New Signing from Osnabruck
What makes spring the best of seasons? Having the soft top down and cruising leisurely through the countryside, of course. A host of Volkswagen models have had their top down for more than 70 years, and many of these were developed and produced in Osnabrück, a site that specialises in producing convertibles. The same is true of the new T-Roc Cabriolet, currently Volkswagen’s only convertible, which has recently started rolling off the site’s production lines as the latest model in a rich history of successful Volkswagen convertibles.
This is where Volkswagen’s convertible history began. In 1913, Wilhelm Karmann, the pioneer of convertible and coupé series production, registered a patent for a mechanism for folding soft tops that would go on to revolutionise convertible production. Karmann not only developed the Beetle Cabriolet and built around 332,000 of these iconic Volkswagen soft-top vehicles between 1949 and 1980, the entrepreneur also made this site the home of what German Gute Fahrtmagazine in 1955 described as “one of the most beautiful vehicles in the world” – the Karmann Ghia, a sporty coupé built on the same chassis as the Beetle.
Volkswagen Osnabrück GmbH covers the entire automotive value chain, from technical development to system design, toolmaking and automotive engineering. The site can fully develop and produce vehicles from the very first brush stroke to the finished car. Thanks to the new T-Roc Cabriolet, Volkswagen Osnabrück is now producing the Volkswagen brand’s only convertible, thus providing an unbroken link to 70 years of convertible history and expertise at the Osnabrück plant.
Volkswagen’s new T-Roc Cabriolet brings the open-top vehicle design to the SUV segment for the first time – a segment which is currently experiencing particularly strong growth. Up-to-date technical features are designed to guarantee maximum safety – a roll-over protection system extends from behind the rear seats within a split second as soon as the vehicle exceeds a certain lateral acceleration or vehicle angle. The windscreen frame has extra reinforcement while the underbody, side panels, cross members and doors have all been modified.
There is one detail that has remained a constant from Beetle to Golf and T-Roc Cabriolet – the traditional soft top. In Volkswagen’s most recent model it opens in just nine seconds (and closes in eleven) at the push of a button – even when travelling at speeds of up to 30 km/h.
The soft top is installed at the Osnabrück factory, making it one of the most important production sites for the T-Roc Cabriolet. It takes just a few minutes for the employees to position and fit it to the completed vehicle body. Quality is paramount along the entire production line, including at the stations just before checkpoint eight, the last production point. This is where production workers measure axles and wheels and also test the electronics and mechanical systems, brakes, running gear and the engine.