2020 Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet Spotted For The First Time
Volkswagen recently confirmed that a convertible version of the T-Roc SUV would arrive in 2020, but spy photographers have caught it testing for the first time.
The two-door model looks set to be one of the only convertibles in the Volkswagen range, since the Golf Cabriolet was axed in 2016 and the Beetle Cabriolet is since going the same way.
This disguised prototype is the first time we’ve seen a drop-top T-Roc on the road since it was confirmed for production. The disguise is surprisingly very subtle, given that the car is more than a year away from production showing its thin window line with a fabric folding roof in place up to the rear.
Scheduled for launch and the end of the decade, the T-Roc Cabriolet is to be built at the Osnabrück plant - formerly home of coachbuilder Karmann, which produced the Golf Cabriolet and original drop-top Beetle.
At its peak, around 20,000 T-Roc Cabriolets will be made per year, making an investment of around £70 million in Osnabrück targeting logistics and modernising of production and assembly technology.
More than 40,000 orders for the regular T-Roc have been made since its launch date last year, although convertibles tend to sell slower for Volkswagen, with just 613 Beetle Cabriolets being sold in the UK in 2017.
However, SUV's are increasingly important for the brand. It plans to launch 20 before 2020, by which time they will represent around 40% of its total sales.
Its part of a new 'emotional' strategy as the brand introduces cars that steer away from the traditional approach. The dramatically styled Arteon was the first example.
The concept designs for the T-Roc Cabriolet were so good that a production run was approved by Volkswagen's board even though it didn’t make “rational sense”, according to company sales boss Ju?rgen Stackmann. He said: “It’s a car we all wanted to make. There isn’t a huge market for it. That sort of car is only popular in a small number of countries. But we felt passionately we should do it.”
Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess added: "Volkswagen is evolving into an SUV brand. The T-Roc is already setting new standards in the compact SUV segment. With the cabriolet based on the T-Roc, we will be adding a highly emotional model to the range.”
A T-Roc R model has previously been reported, but Volkswagen remains tight-lipped about whether this will make it to production, despite a growing sports SUV market with new entries announced regularly.