Wolfsburg, Germany - You might have thought the obscure drop top SUV niche died with the discontinuation of the Range Rover Evoque Convertible and Nissan Murano CrossCabrio, but now Volkswagen is reigniting the segment with its T-Roc Cabriolet.

Set to indirectly replace both the Golf and Beetle cabrio ranges as the company’s only open top offering, the T-Roc Cabriolet features an electrically retractable soft top roof that can open and close at speeds of up to 30km/h.

For extra protection in the case of a rollover, this T-Roc also comes with a rollover protection system that automatically deploys in the area of the rear headrests.

The T-Roc Cabriolet is also available with a new-generation ‘always online’ infotainment system linked to a 20.3cm touchscreen, as well as a 30cm digital instrument cluster.

European customers will get to choose between two turbocharged petrol engines in the form of a three-cylinder 1-litre unit that produces 85kW and a four-cylinder 1.5-litre that’s rated at 110kW. Both ship with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, but the bigger engine is also available with a seven-speed DSG dual clutch box.

More information will be revealed at the vehicle’s world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in early September.

At this stage there is no word on whether the T-Roc Cabriolet will ever be offered in South Africa. Same goes for its tin-top counterpart, although it’s worth noting that the slightly smaller Polo-based T-Cross is set to reach local shores in September this year. Read about the prices and specifications here.

IOL Motoring