The venerable Cabrio was the convertible version of the Volkswagen Golf. In production for more than 20 years, it offered a sportier take on the rather boxy and utilitarian Golf, which was itself a replacement for the ubiquitous Beetle. Initially dubbed Cabriolet", the name was shortened about midway through its multi-year production run. Featuring front-wheel drive with an air-cooled engine, the Cabrio was a favorite amongst younger drivers who needed not only a fuel-efficient and affordable ride, but also a bit of fun from time to time.
This updated version of the old standby has been upgraded to a two-door, four-passenger convertible. It has also been super-sized in a sense to compare with the Chevrolet Camaro, the Mazda Miata and the Toyota Spyder. It will feature a 2.0-liter, 115-horsepower engine in all editions, which achieves a very respectable fuel-consumption rating of 24 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.
The base Golf debuted in 1974 with the Cabriolet/Cabrio convertible arriving on the scene in 1979. It was in constant production until 2002, with several intervening generational changes and updates. As part of the Golf platform, the Cabrio enjoyed high marks for handling, performance and durability. This family of small, nimble cars was and remains a favorite with grassroots motorsports enthusiasts, many of whom bought their first Cabriolet at a young age and never forgot how much fun it was.
VW plans to bring back the Cabrio during the 2012 model year. The rest, and resulting facelift, have improved the Cabrio, giving it a more refined finish. Despite being a soft-top, this iteration of the Cabrio is remarkably quiet in the passenger compartment. Through some redesign involving modern components, the soft top can be raised or lower within 10 seconds while the car is traveling at 30 mph or less. The exterior has also been subjected to an extensive reworking, resulting in an automobile that is much more eye pleasing than its predecessor.
The aerodynamics have also been improved immensely. All the sharp, boxy corners and edges have been smoothed and curved, providing better airflow around the body. Additionally, the roofline has been lower to eliminate drag. Incorporation of LED technology into driving lights and a super-efficient turbo-charged family of engines are a few of Volkswagen's nods to making products that are more environmentally friendly. The revamped Cabrio has lost much of its adolescent gawkiness to become a suave ride.
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