MMI navigation plus system with a 7.0-inch display, Audi connect WiFi and Google Voice search will be also be available, a Driver Assistance package with parking aids and a backup camera, a powered tailgate, and a Bose sound system with 14 speakers to enjoy a favorite artist, radio show, or a friend’s phone call. But no luxury compact can be without the Q3’s cargo space of 48 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down (16.2 cubes with the seats up), plus standard heated 12-way power front seats, large panoramic sunroof, LEDs for daytime running lights, taillights, and interior lighting with room for five. In fact, so many premium features will come standard on the Q3 that that is one of the things that will set the Audi Q3 apart from the competition.

Standard driving options are anything but ordinary or “standard” for the Q3. Whether it be on the beaten path to and from the office, or off-road all together, the speed dependent electronic power steering provides optimal control at all speeds and degrees of turns so the Q3 can hold the road well. The driver is able to adjust handling and throttle response at the touch of a button with the Audi drive select system as well. The direct injected, turbocharged four-cylinder, 6-speed automatic transmission is the little monster of an engine that powers all of the standard driving options. The Q3 crossover gallops along with a 2.0L at 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. There is certainly a lively acceleration and enough low-end muscle to easily complete all the tasks needed.

The Q3 is a true utility vehicle that properly and very elegantly balances work and play. Smooth and well controlled, it is the right vehicle for narrow city streets, open highways, and some off-roading.

Whether it is enjoying the outdoors with the roof down with the A3, or trekking through it with the Q3, both vehicles keep the element of professional style along with adventure. After all, why pick one side if you can “define the way you drive?”