Volkswagen introduces new Golf GTI Cabriolet

Article by Andrew Christian, on February 29, 2012

Volkswagen has released images of the Golf GTI Cabriolet online for the first time. The vehicle has the practicality and performance of the GTI hatchback. With the electrical-powered fabric roof which folds away in only 9.5 seconds, the vehicle provides the thrill of open-air driving for four people even while running at 18 mph maximum.

The Golf GTI Cabriolet also has visually all the design hints of a classic GTI. The front bumper integrates unique vertical fog lights and a deep honeycomb air dam. A honeycomb structure is also present in the radiator grille and comes with red edging and the GTI badge.

A chrome tailpipe frames a tailored back diffuser on either side. Meanwhile, the side sill extensions provide the GTI with a well-planted, wide stance. Completing the appearance is the smoked LED tail lights. The latest vehicle has 17-inch 'Monza' alloys as standard wheels just like on the GTI hatchback.

It also has a fully automatic, insulated roof, housing four seats individually covered in the classic tartan 'Jacara' cloth upholstery. One could also choose the optional 'Vienna' leather upholstery.

The custom-made GTI multifunction steering wheel, gear lever gaiter and handbrake are clad in leather with contrasting red stitching. The facia and doors are accented with black 'Edge' decorative inlays. The pedals have brushed stainless steel caps.

The roof pillar trims and hood lining are finished in black. The vehicle uses the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that the GTI hatchback has. This powerplant is matched with either an optional six-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox or a standard six-speed manual gearbox, producing 210 PS.

The vehicle can sprint to 62 mph from a standstill in 7.3 seconds for both transmissions, compared with the 6.9 seconds for the hatch. Top speed is at 147 mph, compared to the 146 mph for the DSG. Maximum torque of 206 lbs ft (280 Nm) is obtainable between 1,700 rpm and 5,300 rpm, at which maximum horsepower is achieved. The wide torque range aids in making the GTI an exceptional cruiser.

Even at low revs in a high gear, the torque reserves make the performance of GTI easy to tap into. Helping in making sure that the power is easily transferred to the road are the standard EDS electronic differential and XDS transverse differential locks. Safety is as important as performance.

Just like any of the Golf Cabriolet models, the GTI has automatically deploying rollover protection, a driver's knee airbag and front and side head/thorax airbags as standard. These features assisted the vehicle in achieving the 96%, five-star rating in Euro NCAP crash tests for adult occupancy.

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