Whether you’re catching a few rays from ol’ Sol or staying well protected from the elements, the jazzy new Eos has you covered.
Set for November release, presumably to ensure plenty of supply for a spring rush, this European-built Volkswagen joins a very select group of automobiles— mostly higher-end models — that offer the security of a folding steel roof. It’s a rare and exclusive sight unless you happen to own a Lexus SC430, Volvo C70, Mercedes SL/SLK, Chevrolet SSR truck or Pontiac G6 convertible.
The Eos no doubt adds some sizzle to an automaker that’s used to providing mostly very practical forms of German-engineered transportation.
Although the Eos’s sheetmetal is ’07 fresh with plenty of smooth, organic lines and extra-tight panel fit, many of the parts that you can’t see are derived from existing models. For example, the VW Golf contributes the basic platform while most of the suspension components, are derived from the Passat sedan.
As expected, both standard and optional engines available in the Eos are shared with a number of existing VW and VW-owned Audi vehicles. According to Tom Smith, sales consultant for Village Volkswagon in Chattanooga, the base model offers a 200-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes for a "pretty peppy engine, and a phenomenally nice ride." While the available upgrade is a naturally aspirated (non-turbo) 250-horse 3.2-liter V6 that houses two camshafts for each bank of cylinders.
A six-speed manual transmission connects to the I4, while a six-speed automatic is optional, but mandatory with the V6.
Undoubtedly, the star of the Eos show is its unique five-piece retractable roof that neatly stacks beneath the rear deck to create an open-air tourer. In a complex-appearing series of maneuvers, the trunk lid tilts up, clamshell style, and slides back (sensors in the bumper prevent this action if an object is positioned within 16 inches to the rear of the vehicle). The roof sections are then swallowed up in layers within the opening before the decklid closes. The entire process takes about 25 seconds and is guaranteed to keep bystanders amazed and by this electro-mechanical slight-of-hand.To ensure less than blustery conditions inside the open-air cabin, the Eos is equipped with an air-deflecting spoiler above the windshield header as well as a screened wind blocker that can be attached behind the front seats.
With the top down, stowage space is considerably compromised and the somewhat longish tail section doesn’t look as sporty as it might if it weren’t built to stow the metal roof. Still, the Eos is plenty attractive, regardless of whether the roof is up or down.
As a bonus, the lid also includes a built-in power sunroof so that even in the raised position you can still enjoy the sounds and smells of the Great Outdoors.
Safety for everyone aboard was a prime concern for the Eos design team. As such the windshield pillars were extended past the dash, all the way down to the car’s floor pan. These measures are in addition to a full set of airbags plus headlights that swivel in the direction of the steering wheel. And safety measures like the rollover bar behind the back seat that automatically deploys at the first whiff of trouble make this a car we are excited about offering, and as an added bonus it is one of the most affordable vehicles of its type, says Heith Sane, used car manager for Al Johnson Volkswagon-Volvo Inc, in Dalton.
The Eos is an interesting addition to Volkswagen’s lineup. Its more reserved styling and sturdier top should find favor with an older audience seeking the sophistication of a coupe along with some occasional top-down excitement.