Wearing the same soft top as the regular Golf Cabriolet that was launched late last year, the GTI version packs almost as much punch as the GTI hatch, but with the added benefit of a fabric roof that can be lowered or raised in just 9.5 seconds at speeds up to 29km/h.
The GTI Cabriolet has all the familar model highlights as the hatch, with signature honeycomb mesh radiator grille with red etching and GTI badge. It's the same mesh look air dam for the front bumper with inset front fog lights too.
Extra-wide side extensions, and a bespoke rear diffuser with a carbon look incorporate dual exhaust pipes (one per side) as per the GTI hatch. Smoked LED taillights round off the rear end treatment on the car, while the wheels are the standard five-spoke 17-inch 'Monza' alloys.
Inside, it's traditional Golf GTI fare with four individual seats upholstered in the iconic tartan cloth although, leather is optional.
There’s the leather wrapped and flat bottomed sports steering wheel, handbrake and shift gaiter, all with that same red stitching.
The pedals are brush stainless steel capped and black inlays adorn the door panels and front fascia.
Powered by the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine from the GTI hatch and mated to either the standard six-speed manual or optional six-speed DSG transmission, the Golf GTI cabriolet will cover the 0-100km/h sprint in 7.3 seconds. That’s just 0.4 seconds slower that the hatch version’s 6.9 second time. Top speed is 236km/h for the manual, or 235km/h for the DSG equipped version.
The engine develops 154kW of power and 280Nm of torque from just 1700-5300rpm, so there should be plenty of punch from anywhere in the rev range.
There’s a standard electronic differential lock, along with Volkswagen’s XDS transverse differential lock for easy transfer of power to the front wheels.
Safety is also well catered for with the GTI Cabriolet equipped with automatic rollover protection and front and side head and thorax airbags. There’s also a driver’s knee airbag, which was important when you consider this car scored a five-star safety rating with Euro NCAP.
The Golf GTI cabriolet will go on sales in the UK in the second half of 2013, but prices and complete specifications will be released prior to the launch. Volkswagen Australia has told CarAdvice that the GTI Cabriolet is under consideration, but no word on timing as yet.