First ever Golf GTi cabriolet revealed

Volkswagen launched the first Golf Cabriolet way back in 1980, and in the 32 years between then and now there’s never been a GTi version. Until now.

The first ever Golf GTi Cabriolet will be revealed next week at the Geneva motor show, with buyers now being given the chance to enjoy the pleasure of open-air motoring while behaving like hooligans thanks to the 210 bhp engine.

The engine is a 2.0 litre turbocharged unit as found in the current GTi hatchback, mated to either the standard six-speed manual gearbox or optional six-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox. As well as the high power output, it also develops 206 lbs/ft of torque, propelling the car from 0 to 62 mph in 7.3 seconds and continuing on to 147 mph.

A standard EDS electronic differential lock and XDS transverse differential lock help to ensure that the power is easily transferred to the road, while the wide torque band helps return a touring economy figure 37 mpg and CO2 emissions of 177 g/km.

The car has the traditional GTi design cues, including the honeycomb structure of the radiator grille, edged in red, with a deep honeycomb air dam and distinctive fog lights. Side sills bulk up the bodywork, and a rear diffuser and dark tail lights finish off the look. Standard, as on the hatchback, are the 17 inch Monza alloy wheels.

Under the roof, which takes just 9.5 seconds to open and can be operated at speeds of up to 18 mph, are four full size seats with the classic tartan cloth upholstery. The bespoke GTI multifunction steering wheel is wrapped in leather, as are the handbrake and gear lever gaiter, all finished with contrasting red stitching and finished off with contrasting brushed stainless steel pedals.

Safety is every bit as much a priority as performance. As with all Golf Cabriolet models, the GTI comes with automatically deploying rollover protection, front and side head/thorax airbags and a driver’s knee airbag as standard, all of which helped it to achieve a five-star rating for adult occupancy in Euro NCAP crash tests.

The Golf GTI Cabriolet goes on sale in the UK in the second half of the year. Prices and further specification details will be announced closer to the on-sale date.

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Phil is a motoring writer for print and web, failed racing driver, car hoarder and banger rally competitor. Nominated for the Headline Auto Rising Star award and a MGMW member, Phil freelances for outlets as diverse as Diesel Car magazine, DAD.info and Cambridge Magazine, amongst many others. He also maintains a fleet of unloved motors, but spends most of his time driving an old Corvette.

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