Volkswagen goes ultra-niche with two-door T-Roc soft-top.
If you like wearing a really big hat whilst driving your VW crossover, the German brand has made your potential driving experience that much more appealing with its latest cabriolet.
Although the folding fabric roof vehicle market is contracting, in lieu of customers choosing crossovers instead of cabriolets, VW has managed to combine both with its new T-Roc Cabriolet.
From the accompanying images, it is apparent that VW’s designers have done an excellent job of transforming the T-Roc from a metal to fabric roof vehicle, while also making it a two-door.
Only available in front-wheel drive, the cabriolet configuration has added 40mm of length to VW’s T-Roc. VW claims that it is a true four-seater cabriolet and although it only has two doors, there is a nod to practicality with ski-hatch load tunnel which opens through to the cabin when the rear seats are folded down.
The fabric roof takes 9 seconds to open and close but space in the load bay is compromised.
For the T-Roc Cabriolet, Volkswagen is releasing 2 exterior design packages, with the Style version being a touch subtler: featuring 17-inch wheels and dark plastic body cladding. Upgrade the T-Roc Cabriolet to R-Line trim and it looks more the part of a compact summer status car: rolling 19-inch wheels and featuring more body coded exterior finishes.
Powering the T-Roc cabriolet will be Volkswagen's 1- and 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engines. The smaller triple produces 85kW and 200Nm, whilst the larger four-cylinder engine is good for 110kW and 250Nm. 6-speed manual gearboxes are standard, with an option to upgrade to the convenience of a seven-speed dual-clutch.
How clever is the roof mechanism? Well, VW claims that it can open or close at speeds of up to 30kph and should take no longer than 9 seconds to retract – which is impressive.
The image appeal of VW’s crossover cabriolet does come at a sacrifice to the T-Roc luggage capacity. Whereas a five-door, metal roof T-Roc can carry 445-litres of gear in the back, the cabriolet’s capacity is reduced to 284-litres.
Volkswagen will be launching the T-Roc in South Africa in 2020 but VWSA has yet to confirm the arrival of the T-Roc Cabriolet on local soil.