Following its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March, the new Golf GTI Cabriolet is now available to order at Volkswagen Retailers across the UK, with prices starting at £29,310 RRP OTR for the manual version and rising to £30,610 for the DSG. It sits at the top of the Golf Cabriolet range, combining all the pleasures of practical and safe open-air motoring for which this model is renowned, with all the performance and on-road dynamics for which the GTI name has stood since 1975.

Golf GTI Cabriolet

Living up to this name, the Golf GTI Cabriolet has all the classic design cues. The radiator grille has a honeycomb structure with red edging and GTI badge, while the front bumper incorporates a deep honeycomb air dam and distinctive fog lights. Side sill extensions help give the GTI a wide, well-planted stance, while a bespoke rear diffuser is framed by a chrome tailpipe on either side. Smoked LED tail lights complete the look, along with standard 18-inch ‘Monza Shadow’ alloy wheels.

Inside, and under the insulated fully automatic electrically powered roof are four seats covered in the classic tartan ‘Jacara’ cloth upholstery; ‘Vienna’ leather upholstery is optional. The bespoke GTI multifunction steering wheel is wrapped in leather, as are the handbrake and gear lever gaiter, all finished with contrasting red stitching. The pedals have brushed stainless steel caps, while there are black ‘Edge’ decorative inlays on the doors and facia. The hood, which can be folded away in just 9.5 seconds, even while travelling at speeds of up to 18 mph, has a black lining, while the roof pillar trims are also finished in black.

It’s no surprise that at the heart of the range-topping cabriolet is the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine found in the GTI hatchback, mated to either a standard six-speed manual gearbox or optional six-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox and producing 210 PS. The benchmark zero to 62 mph sprint is covered in 7.3 seconds with either transmission, while top speed is 147 mph (146 DSG). Combined fuel consumption is 37.2 mpg (36.7 DSG), with CO2 emissions of 177 g/km (180 DSG).

Maximum torque of 206 lbs ft (280 Nm) is available from just 1,700 rpm to 5,300 rpm and this broad torque band helps to make the GTI an excellent cruiser. A standard EDS electronic differential lock and XDS transverse differential lock help to ensure that the power is easily transferred to the road. Safety is ensured thanks to a comprehensive list of standard specification: as with all Golf Cabriolet models, the GTI comes with automatically deploying rollover protection, front and side head/thorax airbags and a driver’s knee airbag as standard, and a five-star (96 per cent) rating for adult occupancy in Euro NCAP crash tests. The ABI insurance rating for the new Golf Cabriolet GTI is 35E.

The Golf GTI Cabriolet is available to order now, with the first deliveries due in July. If you simply can’t wait that long, Volkswagen is offering some competitive finance deals on the current range of Golf Cabriolet models. For example, from now until the end of June 2012, the Golf Cabriolet S 1.2-litre TSI is available with aSolutions PCP package from Volkswagen Finance for £189 per month, with zero per cent APR up to 3 years or 30,000 miles servicing for only £99.