Volkswagen hasn't built a true Golf Cabriolet since 2003, but that doesn't mean the company has abandoned the model. In fact, after an eight-year hiatus, an all-new Golf Cabriolet will debut next week at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.
Since it is based upon the Mark 6 Golf, the new Golf Cabriolet largely resembles a two-door Golf with a missing top. Designers did take the opportunity to slightly restyle the front end of the car, blessing it with a tweaked grille, LED daytime running lamps, and a steeper windshield rake. The interior is virtually identical to those used in standard Golf models, although one longtime Cabrio hallmark -- the fixed "basket bar" roll bar -- has been eliminated in favor of a pop-up device.
Unlike VW's other Golf-based convertible -- the Eos -- the Golf Cabriolet utilizes a traditional folding soft top. According to the automaker, the electro-hydraulic power top can be raised or lowered in just 9.5 seconds, and at speeds up to 18mph.
In Europe, Volkswagen will offer the Golf Cabriolet with a plethora of engines, including a 1.2-liter and a 1.4-liter I-4, along with a 1.6-liter turbo-diesel I-4. The Golf TDI's 140-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbo-diesel I-4 is also available, but buyers seeking GTI-like performance can always opt for the gasoline 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4, which places nearly 210 horsepower on tap.
Production is scheduled to begin in Onsabruck, Germany (ironically, in the former Karmann plant that previously built earlier Golf Cabrios) later this year, but Volkswagen's plans for the car in North America are still unknown. If the next-generation Beetle continues to be offered in a convertible guise, it may prove hard to squeeze three different drop-tops -- Beetle, Golf, and Eos -- into a single portfolio.
What say you? Should the Golf Cabriolet make the trip across the pond and into Volkswagen's U.S. showrooms? Sound off in the comments section below.