Volkswagen has announced UK pricing and spec details for its new T-Roc Cabriolet – the only crossover on sale with a fully convertible roof.
Available to order now with deliveries getting under way later in the year, the T-Roc Cabriolet starts from £26,750 in Design trim with a 113bhp turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol engine. Standard kit includes sat-nav, climate control, adaptive cruise control and Front Assist with pedestrian monitoring.
Stepping up to R-Line trim increases the price to £31,920, bringing 19in alloy wheels, VW's Active Info Display digital instruments, LED headlights, sports seats, a bodykit and 20mm lower sports suspension.
The other engine option is a 1.5-litre turbo petrol unit with 148bhp. It can be ordered with a six-speed manual gearbox or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Claimed to bring an “extroverted and emotive design” to the brand’s range, the T-Roc Cabriolet indirectly replaces the Golf and Beetle cabriolets and will bear the burden of being the only drop-top Volkswagen for the foreseeable future.
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Far from chopping the roof off a standard T-Roc, the cabriolet’s body and structure are mostly new, with 37mm added to the wheelbase and a 34mm increase in overall length. As well as having no rear doors and a unique rear end design, there is structural strengthening in the underbody, windscreen frame, side panels, cross members and doors. Engineers are confident that the cabriolet would achieve a similar five-star score as the hard-top T-Roc in Euro NCAP crash tests.
The soft-top itself features a mechanism similar in concept to the outgoing Golf Cabriolet’s, with the roof stowing in an exposed compartment above the boot rather than under a panel. This allows it to be one of the fastest-opening roofs on sale, retracting in just nine seconds via a switch on the centre console or the key at vehicle speeds of up to 19mph.
The T-Roc Cabriolet’s roof design is also space efficient, allowing for two usable rear seats with enough leg and head room for six-footers to be comfortable on short journeys and a well-shaped 284-litre boot (161 litres down on the hard-top). VW claims noise levels are kept low by specially developed door and roof seals.
VW has yet to release official performance and efficiency figures or confirm the kerb weight of either variant. There are no plans for diesel engines to be offered.
Options will include a wind deflector, mounted over the rear seats, that stows in its own compartment under the boot floor.
Q&A with Jurgen Stackmann, VW board member for sales, marketing, aftersales
There’s lots of talk about this car being an expression of Volkswagen’s emotive side, rather than a pure business decision. Is that the case?
“The concept only has reason to exist because of that. The convertible is the ultimate expression of emotional mobility. It’s got lost in the last few years. The [sales] momentum for convertibles is over. “The opportunity to combine what people really want now – a C-UV [C-segment utility vehicle] – with a cabriolet that has a long-standing tradition in the Volkswagen brand was a great opportunity. For us, it had to look good, so we decided after seeing the first prototype to build it. From a rational side, you would never go into the cabriolet market.”
Will this be the only convertible model from Volkswagen that we’ll be seeing for now?
“Purely from a convertible point of view, that’s our car. It’s meant to please customers in the UK and Germany [the two biggest drop-top markets]. If there’s anything ‘open’, it’ll be very different. It’ll be things we’ve discussed like the ID Buggy.”
Will you do an R version of the T-Roc Cabriolet?
“R is about high power, high performance and four-wheel drive, and we don’t think any of those are right for this. It would have very limited appeal on the market, so we won’t.”
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