The Volkswagen Golf GTI Cabriolet made its motor show debut earlier this year at Geneva, and will go on sale next month. There’s never been a thing like it before – VW has a history of making soft top Golf Cabriolets, but not in GTI spec – so this is a fresh take on the Cabriolet, or the GTI, whichever way one looks at it.

Volkswagen says that despite the fabric roof, this four-seater is one of the “quietest convertibles available”. The roof does not fill with air even at high speeds, bringing a positive effect on aerodynamics.

When the roof is stowed, the upper surface of the front roof bow covers the top surface of the roof storage box, eliminating the need for a separate cover. It opens in nine seconds and closes in 11.

The roof can be open or closed at speeds of up to 30 km/h. The heated rear glass window was designed to be especially large for a cabriolet. Safety wise, the roll-over protection elements shoot up behind the rear headrests within 0.25 seconds of the vehicle exceeding a predefined transverse acceleration or tilt angle.

The drivetrain is familiar. A 210 PS TSI EA888 engine with 280 Nm of torque is matched with a DSG gearbox. 0 to 100 km/h is done in 7.3 seconds and top speed is 235 km/h. That’s four tenths slower than the five-door GTI hatch because of an open top’s weight penalty, but it’s still quick.

Like the normal GTI, VW’s XDS electronic differential lock as a standard feature to improve traction and handling. Technically, XDS is a functional extension of the electronic differential lock (EDS) integrated into the car’s ESP, braking the wheel that’s losing traction in a bend. The DCC adaptive chassis control with driver selectable modes is optional.

All GTI visual trademarks remain.