Volkswagen has unveiled its drop-top T-Roc Cabriolet, which it's billing as the only mainstream crossover with a proper convertible roof.
Based on the T-Roc SUV, the company's drop-top crossover follows in the footsteps of the soft-top Range Rover Evoque and Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet by blending wind-in-your-hair thrills with the taller ride popular with buyers at the moment.
Although it bears the T-Roc name, the Cabriolet isn't just a normal T-Roc SUV with the roof prised off. It's actually 34mm longer than the hardtop with a 37mm longer wheelbase, while front seat occupants sit 599mm above the road – which Volkswagen says ensures they "enjoy a great view".
It's a two-door, unlike the hardtop, and has a top-hinged boot capable of holding 284L worth of gear. Volkswagen will even sell you a towing package.
The German manufacturer has opted for a soft top capable of opening or closing in just nine seconds at speeds up to 30km/h. There are four cross braces hidden under the roof's canvas skin, and they're attached in a way VW says prevents the soft top inflating at high speed. That should help the cabin stay quiet at highway speeds, too.
There are pop-up rollover bars hidden behind the rear headrests, while the T-Roc has been treated to a stiffer windscreen frame and additional structural bracing in the underbody, side panels, cross members and doors.
Power will come from a pair of petrol engines: a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo making 85kW/200Nm, and a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo putting out 110kW/250Nm. The former is coupled with a six-speed manual transmission, the latter offered with a seven-speed DSG as an option.
Inside, the T-Roc Cabriolet shares most of its cabin with the regular hardtop – at least, it does in the front. There's the option of an 11.7-inch Active Info Display, while the central touchscreen measures 8.0-inches across. A 400W Beats Audio sound system is available.
Down back the middle seat is gone, replaced with two 'standalone' units pinched into the middle of the car.
Owners will be able to choose between a 'Style' package (blue car) or the ubiquitous 'R-Line' specification (white car), each bringing different exterior finishes, wheels, and interior trim options.
Regardless of spec, the T-Roc Cabriolet will be offered with autonomous emergency braking and pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist and automatic post-collision braking.
The car will be unveiled in full at the Frankfurt motor show, which kicks off on September 12.
Australia will see the T-Roc 140 TSI 4Motion hardtop in April 2020, with further variants to potentially follow early in 2021.
There are no plans for the Cabriolet at the moment, but Volkswagen Australia said: "it is an attractive vehicle that we’d consider in the right circumstances".
"We would certainly be interested if the variant becomes available," the company added.