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2012-02-29 14:31

GOLF'S LAST HURRAH: Expect VW's next big reveal to be the Golf 7 debut at the 2012 Paris auto show. Image gallery

  Gallery

Volkswagen will unleash its most powerful production Golf Cabriolet ever - bearing the GTI badge - at the 2012 Geneva auto show.

Just a week after Volkswagen South Africa launched the Golf Cabriolet in this market, its parent company has revealed it will be showing its most powerful production cabriolet yet at the 2012 Geneva auto show.

The Golf GTI Cabriolet, pictured here for the first time, packs the performance and drivability of the popular GTI hatchback but adds the pleasures of open-air motoring thanks to its fabric roof.

The canvas top, as with the regular Golf cabriolet, is electrically powered and can be folded in nine seconds and used at speeds up to 30km/h.

Despite its beach-seeking appeal, this cabriolet continues to display signature GTI detailing such as the black honeycomb grille with red surrounds, deep air intakes in the front bumper and vertical fog lamps.

The rear diffuser is highlighted by the GTI's twin chromed tailpipes. Smoked tail lights complete the look and the cabriolet rides on 17" alloys.

FOUR PEOPLE, FOUR SEATS

There's a seat for each of four people - in cloth or leather - and a GTI multifunction steering-wheel also wrapped in cowhide, as are the handbrake and gear shifter, all with lots of GTI red stitching. The pedals have brushed stainless-steel caps, the hood lining and roof pillars are finished in black.

Under the bonnet is the same 155kW two-litre, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine found in the GTI hatch mated to either a six-speed manual or optional six-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The benchmark 0 - 100km/h sprint is covered in 7.3 seconds with either transmission and top speed is about 230km/h.

Maximum torque of 280Nm is available from 1700-5300 rpm, at which point maximum power is also achieved.

A standard EDS electronic differential lock and XDS transverse differential lock help to ensure that the power is easily transferred to the road.

As with all Golf Cabriolet models, the GTI comes with automatic rollover protection, front and side head/thorax air bags and a driver’s knee air bag, all of which helped it to achieve a five-star rating for adult occupancy in Euro NCAP crash tests.

Notwithstanding South Africans affection for the Golf GTI hatchback, VWSA has confirmed the GTI cabriolet previewed at the 2012 Geneva auto show will not be sold in South Africa.

Get all the local data about the Golf GTI.

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