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R treatment for VW’s Golf Cabrio

Drop-top: Volkswagen has unveiled an R-version of its recently-introduced Golf cabrio in concept form that matches the Golf R hatch for specs.

Volkswagen unveils high-performance Golf and Skoda Fabia cabrio concepts in Austria

3 Jun 2011

VOLKWAGEN has wowed punters at the annual Wörthersee enthusiast meet in Austria with high-performance R and GTI concepts based on its recently introduced Golf Cabriolet.

The R-badged cabrio concept is mechanically identical to the Golf R hatch, meaning it is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that pumps out 199kW and 350Nm in Euro spec – the latter from just 2500rpm.

Cooling issues caused by the blazing Australian sun forced Volkswagen to detune the 2.0-litre turbo four in the local-spec Golf R hatch to 188kW and 330Nm.

Volkswagen claims the electric-blue R cabriolet matches the hatch for performance, sprinting to 100km/h in less than six seconds and topping out at 250km/h – making this the fastest open-topped Golf ever.

Like its closed-top sister, the R cabriolet concept sits on a 25mm-lower sports chassis than the standard Golf, with 17-inch vented discs with blue-painted callipers sitting at each corner behind 19-inch ‘Talladega’ alloy wheels.

3 center imageFrom top: Volkswagen Golf GTI cabriolet concept, Skoda Fabia vRS 2000 roadster design concept, Audi A1 Clubsport quattro.

Inside, the R cabriolet gets blue and grey Nappa leather racing seats with piano-black rear shells, along with sand-blasted aluminium door sill plates with black piano paint inlays.

Meanwhile, the GTI cabriolet concept gets a much wilder exterior treatment than the R, with the car sitting on heavily-lowered suspension and enormous five-spoke black alloy wheels that scarcely fit within the arches.

Volkswagen has not revealed any mechanical details, but the 155kW 2.0-litre turbo from the production GTI hatch or the detuned 175kW Golf R engine from the special-edition Golf GTI ‘35 Edition’ (also revealed at Wörthersee) are the most likely engine candidates.

As we’ve reported, the GTI 35 will arrive on our shores this year, although prices and availability are yet to be confirmed.

Volkswagen is playing its cards close to its chest on the production futures of either concept, calling the R a “fascinating thought experiment in cabrio dynamics”.

The Golf cabrio flagship is powered by the Golf GTI’s 155kW 2.0-litre turbo four, but Volkswagen Australia remains tight-lipped on what mechanical specifications will be available on the all-new Golf Cabriolet when it arrives here in the fourth quarter of this year.

Meantime, Volkswagen Group brand Skoda also got into the adventurous spirit at Wörthersee, where it revealed the similarly-themed Fabia vRS 2000 roadster concept.

Said to be inspired by the Fabia Super 2000 rally car, the dropped and chopped vRS roadster has wildly-flared wheel-arches covering 15-spoke white racing wheels, as well as a sharply sloping windscreen that, in the words of Skoda: “provides a constant supply of fresh air and a sense of being at one with nature”.

Not to be outdone by the other members of the Volkswagen Group, Audi revealed the wild, rally-car inspired 370kW A1 Clubsport quattro earlier this week.

Audi claims the tiny terror – which features a stripped-out racing interior and muscular body accoutrements - can hit 100km/h in a supercar-rivalling 3.7 seconds before notching up 200km/h in a total of just 10.9 seconds.

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