Why have two similarly sized convertibles when the market is already small?
The convertible market has always been small and it’s not getting any bigger. Convertible buyers are a particular bunch, and automakers know they need many additional vehicles in their respective lineup to pick up the slack for low convertible sales. Take a look at Audi, for example. In the US, it sells two similarly sized convertibles, the TT and A5, and now it appears both may be on the chopping block. According to the German language site Autobild, the TT and A5 convertibles could be dropped in favor of merging them into a single model.
What will that model be? Perhaps we can call it the A4 Cabrio, based off the A3. But wait. Hasn’t this car already been built and, subsequently, discontinued? Yes, and Audi thinks the business case is there to bring it back, only at the expense of the TT and A5 cabrios. Utilizing the MQB platform that underpins dozens of VW branded vehicles, the new cabrio would switch from the expensive longitudinal engine layout to the less expensive transverse architecture the MQB offers. That means the new convertible would be smaller than the A5. The A4 Cabrio, assuming that’s what it’d be called, would be about the size of two of its most serious rivals, the BMW 4 Series Convertible and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet.
It’ll also cost less than the A5 by over $10,000. Even more interesting is that the car will be engineered to one day offer electrification, meaning a plug-in hybrid could be available from the get-go and a full-on EV somewhere down the line. Despite this report making an awful lot of sense, no source from within Audi was provided. It could just wind up being a rumor, but we’ll be on the lookout for any follow-up information.