2013 Volkswagen GTI Convertible Revealed

GTI Convertible, front

tgriffith and I have been really banging on a few cars lately. He went after Kia earlier today, and on Monday I had a bit of fun at the expense of the Range Rover Evoque Convertible.

So I’m happy to show you a sharp convertible, not focused on style-conscious poseurs, but on those who like performance in the open air. And it does have style, just not layered on in slabs like the RREC.

This is the first convertible GTI to be offered in the car’s history, and it seems that VW got things right, mostly. The same engine powers both convertible and hatchback versions—a 2-liter inline 4-cylinder with 210 hp and 206 lb-ft of torque. This is sufficient to get you to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds in the convertible (0.4 seconds more than in the hatch). Some will say that isn’t fast enough.

GTI Convertible, interiorNo one has said whether those figures are achieved with the 6-speed manual or the 6-speed DSG automatic. Car and Driver says that “VW’s acceleration estimate is likely conservative by the better part of a second.” On what basis they make that claim we don’t know.

What is clear, however, is that the car will have a broad torque band—from 1,700 to 5,300 rpm—which will give it plenty of power for passing and jackrabbiting around those dumb chicks in the RREC.

No one has said what either car will cost, though it’s a safe bet that the VW will come in at around half of the RR’s price.

GTI Convertible, top upThe GTI Convertible is based on the Golf Cabriolet, with some slicker styling and a very GTI-styled interior. One downside is that the interior space, front and back, has been limited, along with the trunk.

But, geezo, you get a canvas top that folds in 9.5 seconds and can be operated at speeds up to 18 mph (at 20 mph, the car tips over) and doesn’t look bad when it’s up.

There are no plans pending to import it to the U.S. Yet others have said: “No confirmation on whether it will come to the United States.” It should.

Suppose Volkswagen decided to bring the GTI Convertible into the U.S. at around $26,000. Would you be interested?


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  1. They did a nice job on this one but in that price range, I’ll be looking at their TDI’s, like the Jetta.

  2. I wouldn’t be interested in buying, but it’s a smart-looking little car! I like the plaid seats. I like my convertibles a little more flashy. And RWD.

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