By on February 26, 2018

You’ve no doubt read about how demand for the defunct Nissan Murano Crosscabriolet will surely fund the retirements of those willing to let go of their beloved vehicles. In the wake of that model’s cancellation, only a single drop-top crossover remained: the Range Rover Evoque Cabriolet.

Well, not for long. Volkswagen has announced its newest crossover, the Golf-based T-Roc, will give fans of this peculiar segment a cheaper option. The T-Roc, which sported a targa top and two-door layout when it first appeared in concept form in 2014, converted to a typical four-door hardtop when launched last year. Now, there’ll be a two-door soft-top arriving for 2020.

Arriving, we should point out, an ocean away. VW has different plans for North American consumers, and you can bet on it not having an open-air option.

Production of the T-Roc Cabriolet should start up at the company’s Osnabrück assembly plant at the end of the decade. There’s no shortage of experience in building convertibles at Osnabrück, either — the long-gone Golf Cabriolet and original Beetle soft-top once rolled out of that facility.

The company anticipates production of 20,000 convertible variants each year. Many will probably go to the UK — a damp country that buys lots of convertibles, for some reason.

“Volkswagen is evolving into an SUV brand. The T-Roc is already setting new standards in the compact SUV segment,” said VW brand chief Herbert Diess in a statement. “With the cabriolet based on the T-Roc, we will be adding a highly emotional model to the range.”

Those looking for compact crossover emotion in the U.S. or Canada will have to satisfy themselves with the older, smaller Tiguan (rebilled the “Tiguan Limited” after the launch of the largest, next-generation Tiguan) until VW figures out what to build for buyers on this side of the pond. It was anticipated that we’d see the T-Roc, too, but that plan never materialized.

There’s a different — and probably larger and boxier — compact crossover planned for these shores. Like the T-Roc, it will ride on VW’s versatile MQB platform.

If having the sun and wind in your face is an absolute must, VW still sells the Beetle Convertible in this market, and will continue to do so until the model is finally discontinued. This, of course, might never happen if certain executives get their way. There’s an effort afoot to turn the Beetle into an electric vehicle, thus preserving the model’s lineage.

[Image: Volkswagen Group]

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15 Comments on “The World Needed a Second Crossover Convertible, and Volkswagen Answered the Call...”

  • avatar
    spreadsheet monkey

    Women like small crossovers. Women like convertibles. Makes perfect sense to build a convertible T-Roc.

    The original concept looked great.

    • 0 avatar

      They don’t like convertibles that much.

      Although, this is just an EOS replacement.

    • 0 avatar

      Women like the idea of a convertible, as in a fashion statement. The reality of the wind messing up their hair, not so much.

    • 0 avatar

      Make ’em Mary Kay pink.

    • 0 avatar

      Women like convertibles? Since when? Based on your logic the entire industry should offer one and the aftermarket full of them.

      • 0 avatar
        spreadsheet monkey

        Maybe I’m coming at this from too much of a UK-centric viewpoint (that damp country that buys lots of convertibles).

        Over here, anything small with four seats and a folding roof is likely to have a woman behind the wheel. Beetle convertible, Mini convertible, Fiat 500 convertible, Opel Cascada etc etc

        Like many other Brits, I’ve rented Chrysler 200 convertibles when visiting California or Florida in the past, and I was sad to see the demise of that car and of affordable convertibles in general in the US.

  • avatar

    At least is looks good, unlike the unfortunate Nissan. I actually think the Evoque looks better as a convertible – otherwise they looked like they were stepped on.

    A silly niche, but so is a Mustang when you come right down to it.

  • avatar

    “Dad, what were cars?”

  • avatar

    I thought the T-Roc was smaller than the Tiguan.

    • 0 avatar

      It is. He’s saying the Tiguan Limited is the smallest VW crossover we are getting for the immediate future.

      Why we can’t get the T-Roc, who knows? Is it too expensive? Doesn’t seem to hurt the Buick Encore.

  • avatar

    Sure, the Murano was a bit ungainly, but I don’t see the problem with the concept.

  • avatar

    Sort of reminds me of not too long ago when the Detroit automakers wished everything was a truck and lost focus on cars because it was the only way they could make a profit. “Hey, we need a halo vehicle, lets make it a convertible sports car. But make sure its a pickup truck too”. Behold…..the Chevy SSR. The pinnacle of maximum truck. Now with the crossover craze we can look forward to all sorts of unholy Frankenstein vehicles as well Im sure.

  • avatar

    Actually, much of the world, the less-developed part, needs a modern version of the Ford Model T: a tough, durable, easy to fix platform that can be put to multiple uses, like a coupe, convertible, pickup, flatbed, stakebed, box van, etc.. This ain’t it.

  • avatar

    I’ve seen lots of chicks in Wranglers with the roof off, but that doesn’t really count as a convertible. Now that I think of it, most of the high-end convertibles I see are driven by middle-aged men.

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