Call them cabriolets, convertibles, ragtops or drop-tops - cars that can go topless in a matter of seconds have always enjoyed a special appeal. For some, it's the extrovert glamour of piloting a pretty car for all to see. Others simply love the notion of wind-in-the-hair motoring. DEON SCHOEMAN braves the Highveld winter in Audi's latest cabriolet.
Winter is not the best time to test-drive a cabriolet, but that hasn't stopped Audi from launching the ragtop version of its latest-generation A3 in South Africa just as frost started biting Johannesburg's lawns, and rain washed away half of Cape Town.
The A3 Cabriolet happens to be the first convertible based on the VW Group's MQB platform, which underpins both the A3 and the Golf 7. Judging by the superior road manners of both those cars, this A3 Cabriolet should also be a top-class handler.
Considering we live in a sunshine-drenched country with a mild climate by European standards, you'd expect convertibles to be popular - and they are, although their appeal is perhaps more rooted in their exclusivity, and their reputation for glamour, than their ability to let the sunshine in at the push of a button.
And let's face it,...