In a bizarre move that has baffled many automobile enthusiasts, Audi has just confirmed the existence of a stretched version of its A3 Cabriolet sporting six doors and room for eight people including the driver.
The photos of the said vehicle are posted by Audi Germany's official Facebook page. The German automaker dubbed the model as the "Audi A3 Cabriolet XXL."
Upon closer inspection of the images, it can be noticed that the long A3 Cabriolet is fitted with a small flag of the Free State of Bavaria. This German region is home to Ingolstadt where Audi's headquarter is located.
The A3 Cabriolet XXL is reported to be based on the architecture of the current-gen 2016 A3 Cabriolet convertible. It sports an extended wheelbase in order to house extra rear car seats, two additional doors, and accommodate a total of eight people.
Photos of the strange Cabriolet show that the model does not appear have a roof, compelling some observers to assume that this is basically just a shuttle to transport a few VIP visitors in the company's Ingolstadt facility.
This new XXL creation is said to be just a one-off model created by Audi engineers as part of their training program. This is also not the first time that we see people from the Volkswagen-owned firm create some interesting automobile innovations. Earlier this year, the company's apprentices has built the Skoda Fabia FUNstar model. That vehicle is practically a cross between a small car at the front-half and a flatbed pickup on the other.
Obviously, the arrival of an 8-seater A3 Cabriolet raises more questions than answers. Audi did not share what engine the model is powered by or if it is a front-wheel drive or not. Given that the XXL version is based on the last-gen Cabriolet, we may presume that it is fitted with a modified version of either the convertible's 170-hp, 1.8-liter turbo-four engine or the slightly more powerful the 220-hp, 2.0-liter turbo-four engine.
It isn't clear whether Audi will indeed release this extra-long A3 Cabriolet XXL or will just use it for publicity purposes. Whatever decision they may come up with, let's just hope that Audi decides to furnish it with an equally long folding roof. Humor aside, the production of this highly modified Cabriolet only proves the advantages of Volkswagen's MQB platform.
In the unlikely scenario that the Audi A3 Cabriolet XXL reaches the market, it will definitely come with a heftier price tag than the 2016 A3 Cabriolet. Audi's pricing for the current Cabriolet ranges from $36,600 to $45,525.