Cars

Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet is only mainstream convertible SUV

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 standard crossover). VW claims noise levels are kept low by specially developed door and roof seals. 

Only two engines, both petrol, will be offered with the cabriolet at launch: a 113bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine and a 148bhp 1.5-litre four-cylinder unit. The 1.0 has a six-speed manual only, but the 1.5 can be mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. 

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. 

Two trims – Design and R-Line – will be available in the UK. Options will include a wind deflector, mounted over the rear seats, that stows in its own compartment under the boot floor. Prices will be announced next year, but bosses claim it will start from “well under” £30,000. 

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.” 

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