Volkswagen will launch a GTI version of the new Volkswagen Golf cabriolet at next month’s Geneva motor show, making this only the second GTI Cabriolet in the Golf’s 38-year history.

With 207 bhp and 280 Nm (206 lb-ft) available from just 1,700 rpm to 5,300 rpm, this is VW’s most powerful GTI Golf convertible to date.

Visually, the Golf GTI Cabriolet has all the classic GTI design cues. The radiator grille has a honeycomb structure with red edging and the GTI badge, while the front bumper incorporates a deep honeycomb air dam and distinctive vertical fog lights.

Side sill extensions help give the GTI a wide, well-planted stance, while a bespoke rear diffuser is framed by a chrome tailpipe on either side. Smoked LED tail lights complete the look. As on the GTI hatchback, standard wheels are 17-inch ‘Monza’ alloys.

Inside, the bespoke GTI multifunction steering wheel is wrapped in leather, as are the handbrake and gear lever gaiter, all finished with contrasting red stitching. The pedals have brushed stainless steel caps, while there are black ‘Edge’ decorative inlays on the doors and facia. The hood lining and roof pillar trims are all finished in black.

There’s even classic tartan ‘Jacara’ cloth upholstery covering the four individual seats (‘Vienna’ leather upholstery is optional), which harks back to the original chequered seats of the 1980s Mk1 GTI Cabriolet.

The Golf Cabriolet’s electrically powered fabric roof can be folded away in just 9.5 seconds, even while travelling at speeds of up to 18 mph.

Under the bonnet

Under the bonnet is the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine found in the GTI hatchback, mated to either a standard six-speed manual gearbox or optional six-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox and producing 207 bhp.

The zero to 62 mph sprint is covered in 7.3 seconds with either transmission (versus 6.9 seconds for the hatch), while top speed is 147 mph (146 mph when fitted with DSG).

VW claims fuel consumption of 37.2 mpg with CO2 emissions of 177 g/km – which is slightly higher than the GTI hatchback (38.7 mpg and 170 g/km CO2).

The GTI Cabriolet will be available to order in the UK from July, ahead of first deliveries in September 2012.