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Bright new dawn with VW Eos

Convertibles are something the German carmaker knows a thing or three about, with more than one million VW convertibles – Beetles, Karmann Ghias, Golfs and New Beetles – sold worldwide to date, so the Eos has a fine pedigree.

The four-seater is equipped with a revolutionary five-piece convertible, sliding and coupe (CSC) roof. It's a convertible you won't hate over winter – and a coupe that won't stifle you in summer.

Top-up noise levels are low and anti-theft security enhanced substantially, compared to a traditional ‘ragtop'.

The CSC roof opens or closes rapidly, in 25 seconds, offering technical finesse and visual sophistication. It even incorporates a substantial sunroof for those times when you want an each-way bet on letting the light in. It can be opened completely or tilted up along the trailing edge. And the structural integrity of the CSC design negated obvious convertible compromises that hamper other designs, such as windscreen support location, and overall style with the top up.

When closed, the CSC roof forms a smooth arc between the rear deck and the windscreen. With the roof open, the clear-cut classic coupe proportions are obvious.

The Eos's windscreen frame is also the roof cross-member. It projects far less into the interior than that of many convertibles, so there's nothing but sky above the driver and front passenger – a design which makes front seat entry a breeze.

The Eos is 1.79m wide, 4.41m long and 1.44m high. The effect is a wide, low, purposeful stance. And the 1.55m track fills the guards and facilitates good handling and steering response.

Internationally, the Eos is available with no lees than five different engines ranging from 85kW to 184kW 3.2-litre V6 screamer (with awesome DSG gearbox) recently released in the R32 Golf here. The 2.0-litre common-rail turbodiesel engine with standard diesel particulate filter, also available here on Golf, is part of that range, developing 103kW and 320Nm.

Inside, Eos clearly passes the Volkswagen DNA test. However, unique design touches abound in cockpit, doors and rear seats – as well as in a unique air conditioning system specifically designed for the convertible. For the first time Volkswagen optionally features electrically activated 'easy-entry' seats: they store the driver's and front passenger's longitudinal seating position in memory and return to it – at the push of a button – after the rear passengers have been taken care of.

The new Eos will be positioned between Golf and Passat.