We could sense that Volkswagen has some big plans for the new T-Roc compact SUV. In fact, on February 23, they announced that a cabriolet version is on its way to be produced in 2020. It will essentially be a convertible version of a new SUV that has not been established in the market.
A lot of us were actually surprised at the fact that Volkswagen announced this and the fact that they are coming out with a model that has a non-existent history of open roof crossovers.
Having said that, nothing is stopping the automaker from investing €80 million to bring the drop top T Roc to production. In the United States, that’s more or less $100 million. And this money will go the company’s Osnabrück plant where the convertible crossover will be produced. We have not actually heard of any details regarding the said model, but as you could see, the rendering depicts a two-door version of this folding hardtop.
CEO Dr. Gerbert Diess says that Volkswagen is turning into an SUV brand, and the T Roc is starting to set standards in the compact SUV segment. They also said that the addition of the T-Roc is akin to adding a highly emotional model to the range.
There haven’t been plenty of attempts for an SUV to be chopped into a convertible. We assume that Volkswagen is aware of the last time a manufacturer attempted to inject a convertible’s DNA into an SUV. The Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet ended its run prematurely and we believe that its awkward look played a major role. The SUV had a limited storage space and it had small rear seats.
Overall, it didn’t feel like it was an SUV. At the same time, it didn’t also stand out as a convertible because of its sluggish performance and terrible rigidity. Though it did have more ground clearance than the average drop top, and it had an all wheel drive that lets it handle forest trails better than a Mazda Miata, there are obvious reasons why the model did not last more than four years in the market.
It has been proven that consumers nowadays are purchasing more SUVs and crossovers than before, and we get why automakers are looking into something different to stand out in the crowd. The biggest question here though is whether modern day SUV buyers are also into convertibles - as those are two different things. We did see that this did not work for Nissan, but who knows, Volkswagen might create a hit out of the new drop top T-Roc.