THE Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet will stick with its present form, fighting small drop-tops the likes of the Mini Cabrio, Renault Megane Coupe Cabriolet and Holden Cascada until a next-generation hatchback range surfaces in around 2018.
With the present Mk7 Golf celebrating its third birthday in September, the Wolfsburg company again will loosely stick to the one-gen on, one-gen off approach that has served the four-seat cabrio since the original Mk1 ragtop’s 1979 debut.
This means the soft-top Golf will keep using the dated Mk5 Golf-based Mk6 body and chassis for another three years, eschewing Volkswagen’s high-tech and highly fuel efficient MQB lightweight modular transverse architecture until then.
Whether the next Golf Cabrio will follow in the steps of the latest Audi A3 Convertible by losing its signature squat bustle-back design for a more elongated sedan-style silhouette is not known. However, the Volkswagen’s iconic status suggests the Germans will not mess with a successful formula, particularly as the now-discontinued Eos hardtop convertible failed to catch on in many key markets, aside from Australia.
Wheels understands that the Mk8 Golf will be a comprehensive reskin of the Mk7, brandishing new sheetmetal and a fresh interior in order to keep the German C-segment at the top of its game. Evolution is the name of the game here.
According to Volkswagen AG product communication boss Christophe Peine, the Golf Cabrio has always skipped at least one generation over its 36-year history, and the latest version is no exception.
“This is the way it has always been for the Golf Cabrio,” he told Wheels at the launch of the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack and Volkswagen Golf R wagon in Spain. “There will not be a new Cabrio until the next Golf.”
Regular Wheels readers will recall that the current Mk6-based Golf Cabrio was only released in late 2011, nearly three years after the hatch version surfaced, yet still only just missed out on scoring a semi-finalist’s spot in that year’s Car of the Year award.
There have only been three Golf Cabrio generations. Unveiled in 1979 and launched on the world market in 1980, the original was yet another feather in the trendsetting Mk1 Golf’s cap (after establishing the modern hatch and GTI segments), kicking off the small-car-based convertible class that continues to this day with the likes of the new BMW 2 Series and the Holden Cascada.
However, Australia would have to wait until 1990 before seeing the then-ageing Mk1 Golf Cabrio, though its Mk3-based successor arrived in a more timely manner in 1995. The so-called ‘Mk4’ version was really the previous generation with a newer nose and cabin trimmings grafted on.