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No other sporting label in the compact class is as familiar or as successful as Volkswagen‟s “GTI” signature. When the first Golf GTI made its international debut 37 years ago, the letter combination became the definition of a new vehicle segment. Since then, only the GTI has been considered the original hot hatch. After selling over 1.8 million Golf GTI models worldwide, Volkswagen is now launching the first open top version of the icon: the Golf GTI Cabriolet with 155 kW.

Golf GTI

The convertible, which sports standard features such as an electric soft-top, Climatronic dual zone air conditioning, XDS transverse electronic differential lock and a roll-over protection system, is now available to South African customers.

Driving performance of the Golf GTI.

The Golf GTI Cabriolet is only available with 6-speed DSG transmission and is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine with 280 Newton Metres of torque. It accelerates from 0 – 100 km/h in just 7.3 seconds and has a top speed is 235 km/h. It has a combined fuel consumption of just 7.7 l/100 km and CO2 emissions of 180 g/km.

Insignias of the Golf GTI.

The convertible is distinguished by distinctive GTI features. Exterior GTI trademarks include the red-framed radiator grille with honeycomb structure and GTI badge, the front GTI bumper, a rear diffuser, chrome tailpipes, LED rear lights, side sill extensions and standard 18-inch „Detroit‟ alloy wheels.

Volkswagen Golf GTI

Soft top of the Golf GTI

The soft top with electro-hydraulic drive opens in just 9.0 seconds and can be operated while driving at speeds of up to 30 km/h.

Safety in the Golf GTI:

Providing an optimal level of all-round protection in the new Golf GTI Cabriolet are: a roll-over protection system that rapidly deploys in fractions of a second in case of an accident; a reinforced windscreen frame; and numerous other structural modifications (underbody, side parts, sills, rear bulkhead, doors). Front and side head/thorax airbags, a knee airbag on the driver‟s side and ESP complete the safety package. In addition, the convertible‟s standard equipment includes an electronic transverse differential lock (XDS), which further improves vehicle dynamics and safety when accelerating through bends.

Everyday practicality of the Golf GTI:

The Golf GTI Cabriolet is exceptionally quiet inside when the roof is closed. What remains is the sonorous sound of the turbocharged engine. In addition, the Golf GTI Cabriolet offers one of the most spacious interiors in its class with a 250 litre boot space which is fully usable even when the top is down. The split rear bench backrest can also be folded, which significantly increases cargo capacity.

Key aspects

For over 37 years, Golf GTI has been an icon of all sporty compact models. To date, over 1.8 million Golf GTI cars have been sold worldwide. Launched initially as a young and fun car, Volkswagen‟s GTI has long graduated to become a highly respected classic. One aspect that has remained constant from Mk1 to Mk6 GTI is a sporty yet economical engine and dynamic running gear. However, what never existed before under the GTI moniker was an open-top version. This is changing with the introduction of the Golf GTI Cabriolet.

Engine – GTI dynamics

With a power output of 155 kW (available from 5,800 rpm), the 2.0 liter TSI engine of the new Golf GTI Cabriolet has the same power as Mk6 Golf GTI. It is a direct-injection petrol engine of the EA888 series. The turbocharged 16-valve four-cylinder engine develops a maximum torque of 280 Newton metres at a low 1,700 rpm. And this torque remains available at a constant level up to 5,200 rpm.

The TSI engine accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 7.3 seconds. A special strength of the engine is its great flexibility. The Golf GTI Cabriolet has a top speed of 235 km/h. This contrasts with a combined fuel consumption of just 7.7 l/100 km and 180 g/km as the equivalent CO2 emissions. The Golf GTI Cabriolet is only offered with a 6-speed dual clutch (DSG) transmission.

The Golf GTI Cabriolet sports two chrome tailpipes that are integrated in the black diffuser, one on the right and one on the left.

Running gear – Golf GTI precision

Like all GTIs, the convertible is equipped with a sport chassis; it was lowered 22 mm at the front axle and 15 mm at the rear axle. In front, the familiar MacPherson type suspension operates with helical springs and telescopic dampers.

At the rear, an innovative multi-link rear suspension ensures that the ESP seldom needs to be activated.

As in the hard-top GTI, the Cabriolet also has the XDS electronic differential lock as a standard feature to improve traction and handling properties. XDS is a functional extension of the electronic differential lock (EDS) integrated into the ESP. As soon as the electronics detect that the driven front wheel at the inside of a bend is losing grip, the ESP hydraulics build up brake pressure at this wheel to restore optimal traction. In this way, the XDS acts as a transverse differential lock, compensating for the typical understeer of front-wheel drive cars when driving through bends at higher speeds. Thanks to XDS, the driving behaviour is significantly more precise and neutral.

Roof – the Golf GTI soft top

Although Volkswagen employs a fabric roof for the Golf GTI Cabriolet, the sporty four-seater is one of the quietest convertibles in its class. Its quiet ride is attributed to the sophisticated design of the fabric roof as well as special window and door seals. The top itself consists of the linkage, a roofliner, insulating filler layer throughout and exterior cover. The joining longitudinal seams of the exterior cover fabric (centre panel and two side sections) were designed to serve in addition as a drip rail. Mounted between the longitudinal frames of the top linkage are a total of four roof cross bows and the so-called front roof bow (the first large transverse element behind the windscreen frame). In turn, the soft top is joined to the roof bows by screw-fastened fabric retention strips. Consequently, even at higher speeds the fabric roof does not fill with air. And that has a positive effect on aerodynamics.

When the roof is stowed, the upper surface of the front roof bow covers the top surface of the roof storage box. This eliminates the need for a separate cover. The fully-automatic electro-hydraulic top opens faster, because there is no additional box cover to be swung upward. The cover opens in 9.0 seconds and closes in 11.0 seconds.

The top is operated from a switch on the centre console. Opening and closing are even possible while driving – at speeds up to 30 km/h. Two hydraulic pumps activated by a central switch generate the necessary pressure. Even in this area, special care was taken to ensure that the least possible noise is generated. Unlatching and latching of the Golf GTI Cabriolet‟s soft top is handled by an electro-mechanical locking system. To ensure a good view behind the car, the top‟s heated rear glass window was designed to be especially large for a cabriolet.

Safety –  Golf GTI protective systems

A roll-over protection system is included in the Golf GTI Cabriolet as a standard safety feature. The roll-over protection element implemented in the Golf shoots up behind the rear headrests within 0.25 seconds of the vehicle exceeding a predefined transverse acceleration or tilt angle. The system‟s two roll-over modules consist of one fixed aluminium profile and one moveable aluminium profile within it that is pretensioned.

The inner profile is held in its rest position by a magnetic switch. When triggered by the airbag controller in reaction to an impending rollover, the solenoid opens a holding detent and releases the inner profile. While it shoots upward, a support detent overruns a toothed track mounted to the inner profile and prevents the inner profile from dropping downwards. Despite the roll-over protection system, Volkswagen was able to implement a cargo pass-through with a width of 526 mm and a height of 381 mm in the Golf GTI Cabriolet including a folding rear seatback.

The Golf GTI Cabriolet offers maximum all-round safety thanks to its roll-over protection system, a reinforced windscreen frame and numerous other structural modifications (underbody, side panels, cross members, doors). Due to its numerous reinforcements, the open-top GTI also exhibits extreme torsional rigidity. Some of these reinforcements are visible when the cabriolet is viewed from below, such as when the Cabriolet and a hard top Mk 6 Golf stand side by side on a raised platform. In a visual comparison, the observer can see significant differences in the underbodies. In front, the cabriolet has an engine enclosure made of aluminium; together with its mounting brackets, this increases rigidity.

In addition, the engine mount, acting as a vibration damper, adds refinement at the front end. Two lateral reinforcements in the sill area and diagonal braces, two at the front and two at the rear, as well as the reinforced rear subframe joint lead to further gains in rigidity and a significant reduction in resonant body vibrations.

What is referred to as the coefficient of static torsional rigidity reaches a value of over 13,500 Newton metres per degree. The first resonant torsional frequency lies above 17.5 Hz – first-class for a cabriolet. And this rigidity, which is also a crucial factor for optimum driving stability and comfort, is quite noticeable. Meanwhile the galvanised body protects the car from rusting.

The protective systems in the Golf GTI Cabriolet are completed by reinforcements in the doors and standard front and side head-thorax airbags. The latter are specially designed for a convertible, since it is impossible to mount side head airbags in the roof area. The head-thorax airbags integrated in the lateral sections of the seatbacks deploy next to the driver and front passenger over the entire interior height of the Golf GTI Cabriolet. A standard knee airbag has also been incorporated on the driver‟s side. In conjunction with the safety belt, this airbag absorbs energy from the pelvic area and the legs, which leads to reduced occupant loading. In case of an accident, thanks to the knee airbag, the driver is integrated in the vehicle‟s deceleration mode via the thighs and pelvis. This initiates upper body rotation precisely, so that the driver‟s airbag can make contact with and support the upper body at an optimised angle. The knee airbag‟s mode of operation illustrates the true complexity of the networking of safety systems.

Exterior features – Volkswagen GTI insignia

Like the classic Golf GTI, the new convertible also exhibits visual trademarks of the GTI. They are the typical GTI insignia that have made their way into the collective memory of all car drivers over the past 37 years. At the front, they are the red framing of the radiator grille with its honeycomb structure and GTI badge, the honeycomb structure of the lower air inlets, the front GTI bumper and the GTI-specific fog lights with chrome surrounds.

At the rear, the Golf GTI Cabriolet is distinguished by a new diffuser design, the chrome tailpipes (one on the left and one on the right) and smoked LED rear lights. The licence plate at the rear is also illuminated by LEDs. From the sides, the side sill extensions and 18-inch „Detroit alloy wheels (on 225/40 tyres) make the convertible a GTI.

The visual highlight of the Golf GTI Cabriolet is the fact that it has an even more dynamic look than the hard top Golf GTI. When viewed from the front, the convertible gains in dynamic appearance thanks to a more raked windscreen. The convertible with the optional bi-xenon headlights makes a particularly dominant impression; the dual headlamps also incorporate daytime running lights formed by 15 LEDs.

Golf GTI Cabriolet comes standard with front and rear Park Distance Control (PDC).

Interior features – Golf GTI feeling

Inside, the GTI Cabriolet is fitted with Vienna leather sport seats. Integrated in the seats is a lumbar support, which can be adjusted by a button on the side of the seat. Just as in the GTI with a hard top, the GTI Cabriolet has pedals with brushed stainless steel caps, a unique GTI gear shift lever in aluminium look and a leather-trimmed steering wheel with grip recesses and a GTI emblem. The steering wheel, gear shift cover and leather trim of the parking brake lever have decorative red seams; and the interior lining of the soft top is black as are the trim covers of the roof pillars.

The decorative inlays in the doors and instrument panels in „Black Stripe‟ design are GTI-specific as well as black, high-gloss accents with a metallic look. Also standard is the automatic Climatronic dual zone air conditioning system and RCD 310 audio system with 8-speakers. The Golf GTI Cabriolet also has a practical Easy Entry function for the front seats, making it easier for rear passengers to enter and exit the vehicle.

In the side walls of the 250 litre boot there are bag hooks. Next to the hooks are the remote unlatching switches for folding the 50:50 split rear bench seat. When the backrest is folded, the very large pass-through opening provides additional cargo space.

Retail Price (VAT and Emissions Tax included)

2.0 TSI 155kW DSG R397 900

The Golf GTI Cabriolet comes standard with a 5 year/90 000km Service Plan, 3 year/120 000km warranty and a 12 year anti-corrosion warranty. Service intervals are at 15 000km.

Issued by: The Public Relations Department of Volkswagen of South Africa

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