Volkswagen showed off its new T-Roc Cabriolet last week, proving that not everyone was watching that closely when Land Rover dropped its convertible Evoque for the second generation. Still, VW’s new droptop crossover looks really good to me, even if it’s missing a roll bar.
Okay, the car does have a roll bar, it’s just hidden away, ready to pop up at a moments notice should the car sense too much lateral roll. But let’s be honest here, that’s not going to cut it. Safety is only one reason you fit a roll bar to your car. They also look damn cool.
Small SUVs like the T-Roc are no strangers to the fixed roll bar. Aside from what you’d find on real off-roaders like Jeeps and Toyota FJs, you would also get a roll bar on the two-door cruising SUVs of the ‘90s, like the Suzuki Vitara and Isuzu Amigo. Now that crossovers are losing their roofs again, it’s about time we hearken back to care-free days of top-down driving, roll bar up top keeping things not just safe, but totally real too.
There’s one more big reason that the T-Roc needs a prominent fixed roll bar up there too, though. It’s basically family tradition. Back when Volkswagen introduced the first golf cabriolet in 1979, the car needed a fixed rollbar for stiffness and safety. The black hoop over the rear seats was more than just a safety feature. It defined the shape of the whole car.
Recent Golf convertibles (which we haven’t seen on the US market since the Eos came out) have lost the fixed roll bar in favor of active rollover protection like the T-Roc has, but the shape is weird and ungainly. There’s something missing when you look at the car. But VW could fix that with the new T-Roc Cabrio. It might even save a buck or two per car too.