Volkswagen is returning to the compact convertible market with the Eos, which will compete with vehicles such as Pontiac's G6 convertible.
The hardtop Eos goes on sale in the United States on Sept. 9. But models will be shipped to dealerships well before the official launch, VW says. The base price is $28,625, including shipping.
The Eos is based on a cross between the Jetta and Passat platforms. It is part of a niche product strategy spearheaded by Wolfgang Bernhard, who heads the VW brand.
The Eos is VW's first convertible of its size since the Golf Cabrio, which went out of production in 2002. VW's New Beetle convertible is considerably smaller than the Eos.
VW expects to sell between 2,000 and 3,000 Eos cars this year and 12,000 next year. It features a 2.0-liter turbo engine that makes 200 hp. The 3.2-liter V-6 engine has 250 hp. The more powerful model starts at $37,485 including shipping.
Standard features will include stability control, power windows and roof, cruise control and air conditioning.
VW will offer an optional six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission on the Eos as part of an equipment package that includes heated front seats, automatic headlights, upgraded climate control and other features.
Other Eos competitors are the soft-top Chrysler Sebring, Ford Mustang and Toyota Camry Solara.
You may e-mail Diana T. Kurylko at [email protected]