Just when you thought there weren’t any more niche-markets left, Volkswagen has introduced a supermini-crossover-cabriolet… Meet the new convertible T-Roc. This will be the only mainstream crossover on the market that comes with a fully convertible fabric roof, setting itself as the only contender for buyers if Volkswagen can drum up enough interest in this super-niche.
The T-Roc Cabrio steps into a void that Volkswagen have somewhat neglected. In recent years Volkswagen has ceased production of the Beetle Cabrio and Golf Cabrio models, so this T-Roc will be the only drop-top in the model lineup upon launch and there are no indications of any other fabric-roofed models entering the showrooms in the near future.
This isn’t just a regular T-Roc that Volkswagen has gone at with a saw. The process of developing and evolving the T-Roc has been pretty thorough and the vehicle has had to put on some notable size. The Cabrio model is a full 34mm longer than the standard T-Roc and, of course, the rear doors have been removed. To account for the loss of rigidity when removing the roof, Volkswagen has strengthened the door sills, undercarriage and windscreen frame to ensure the car is just as strong and stable as it’s hard-shelled sibling. Volkswagen is confident that all of this strengthening will ensure that the Cabrio model scores 5 stars in the Euro NCAP test, just like the regular T-Roc crossover.
So, more about that fabric roof. As you can see from the photos, the roof is nicely arched to ensure that occupant headroom isn’t compromised, that’s a good start. The roof itself will fold behind the rear seats into an open and exposed compartment, without any deployable covers concealing it. This not only saves weight but also saves time for the folding mechanism, which takes just 9 seconds and can be done at speeds of up to 19 mph using either the remote key or the button on the centre console.
Boot space is slightly hampered by the folding roof though but thankfully the standard T-Roc has plenty of luggage capacity to sacrifice. Although there are 161 fewer litres of space, there is still a pretty impressive 284 litres to operate with which will be more than enough for a weekly shop or a weekend getaway.
In terms of engines, Volkswagen has announced that upon launch the T-Roc Cabrio will be available with only two engines to choose from, both of which are petrol. There is a 1.0 litre 3-cylinder and a 1.5 litre 4-cylinder, but the power output and efficiency figures have not yet been announced.
Similarly, there are only two trim levels to choose from upon launch. The high-spec Design or the sporty-spec R-Line. Both of these will be great to look at while also offering a high level of equipment as standard.
The T-Roc Cabrio will be debuted in Frankfurt at the International Auto Show in September of 2019 before being launched in the UK in 2020. There is no price list announced just yet however Volkswagen has said that the starting price will be ‘well below £30,000’ so make of that what you will.
So, what do you reckon? Does it take your fancy or is the T-Roc Cabrio not quite your style? Let us know in the comments section below.