First reviews, more pictures of the latest, hottest cars
New Coupe Convertible Leaps Ahead Of The Pack
What’s The Snag? It’s Very Pricey
High Quality, Looks Good, Full Range
Eos First CC With Integrated Sun-Roof
**** out of 5
Let’s get that nagging question out of the way first. Why Eos?
Eos was the Greek goddess of the dawn. Legend has it that she emerged every day from the ocean and rose into the sky on a chariot drawn by horses.
But why call a car Eos?
I suppose that you could say that Eos represents optimism and hope for the new dawning day, and if you are thinking of buying a coupe convertible in a country where rain is endemic, you must be an optimist. And you must not be averse to paying premium prices either, and not be too troubled by boring things like utility. Coupe convertibles are pricey, only really seat two in comfort, and have no boot space to speak of.
VW is the latest mass car manufacturer to come up with a convertible with a metal roof, after luxury car manufacturer Mercedes started the trend with the SLK in 1996. Peugeot inaugurated the more downmarket attempt at this with its little 206 CC, then the 307 CC. Renault followed with its Megane CC, and this summer Vauxhall/Opel gave us the Twin Top. Ford is expected to unveil its CC in October, based on the Vignale concept car. The Volvo C70 is too expensive to be included in this group.
One problem shared by all early CC’s was the design compromise induced by the clunkyness and inflexibility of the roof. The early CCs all looked beautiful with the roofs down, but became dogs with the roof up. The Vauxhall/Opel Twin Top was an improvement, and the VW Eos is better still. It does look pretty with the roof on.
The Eos has a five-part folding roof with an integrated sun-roof (a first). This means that the windscreen could be kept relatively short and upright, which enhances the cars overall proportions. From the front the Eos looks a bit like the Passat, with the chrome grille and bonnet which extends slightly beyond the headlights. The Eos sits between the smaller Golf and Passat, and was designed from the ground up to be a coupe convertible; it’s not a Golf with the roof off, although the front suspension is Golf and the rear arrangement from the Passat.
Parking sensors standard
Scarily, VW says the roof and be opened or closed in “most” garages.
“What’s more, as it forms a compact ‘sandwich’ it takes up minimal space in the boot, allowing for extra luggage room,” says VW.
Extra as in the amount of gruel Oliver Twist got when he asked for more. There is probably a bit more room for a second toothbrush.
There’s a lockable hatch integrated into the rear seats, which allows for skis and other long or bulky items, as long as they aren’t too long or too bulky. Another neat idea is the mechanism on the front seats, which has a kind of memory device so that when you slide it back to let your dwarf friends into the back, the seat will slide back to its original position.
There are a total of 4 engines available at launch the 2.0 litre 200 bhp, a 1.6 115 bhp, and a 2.0 litre 150 bhp. There is a diesel a 140 bhp. All come with 6-speed manual gearboxes. The diesel will be available with an automatic DSG gearbox. A 3.2 litre V6 250 bhp will follow, with the DSG box standard.
There are two trim levels, standard and Sport. Standard includes all the acronyms you can think of to enhance computerised safety, a roll-over protection system which activates when the computer reckons you are about to roll over, semi-automatic air conditioning, stereo with 4-speakers, and rear parking sensors. The Sport version includes aluminium-look pedals and dash inserts, tyre pressure indicator and sports suspension.
Neil Winton July 20, 2006
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