Updated: 25-Aug-19

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Cabriolet Prototypes


Golf I Cabriolet

Designed and built by Karmann, this prototype debuted December 7, 1976.  

This prototype, amazingly, has survived the decades and currently resides in one of Volkswagen's museums:


^At the Karmann (now owned by Volkswagen) Museum in Osnabrueck.

^At the Volkswagen Museum  in Wolfsburg (1979 production car is in the background).

The 1976 design was rejected by Volkswagen, so Karmann went back to the proverbial drawing board and came up with Prototype MW-77, which in itself underwent a number of variations.  One of these variants removed the C-pillar notch:

Finally, MW-77 began to appear like the car we know and love:

^Note the larger rear plastic window, chrome door handles, snap attachments for the roof boot, and lower placement of the Karmann badges.

After undergoing some refinements, the final design of MW-77 was presented, approved, and began production in mid-year 1978.  These pre-production models were used for in-house testing, promotional material, and press junkets.  The final iteration of the Golf Cabriolet made its official public debut in March 1979 at the Geneva Auto Show:

Mass production of the Golf Cabriolet for consumers began in February, 1979.

Golf II Cabriolet

In 1985, Karmann presented a Golf II Cabriolet prototype.  This prototype was ultimately rejected by both Volkswagen and Karmann for being too expensive to put into production.  Sadly, the photos are all that remain; this prototype, lacking drivetrain components and real tail lights, was destroyed shortly after the final decision to nix the project was made.