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Audi shows a mysterious last-gen A3 Cabriolet with six doors and eight seats

Pictures of a mysterious Audi A3 Cabriolet with six doors and no fewer than eight seats have surfaced online. We’d be a lot less surprised if this topless limo was the work of an independent body shop, but media outlets across Europe claim it was designed and built in-house by Audi.

The six-door A3 started life as a last-generation A3 Cabriolet, a model that was sent to the chopping block in 2013. It’s all but identical to its regular-production counterpart up front, but it is fitted with four extra frameless doors and two leather-upholstered bench seats sourced directly from the A3 parts bin. It doesn’t look like the stretched Cabriolet is fitted with a top.

There’s no mention of what the convertible is powered by. Similarly, whether it’s front-wheel drive or whether it boasts what’s likely to be the longest driveshaft ever fitted to a quattro-equipped car is up in the air.

Another big question mark surrounding Audi’s plus-sized convertible is why it was built. It looks like a parade car, and it even flies the flag of the Free State of Bavaria, the German region where Audi’s home town of Ingolstadt is located. However, it most likely wasn’t commissioned by the government recently because it’s based on a model that’s at least two years old, and we imagine pictures of this convertible would have gone viral instantly if it had appeared in an official parade in the past few months.

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A likely scenario is that the Cabriolet was built by a team of young apprentices as part of their training. Volkswagen Group apprentices have been known to build wild one-off models such as the Skoda Fabia FUNstar mini pickup, though none of them have been as extreme and jaw-dropping as this stretched A3.