Glastonbury wellies are packed away, Wimbledon is running to schedule and there’s an abundance of red shoulders on show: yes, the English summer has finally arrived and it’s here to stay (for at least a day or two).
What better time then to open the order books for the new Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet which is back after a nine year absence and in better shape than ever. Diesel prices for the new model range from £22,205 to £23,245. First shown earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show, the new two-door, four-seater, front-engined soft top joins the range alongside the Eos hard-top convertible. It is fitted as standard with an electrically-powered fabric roof which can be lowered in just 9.5 seconds including on the move at speeds up to around 18 mph. No separate roof cover is needed, contributing to the very rapid opening time, and resulting in less bootspace intrusion and meaning that even with the roof down, there is 250 litres of available space.
The Golf Cabriolet is around 20 cm shorter than the Eos, measuring 4,215 mm in length, 1,424 mm in height and 1,779 mm wide. The 2,578 mm wheelbase (same as Golf hatchback) ensures there is plenty of interior space for all four passengers, while a 50:50 split/folding rear seat and Easy-Entry function ensure maximum practicality and good access to the rear.
At the front, the grille and bonnet make the new soft-top model clearly identifiable as a Golf; however from the heavily raked windscreen back, it’s all new, giving a sportier appearance. At the rear, new lights plus a deep crease in the bootlid are distinctive design features. 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 compromised in the cabriolet version. These include reinforced window frames and structural modifications to the underbody, side panels, cross-members and doors to endow the new car with an extremely high level of torsional rigidity. Also benefiting refinement is the design of the fabric roof which has an additional exterior skin, as well as new window and door seals. Safety has always been a Golf attribute and the Cabriolet is no different in this respect. An active rollover protection system is employed, ABS, ESP and front and side head/thorax airbags are also all standard.
The new Golf Cabriolet will be available with a 1.6-litre TDI 104bhp with two further diesels to be offered later in the year. DSG automatic transmission will be offered while BlueMotion Technology modifications will be applied to the diesel engines to ensure high efficiency and low emissions.
Two trim levels will be offered in diesel guise – S and SE – and all will have a high level of standard specification, featuring 16-inch alloy wheels, and Bluetooth among other items. Moving up to SE, features such as 2Zone climate control, cruise control, parking sensors and automatic lights are added.
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 Osnabrück (formerly the Karmann company) in Germany. Order books open tomorrow, 1 July, with the first customer deliveries due to take place at the start of September.