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by Tim Beissmann

The current-generation Volkswagen Eos is likely to be the last, as the car’s German manufacturer admits it is leaning towards a larger soft-top design for its future flagship convertible.

Volkswagen head of design Klaus Bischoff told UK publication Autocar he believed the days of folding hardtops were coming to an end.

“The Eos will not be prolonged when it comes off the market,” Bischoff said.

“Retractable hardtops are disappearing from the market now, and to be honest that’s not something I mind.”

The Eos is the odd one out in Volkswagen’s current three-pronged convertible line-up. Unlike the Golf Cabriolet and Beetle Convertible – spinoffs of hatchbacks that feature soft-tops roofs – the Eos is a standalone model with a five-piece folding hardtop.

The Eos was originally introduced in 2006 as a belated successor to the Mk4 Golf Cabrio. At $49,990, it starts $13,000 higher than the Mk6 Golf Cab. Sales of the two are roughly neck and neck so far this year, with the Eos trailing the Golf by 28 units (663 to 691).

To October, the Eos has comfortably outsold a number of its key competitors, including the Audi A3 Cabriolet (251), Mazda MX-5 (120), Mini Cabrio (222), Peugeot 308CC (76) and the Renault Megane CC (96).

Bischoff hinted the model that replaces the Eos could be a larger convertible, one that could potentially compete with the upcoming Opel Cascada.

“There’s definitely room in our line-up for a larger convertible, so why not do it?

“The problem with such ambitions is that all our existing factories are at full capacity, so any new additions means building new factories.

The Beetle Convertible made its public debut at this week’s Los Angeles auto show. The soft-top will hit European showrooms during the second quarter of next year, but is unconfirmed for our market at this stage.