After 2019, the Only Volkswagen Convertible Will, of Course, Be an SUV

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
after 2019 the only volkswagen convertible will of course be an suv

Say the words “drop-top utility vehicle” and American minds desperately conjure up memories of Chevrolet, GMC, Ford, Dodge, and International Harvester models of the 1970s — anything to avoid visions of the defunct Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet and somehow still alive Range Rover Evoque Cabriolet. That latter model, it should be noted, is not for everyone.

In the Volkswagen stable, one convertible still exists in the North American market — the Beetle Cabriolet — but that model disappears after 2019. The retractable hardtop Eos left the scene a couple of years ago, hot on the heels of the long-running Golf Cabriolet. In Europe, VW dealers stock exactly zero convertibles, but that will soon change.

Right around the time Americans lose access to a drop-top VeeDub, Europeans will get a new one. And, naturally, it will be an SUV.

As reported by Autocar, Volkswagen used the launch of the T-Cross mini crossover to announce that another crossover model would shed two doors and a roof in late 2019, going on sale in early 2020. Based on the same MQB platform as the little T-Cross and other VW models, the larger T-Roc crossover and its upcoming convertible variant is a nameplate we won’t see on these shores.

Volkswagen’s chief operating officer, Ralf Brandstätter, calls the upcoming vehicle “our emotional highlight for Europe.”

“If you have a strong model you can base a derivative on, such as the T-Roc, you can already justify a second model because the first model sells in six-digit numbers,” he said. “It was the same with the Golf Cabriolet. It is a project that’s worth doing.”

The T-Roc first appeared in concept form in 2014 (see above), sporting two side doors and a removable forward roof section. A targa utility, essentially. The arrival of a fabric-topped convertible takes the model closer to its conceptual origins.

Europeans, even Brits, are known for their love of convertibles, but there wasn’t much love spread to the Beetle Cabriolet in recent years. Only 613 units made their way to UK buyers in 2017. Despite the model’s age and relative niche status, some 5,597 Beetle Convertibles sold in the U.S. in the first nine months of 2018.

While Americans won’t see the T-Roc, a small utility vehicle positioned below the Tiguan will appear at dealers in the near future, likely sporting a fixed roof only.

[Images: Volkswagen]

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3 of 8 comments
  • Whatnext Whatnext on Oct 26, 2018

    What's the point of this kind of CUV? You just get a taller Golf.

    • Wheatridger Wheatridger on Oct 29, 2018

      Because a taller Golf is the right answer to every automotive question of efficiency and comfort. The top car, if that's the newest one, looks about like my '85 GTI, with a slightly higher beltline. Nothing to see here, move along..."

  • Pete Zaitcev Pete Zaitcev on Oct 26, 2018

    Looks like Wrangler is getting some competition in the convertible SUV space. muaahahaha

  • Art Vandelay Best? PCH from Ventura to somewhere near Lompoc. Most Famous? Route Irish
  • GT Ross The black wheel fad cannot die soon enough for me.
  • Brett Woods My 4-Runner had a manual with the 4-cylinder. It was acceptable but not really fun. I have thought before that auto with a six cylinder would have been smoother, more comfortable, and need less maintenance. Ditto my 4 banger manual Japanese pick-up. Nowhere near as nice as a GM with auto and six cylinders that I tried a bit later. Drove with a U.S. buddy who got one of the first C8s. He said he didn't even consider a manual. There was an article about how fewer than ten percent of buyers optioned a manual in the U.S. when they were available. Visited my English cousin who lived in a hilly suburb and she had a manual Range Rover and said she never even considered an automatic. That's culture for you.  Miata, Boxster, Mustang, Corvette and Camaro; I only want manual but I can see both sides of the argument for a Mustang, Camaro or Challenger. Once you get past a certain size and weight, cruising with automatic is a better dynamic. A dual clutch automatic is smoother, faster, probably more reliable, and still allows you to select and hold a gear. When you get these vehicles with a high performance envelope, dual-clutch automatic is what brings home the numbers. 
  • ToolGuy 2019 had better comments than 2023 😉
  • Inside Looking Out In June 1973, Leonid Brezhnev arrived in Washington for his second summit meeting with President Richard Nixon. Knowing of the Soviet leader’s fondness for luxury automobiles, Nixon gave him a shiny Lincoln Continental. Brezhnev was delighted with the present and insisted on taking a spin around Camp David, speeding through turns while the president nervously asked him to slow down.