LONDON – Volkswagen will sell a GTI version of its Golf Cabriolet across Europe for the first time.
The Golf GTI Cabriolet will be unveiled at the upcoming Geneva auto show.
VW has never marketed a soft-top Golf GTI across Europe before. The first generation Golf Cabriolet had a GTI version from 1984, but it was only sold in the UK.
Asked about the change of heart for the latest generation, a VW spokesman said: "Both the Golf Cabriolet and the Golf GTi have been so well received that it was logical to put them both together."
Based on the year-old, third-generation Golf Cabriolet, the GTI version has the same turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine as the Golf hatchback, offering 211 hp.
The Golf GTI Cabriolet accelerates to 100 km/h within 7.3 seconds. With the roof up, it has a top speed of 237 km/h
Drive is sent through a standard six-speed manual or optional six-speed dual-clutch gearbox to the front wheels.
Distinguishing the car from standard versions of the Golf cabriolet already on sale in Europe is a new front bumper with a characteristic honeycomb grille, vertically staked fog lamps and LED-imbued headlamps.
Further changes include wider sills underneath the doors, a deeper rear bumper with integrated diffuser elements, chromed tailpipes and 17-inch wheels in Volkswagen's familiar Denver design, shod with 225/45 profile tires.
Inside, the cabriolet receives typical GTI touches, including checkered seat fabric, stainless-steel-capped pedals, reworked instruments and traditional red stitching for the steering wheel, gearlever cover and handbrake.
Sales will start in summer, with prices revealed nearer the time. The car will not be sold in the United States.
Greg Kable contributed to this story