Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet is soft-top kingBy Chris Walsh
February 01, 2012
The Volkswagen Golf, to my mind, has been the pinnacle of affordable family motoring for the last decade.
But what does it become when you chop off the roof?
Well, it simply becomes the pinnacle of soft-top motoring for the next decade.
That is how versatile the newGolf is.
First shown at last year’s Geneva Motor Show, the two-door, four-seater, front-engined soft-top joins the range in conjunction with the Eos hard-top convertible.
It’s fitted as standard with an electrically-powered fabric roof, which can be lowered in just 9.5 seconds and at speeds of up to 18mph.
Part of the reason for this is that no separate roof cover is needed to stow the hood, allowing the boot space to remain relatively untouched at 250-litres.
The Golf Cabriolet will be available with a choice of three engines at first – a 1.2-litre 104bhp, a 1.4-litre 158bhp and a 1.6-litre 104bhp diesel – but a further petrol and two more diesels will be offered later in the year.
DSG automatic transmission is also available, while BlueMotion Technology modifications will be applied to the diesel engines to ensure high efficiency and low emissions.
Three trim levels are present – S, SE and GT – and all will have a high level of standard specification, featuring 16in alloy wheels, and Bluetooth among other items.
The SE features 2Zone climate control, cruise control, parking sensors and automatic lights, whileat the top of the range, GT adds a number of new highlights, including sports suspension, Alcantara upholstery and 18in alloy wheels.
What can’t be seen from the outside are the differences that have been incorporated under the skin.
In changing the hatchback to a soft-top, modifications were made to ensure that safety, comfort and refinement were not compromisedin the cabriolet version.
These include reinforced window frames and structural modifications to the under body, side panels, cross-members and doors to endow the new car with a high level of torsional rigidity.
Also benefiting refinement is the design of the fabric roof, which has an additional exterior skin, as well as a new rear window and door seals.
At the front, the grille and bonnet make the new soft-top model clearly identifiable as a Golf but from the heavily-raked windscreen back, it’s all new.
At the rear, new lights plus a deep crease in the bootlid are some of the new distinctive design features.
With total sales of around 1.42 million units, Volkswagen is one of the world’s most successful producers of convertibles.
From 1979 to 2002, 684,000 Golf Cabriolets were sold.
The new model will be built at Volkswagen’s Osnabrück factory in Germany and prices start at around £21k.
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