The VW Eos is an S-segment or sports compact coupé or CC, built as a two-door hardtop convertible. It has a transversely-mounted front engine that sends power to the front wheels. The Volkswagen Group began manufacturing the Eos from 2006 to 2015 under its A5 platform (or PQ35) for compact vehicles, the same one used for the VW Golf Mk5 and the VW Beetle A5.
This open-top cruiser got its name from the Titan goddess of dawn, Eos. The roof retracts in a pinch to let in the cool breeze of dawn. What makes it one step ahead of its soft-top rivals is its five-piece fold-away hardtop, which effortlessly goes up with the flick of a switch. With its metallic roof, the Eos doubles as cabriolet for wind-in-the-hair cruising and coupé for all-weather fun.
From the Concept C car shown at the 2004 Geneva Motor Show, it was quite evident that Volkswagen planned to go big on the melded cabriolet-coupé concept. From the four-seat configuration, steel folding top, and glass sunroof to the high-performing FSI engine, the concept design seemed to offer the best of both the cabriolet and coupé worlds.
In 2003, close to 350,000 cabriolets and 250,000 coupés were sold in Western Europe alone, and Volkswagen poised the C Concept for these two markets. The design of the Concept C and the Eos is attributed to both Peter Schreyer’s team and Slovenian designer Robert Lešnik.
The Eos production car debuted at the 2005 Frankfurt Motor Show and later at the 2006 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Volkswagen offered the Eos in various engines, both petrol and diesel, and three of these powered the models released through VW Australia, viz.:
- 2007 to 2014: 2.0L TDI I4 turbo-diesel engine, 6-speed DSG or 6-speed manual gearbox (103 kW, 320 N⋅m)
- 2007 to 2010: 2.0L FSI I4 turbo-petrol engine, 6-speed DSG or 6-speed manual gearbox (147 kW, 280 N⋅m)
- 2010 to 2014: 2.0L TSI I4 turbo-petrol engine, 6-speed DSG (155 kW, 280 N⋅m)
The Eos was available in both turbocharged petrol and diesel variants. The power under the bonnet of the petrol model initially punched a maximum output of 147 kW, which was the same engine that powered the Golf GTI. Three years later, VW upgraded the 147-kW engine to 155 kW. The diesel option offered better fuel economy but with the tradeoff of lower peak power.
The gearboxes were available in both 6-speed direct-shift gearbox (DSG) and a 6-speed manual for the first two engines, but only the DSG was available for the high-powered petrol engine. The DSG received criticisms due to its distinct characteristics. For instance, it has sharper shifts and rolls back a bit on inclines. Drivers who were using DSG for the first time considered these dissimilarities to the traditional auto transmission as issues and quirkiness of the DSG.
Bodywork, interior, and roof
While fans often refer to the Eos as their Greek goddess, its styling is undoubtedly unisex. Its classic and sporty design appeals to both men and women.
The Eos had the underpinnings of the Golf Mk5, but it donned all-new bodywork. It is a solid car with bespoke body panels and has more kerb appeal than its Golf Cabrio cousin. The interior comes fitted with leather trim and safety equipment, such as dual front and side airbags and pretensioner seatbelts for the front seats. The sports seats are comfortable and heated. Unlike most cabriolets, the Eos has two rear seats. They’re a bit of a squeeze for adult passengers, though, but kids in the single-digit age would fit comfortably.
The entry-level package comes standard with superb 8-speaker sound system, leather steering wheel, cruise control, traction control, dual-zone auto climate control, and intelligent features like dusk-sensing headlights and rain-sensing wipers.
There are more of these well-appointed features, but what honestly raises the roof in this sports coupé is, well, the roof. Just like in the Concept C car, the Eos has not only a steel roof that folds down in a few seconds but also an integrated power sunroof. This sliding skylight opens and shuts separately from the main roof. The complex roofing system comes with a hydraulic mechanism for controlling it and rubber seals to prevent leaking. When retracted, the folded roof settles into the trunk.
Facelift and special editions
In 2010, the Eos received cosmetic updates, including restyled front and rear fascia, new headlamps and taillights, and redesigned wheels.
In the same year, Volkswagen introduced the special Eos White Night edition, which was available only in minimal number. Coming in Candy White, pearlescent black, and various black-and-white monochromes, it was the perfect representation of Eos, the dawn. It also came with 18-inch Budapest alloys, power front seats, SatNav, and sports suspension.
Despite its good looks, luxurious trims, and practicality as an alternative to soft-top models, the demand for the Eos dried up. Its production run ended in 2015, and Australia stopped selling it as early as 2014. Volkswagen paid tribute to the Eos by releasing a Final Edition for the 2015 model year. It came with beige-black leather trim, backup camera, and park distance control. With that, the VW Eos came to its end with no successor forthcoming.