inside
The employee magazine
of the Volkswagen brand

Innovation

Let the sun shine in

Panoramic roofs today, the folding roofs of yesteryear – a long tradition is still thriving

Things are looking up – The new Polo with a panoramic sunroof and a 1956 Beetle with the VW sunroof.

The days are growing shorter, the leaves are changing color, the fall is here. And yet it remains bright and summery on board many Volkswagen models. It’s part of a long tradition. Indeed, intelligent roof systems have been bringing sunlight to Volkswagen interiors even in the winter since the company’s early years. As long ago as 1950, Volkswagen offered a Beetle with a sliding ragtop. In the mid-1990s, the Lupo and Polo featured an electrically powered roof. Today transparent panoramic roofs are booming. They are available in everything from the little up! and the new Polo to the big Touareg and the new Arteon.

It all began with the “rollback sunroof.” Photos from 1938 show a “convertible sedan” version of the later Beetle on test drives in the Austrian Alps and at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Volkswagen plant. Thus, the idea of a sedan with a sliding ragtop is really part of the DNA of the brand. For a surcharge of 250 marks, Volkswagen customers could opt for a Beetle-based “sunroof sedan” from 1950 onwards. It was equipped with a folding roof supplied by the Frankfurt-based convertible top specialist Golde. The top folded as it slid backwards while being opened.

View of the panoramic sunroof in the new Polo

In the years that followed, steel and small glass sliding roofs took over the job of letting in fresh air and light. It wasn’t until 1994 that the sliding ragtop idea had a renaissance with the third-generation Polo. The “Open Air” version featured a now electrically powered variant of the old classic. And the Lupo model introduced in 1998 also featured this top system. Even more clever was the top hydraulics system in the sun-seeking Eos, introduced in early 2006. With the combination of a five-piece metal folding roof and an integrated glass sliding/tilting sunroof, it was the first time that a brightly illuminated ambience could be enjoyed in the interior even with the roof closed.

With the glass panoramic sunroofs now offered by Volkswagen, most sedan, minivan and SUV customers can easily banish the autumnal blues with an abundance of light. Whether it’s in the new Polo, with its glass surface enlarged compared to its predecessor, in the T-Roc, or in the also recently launched Tiguan Allspace – these sunroofs, with electric tilting in the front and a sliding function to the back, always provide the desired open-air effect.

And if it happens to start drizzling or the weather just gets a bit too cold, the sunlight still pours in even when the roof is closed. The panoramic sunroof has become the sliding ragtop of the modern age – and it can be ordered for every current Volkswagen model series, and not just in golden October.