Volkswagen will unveil something close to unique in the SUV world at the upcoming Frankfurt motor show - a convertible crossover. In fact, thanks to the demise of the old Range Rover Evoque Convertible, this new T-Roc Cabriolet can count only the Jeep Wrangler as a potential off-roading rival.
Frankfurt motor show debut
Due to be shown off at the Frankfurt motor show in September, the T-Roc Cabriolet will likely have its launch overshadowed by that of the all-electric ID hatchback at the same event, hence why Volkswagen is giving it a publicity push now. Sales will start in early 2020, although not for Ireland - Volkswagen Group Ireland has confirmed that the T-Roc Cabriolet won’t be coming here. Which is, let’s face it, probably a sensible decision.
Roof opens in nine seconds
The fully electric roof can be opened in just nine seconds, which is impressively quick, and the mechanism works at speeds of up to 30km/h. Behind the rear seats, there's a chunky roll-over protection bar that pops up to protect the occupants if it detects that the T-Roc is about to Roc and roll over, while the windscreen frame has been reinforced too, to provide further upside-down protection. There's also a massive, black, ducktail spoiler out the back to try and smooth out the airflow.
Optionally, the T-Roc Cabriolet comes with the new MIB3 infotainment system, which includes a built-in SIM card, so the system is 'always on' and connected to the internet. The infotainment screen can be specced up to eight inches across, while there's also the option of the 11.7-inch digital cockpit instrument display (Volkswagen seems to have adopted Audi's nomenclature, there).
1.0 and 1.5-litre engines
So far, just two specifications have been announced - Style and R-Line. Style will include "a focus on design and individual flair" says Volkswagen, while R-Line "is resolutely sports-oriented" which we think means a bodykit and chunky alloy wheels. Standard kit on both will include fog lights, sports suspension, and speed-dependent power steering.
Just two engines are available for now. You'll have a choice of Volkswagen's 1.0-litre turbo triple petrol, with 115hp, or the four-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol with 150hp. A seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox will, of course, also be available (although, as we said, not in Ireland).