Volkswagen Drops the Roof on 265-hp 2013 Golf R Cabriolet [2013 Geneva Auto Show]
While American Volkswagen showrooms are still warmed by the Eos—a vehicle surpassed in flexibility only by Olympic gymnasts—Europeans have the lighter and newer Golf cabriolet, and soon it will be offered in an athletic R trim. Yes, the 2013 Golf R cabriolet is on its way and will make its in-the-metal debut at the 2013 Geneva auto show.
For the most part, the Golf R cabrio is, in fact, a convertible version of the Golf R hatchback. The same turbocharged 2.0-liter engine produces 265 horsepower in this application, and the MkVI Golf platform underpins the whole car. But there are big divergences, too. Chief among them: the R cabriolet is a front-driver. The omission of the R hatchback’s all-wheel-drive system will help control weight—a prominent consideration in engineering most convertibles—but on the road, the engine may overwhelm the front tires. Some help will come from the standard dual-clutch automatic transmission, likely calibrated to manage power delivery in a way that averts tire-screeching and torque steer.
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The prospects of us seeing any Golf cabriolet in the U.S. are non-existent, as the model was never envisioned to sell here. Convertibles sell in tiny volumes in America, you see, and the German-built Golf cabriolet would be exorbitantly expensive. And on that point—the Golf R cabrio isn’t exactly cheap in the Old World, either. In the U.K., it costs £1181 ($1835-ish at today’s exchange rates) more than a base Boxster. You know what? Maybe Europe can keep this one.