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Gone since 2002, the Volkswagen Golf Cabrio could come back to the U.S. to replace the Eos

Volkswagen has either delayed or canceled all non-essential projects in the wake of the Dieselgate emissions scandal. But that doesn’t mean the company will stop offering leisure-focused models altogether, and a new report finds the next generation of the Golf Cabrio will be sold alongside the Beetle Convertible in the United States.

Offered on our shores for the first time since 2002, the topless Golf will replace the Eos that’s scheduled to be deep-sixed in a matter of months. While the Cabrio that’s currently sold in Europe (pictured) is based on the defunct sixth-gen Golf, the model we’ll see here will be an evolution of the upcoming eighth-gen Golf that isn’t scheduled to debut until 2018 at the earliest.

Built on Volkswagen’s modular MQB platform, the next Golf Cabrio will launch with downsized three- and four-cylinder gasoline-burning engines and a handful of diesel-powered TDI units. The gas engines will make the trip over from Germany, but the TDI is not expected to be part of the lineup.

Related: VW celebrates the GTI’s 40th with a 260-hp limited-edition model

Front-wheel drive will come standard, and most engines will be linked to a dual-clutch automatic transmission. Although the Eos never got the 2.0-liter turbo four that’s found under the hood of the GTI, the Golf Cabrio could spawn a performance-focused model shortly after it goes on sale.

If the rumor is accurate, the next Volkswagen Golf Cabrio will land here in time for the 2019 model year. It will be positioned a notch below the Eos, meaning its base price will likely check in at under $30,000.

What could have been

Interestingly, Car & Driver reports Volkswagen seriously considered building a U.S.-only convertible version of the North American-spec Passat. Much bigger than the Golf, the model would have likely competed against the Buick Cascada as a more touring-focused droptop aimed at an older target audience. However, the project has been axed for good because the Wolfsburg-based automaker wasn’t able to make a favorable business case for such a low-volume model.