Remember the Karmann Ghia?It's been that long—some thirty years—since Volkswagen has made a convertible worthy of a man's attention. From the Beetle to the Rabbit to the Cabriolet, the German automaker has produced cute soft-tops favored by cute coeds. Lest anyone doubt this distinction, you'll recall that the dashboard of the New Beetle convertible came equipped (standard) with a bud vase.
So naturally, much of the hoopla surrounding the release this month of the Eos, Volkwagen's latest open-air coupe, is that it appeals to men as well. We resist broad stereotypes, but let's agree that a man tends to be more interested in his car's engine than in, say, deciding what type of flower to display on the dash. Perhaps that's why VW is offering a muy macho 3.2 liter, 250-horsepower V6 as an optional upgrade to the Eos's standard 2.0 liter, 200-horsepower turbo. The upcharge—about $8,000—is worth it; she still gets her sunny ride, while he gets an intense windblown driving experience.
With its seventeen-inch alloy wheels, two-tone-leather seats, luxurious wood trim and ten-speaker audio system, the upgraded four-seat Eos hovers in the just-as-nice-as-an-Audi territory that most premium VWs tend to occupy (indeed, it is derived from the A3's platform). And unlike some other new convertibles in its price range, the Eos fits a set of clubs in the trunk.
The open-air nature of the Eos comes by way of a fully automatic hardtop, which retracts in just twenty-six seconds. More important, though, is that the car sports a—dare we say—aggressive stance featuring angular lines not seen on previous Volkswagen convertibles. The Eos doesn't look like a Karmann Ghia, but it should appeal to anyone who was once a fan.
Base Price: $36,850
Engine: 3.2-liter V-6
Torque: 236 foot-pounds
Weight: 3,686 pounds