Volkswagen Golf R Cabriolet is already in the last stages of development, according to an Autocar report. It will start selling in the spring of 2013. This is the fastest drop-top Golf built so far. It is based on the existing Mk6 Cabriolet. But what makes the Cabriolet different from the Golf R hatchback is that it will be front-wheel drive only.
Volkswagen hasn’t yet released the official performance figures but it will probably be powered by the 261bhp 2.0-litre TSI unit from the Scirocco R, giving it an acceleration time of six seconds to go from zero to 62mph and a top speed of 155mph. It’s believed that a six-speed manual gearbox will be offered together with a DSG option.
The price list has yet to be officially announced. However, the £6000 premium for the Golf R hatchback over the GTI is expected to be reduced to about £4500, because of the Cabriolet's less expensive front-drive configuration. This would make the R Cabriolet have a price of about £34,000. Last year, Volkswagen unveiled a teaser of the production Golf R Cabrio at the Worthersee tuning show in Austria.
This concept is equipped with sports suspension and it also sits 25mm lower than the standard Cabriolet. The revisions likely to make it on the production model include 18in Talladega alloy wheels and ventilated discs with blue callipers. It will also be fitted with the usual Golf R attachments like the aluminium sill plates, carbonfibre trim, R badging and sports seats.
Volkswagen Golf R Cabriolet’s roof system was based 1:1 on other models of the lineup. Its electro-hydraulically operated soft top can be activated through a centralized switch on the center console. Even while driving at 30 kph, the top can be closed at 11 seconds or opened at 9 seconds. This function is done by generating pressure from two hydraulic pumps that are activated by a centralized switch. The development of this system was done to specifically ensure that noise is minimized by enclosing the hydraulic unit by insulation. The Golf Cabriolet’s soft top, on the other hand, is latched and unlatched automatically through an electromechanical locking mechanism.
Rollover protection system
When the car exceeds a predefined tilt angle or transverse acceleration in a short duration of just a fourth of a second, the rollover protection of the Cabriolet is activated and shoots up at the back of the rear headrests. The mechanism has two rollover modules consisting of a moveable and a fixed aluminum profile which is pre-tensioned through a spring.
The internal profile is fixed in its resting position through a solenoid or magnetic switch. When it is activated by the airbag controller as a response to an imminent rollover, the solenoid discharges the internal profile and opens the holding detent. When it shoots up, a supporting detent stops the inner profile from dropping by running over the toothed track connected to the inner profile.
Folding down the backrest of the rear seat
The design and build of the deployable modules was significantly smaller. Thus, it was possible to install a load-through provision and folding rear backrests even with the deployable system for rollover protection. This feature was also seen in the Beetle Cabriolet that is 526-millimeters wide and 381-millimeters high.