Commercially, crossover-based cabriolets and open top SUVs haven’t been volume sellers for manufacturers who have been brave enough to make them, but that aspect doesn’t deter the adventurous.
The latest player to consider this specific model segment is Volkswagen which has recently confirmed plans to introduce a convertible crossover based on the recently-launched T-Roc crossover. It seems Volkswagen is playing with the idea of creating an open top model as a spiritual successor to its now discontinued Golf Cabriolet and EOS convertibles.
Company CEO Herbert Diess justified the move in a statement: “With the new cabriolet based on the T-Roc, we will be adding a highly emotional model to the range.” That may be a good sales pitch by Diess as in-house market research indicates 40 per cent of the company’s global sales will come from SUVs by 2020. Production of the model will begin in 2020. “Volkswagen is evolving into an SUV brand,” added Diess.
The teaser sketch suggests the model has similarities with the Golf Cabriolet with bigger wheels and a little bit more ground clearance. Meanwhile, T-Cross Breeze concept from 2016 gives a reasonable idea of what to expect.
The Wolfsburg-based firm is investing about US$100mn to develop the model and prepare its Osnabrück, Germany, factory to build about 20,000 units annually. Production of the MQB-based platform model will begin in 2020 and will be sold in select markets.