These are the first pictures of the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet, which has made its public debut at the LA motor show.

The Beetle Cabriolet features a soft-top which lowers in 9.5 seconds and can be operated at speeds up to 31mph. Unlike the car it replaces, the roof lies flat, improving rear visibility and providing a clean silhouette.

Seven engine options will be available, closely mirroring the hatchback model. A 103bhp 1.2-litre TSI petrol engine will be available from launch, with a Bluemotion Technology version soon after. A 158bhp 1.4 TSI and 197bhp 2.0 TSI will complete the petrol range. Diesel choices will include a 103bhp 1.6-litre TDI offered with or without Bluemotion Technology, and a 138bhp 2.0-litre TDI. Today's unveiling also showcased a 2.5-litre five-cylinder petrol engine, which will be for the US market only.

A Volkswagen spokesman confirmed the Beetle Cabriolet features the hatchback’s multi-link front and torsion beam rear suspension. Only the range-topping 2.0 TSI model will carry a more sophisticated four-link rear arrangement.

Like the Beetle hatchback, the Cabriolet will be built in Volkswagen’s plant in Puebla, Mexico, sharing the same platform as the Jetta, itself a modified version of the Golf Mk6 platform.

The Cabriolet is fitted with an active rollover protection system, featuring two extendable modules behind the rear seat backs. These are activated in the event of a rollover, via the airbag control unit. Volkswagen says the system will deploy in milliseconds, providing front and rear protection for all four occupants.

The new Beetle Cabriolet will start at $24,995 in the States. UK pricing has yet to be confirmed, though it is expected Cabriolet models will attract a premium of between £2500 to £3000 over the hatchback, with the first deliveries arriving next summer.