How can Volkswagen make the T-Roc less practical, heavier, and more expensive? By transforming the compact crossover into an unusual convertible to fight another automotive oddity, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible. The peeps from Wolfsburg have admitted the T-Roc Convertible does not make “rational sense,” yet it’s due to go on sale in Europe in 2020. Why? Simply because VW believes it looks good.
This new spy video shows the droptop crossover with its fabric roof in place and only two doors. You can kiss the T-Roc’s decent practicality goodbye because its convertible sibling will have a significantly smaller trunk. The folding mechanism will surely eat into the available cargo room, not to mention the soft top will need a place to rest when folded.
It’s unclear whether the wheelbase will be changed compared to the regular T-Roc crossover, but the loss of rear doors means backseat passengers will have a harder time getting in and out of the vehicle. Speaking of changes, it’s pretty obvious the cabrio model will have a significantly different rear deck with a prominent built-in spoiler incorporating the third brake light.
Chopping off the roof means this major change will have a negative impact on rigidity, but VW’s engineers will compensate that by adding extra bracing to guarantee an optimal amount of stiffness despite the loss of a fixed metal roof. These modifications will increase the crossover’s weight, which will obviously decrease efficiency and performance.
We will have to wait until the second half of 2020 to see the production-ready T-Roc Convertible on public roads as that’s when VW will kick off production at the Osnabrück factory in Germany following an €80-million investment. That’s roughly $91M at current exchange rates. With the T-Roc being more or less a Golf crossover, the cabrio will fill the void created by the Golf Convertible’s demise.
Will the T-Roc Convertible be a sales hit? No it won’t as even VW admits there’s not a “huge market” for this sort of vehicle, but it has decided to build it anyway. It’s a rather unusual business decision to come out with a niche model considering VAG is still going through the extremely costly Dieselgate. Let’s keep in mind the group canceled a second-generation Phaeton flagship to save money, yet there’s going to be a crossover convertible…