In early 2011, the facelifted VW Eos arrives. Three years later, it will be replaced by the Passat Cabriolet. No, up in Wolfsburg they don't exactly love the Eos.
The convertible was signed off by the Pischetsrieder, Bernhard and Günak regime, and according to the new leaders it combines the worst of all worlds – a retractable hardtop along with the old family face sporting a chrome grille and teardrop headlamps. For 2011, the Eos gets the overdue make-over featuring restyled head- and taillights, a new grille, revised bumpers and a more up-market interior.
While the VR6 engine bites the dust – its installation rate had dropped to 1% – VW will offer a frugal BlueMotion edition powered by the 140bhp 2.0-litre diesel in combination with the dual-clutch DSG gearbox. V
W goes cabrio crazy
Other new convertibles under preparation by the European market leader include the MkII VW Beetle soft-top (2011), the Golf Cabriolet (2013) and the still-tentative open-air Polo which may be built by Karmann starting in 2012. The Eos remains in production until 2014 when it is due to be replaced by a Passat convertible based on the eighth-generation model.
The next Passat will be derived from the transverse modular architecture MQB pioneered by the follow-up to the Audi A3. It was originally going to be sold in the US, but in May VW decided that the only up-market US-bound exports were the CC and the Cabriolet, plus the Phaeton MkII due in early 2013. Both mid-size Volkswagen are expected to lose the Passat badge in the course of the changeover.
To close the gap between Passat and Phaeton, both models will be repositioned. While the luxury saloon moves down half a notch, the Passat CC and Cabriolet move up one rung.
Like the Audi A5, the VW convertible gets a power-operated soft top with a heated rear window, a pop-up rollover protection for the back benchers, safety front seats with integrated belts, optional neck warmers and a more efficient wind deflector. Thanks to the transversely mounted engine, cabin space will increase while the car´s overall length stays the same.
What'll the new 2014 VW Passat look like?
According to those in the know, the fun-in-the-sun Passat is a proper four-seater with a luggage compartment to match. It is safe to expect a brand-new exterior design and a more up-market cockpit offering additional driver assistance systems, improved connectivity and more intuitive ergonomics with a one-touch controller.
Axles, brakes and steering are also likely to reappear in modified form. Last but not least, there will be more powerful engines such as a turbocharged four good for 250bhp and a twin-turbo 2.0litre diesel rated at 220bhp, both in combination with four-wheel drive. Since the Passat MkVIII is tipped to be delayed by at least months from summer 2013 to spring 2014, the drop-top may also be pushed back to spring 2015.