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GERMAN FOR EXCELLENCE (some text hidden)
BY JONATHAN CROUCH
Introductionword count: 147
The Audi Cabriolet was one of those rare cars that found its second wind after a few years on sale, just like the Mazda MX5 did more recently. It arrived to a small audience of admirers, but its sales skyrocketed when a certain Princess (Diana) made one her personal transport. She and the car were filmed arriving at her gym, seemingly every night, on the evening news a few years back. For Audi, the publicity was worth a million TV commercials. It was a car that didn't really fit in with Audi's familiar Vorsprung durch Technik image. It had a relatively low count of technology (no quattro versions, for example) but what it did have was style with a capital 'S'. The mid-Nineties Diana-follower sales boom now means that well maintained examples are around in good numbers. For the used buyer, the choice has never been better.
Modelsword count: 27
Models Covered: Audi Cabriolet - 1992-to date (1.8 Cabriolet, 2.0 cabriolet [2.0E] / 2.3 5cy Cabriolet [2.3E] / 2.6 6cy Cabriolet [2.6E] / 2.8 6cy Cabriolet [2.8E])
Historyword count: 211
The Cabriolet was released in May 1992 as a 2.3-litre five-cylinder manual-only car. It sold well and was joined a year later by a cheaper 2.0-litre four-cylinder version, the 2.0E. The '2.6E' arrived in December 1993 and replaced the 2.3E. The only update was the standard fitment of a driver's airbag across the range in July 1994. In May 1996, a new 2.8-litre V6 arrived and this car was called '2.8E'. A 1.8-litre version replaced the 2.0-litre in March 1997. This is the excellent 20-valve unit used in the A6 of the day, as well as other Audi models. There was also an equipment upgrade, with new alloy wheels, a 'Delta' radio unit, leather upholstery and a driver's airbag all being added. The bigger-engined cars also received new alloys (16-inch on the 2.6 and 17-inch for the 2.8-litre cabrio) as well as a computerised 'autocheck' system for both six-cylinder cars. 'Final Edition' cars were announced late in 1999, heralding the eventual end of the line for Audi's old-shape drop-top. Equipment worth up to £3,450 was added for a price increase of no more than £350. All these cars have a power-operated hood and the V6 has Nappa leather upholstery. Final examples of this model can be found on late 1999 plates.
What You Getword count: 46
A great-looking and very well built cruise-mobile. With the roof down, the Cabrio cuts quite a dash and the way the soft-top folds away out of sight adds to the elegant stance. Performance is good too, especially if you go for the 2.6 or 2.8-litre versions.
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