Soft shell, hard core
New roof concept to make cabriolets even better
It is probably the most fundamental question of faith for convertible drivers: hardtop or soft top? Unfortunately there are no studies to prove whether people who prefer a soft top for their convertible are of a more sensitive disposition than those who choose the hardtop. However, it is a fact that the RHT (Retractable Hardtop) has won more and more fans in the past few years. The reasons make sense and are somehow rational: RHTs often have lower noise emissions, are more advantageous with respect to heat insulation and aerodynamics and the fabric does not sag unattractively. Even if some modern, well padded soft tops can certainly give them a run for their money, the RHT always takes the lead when it comes to theft protection or insensitivity towards environmental influences. People who like facts feel comfortable with these arguments. But what about the emotional side of the convertible, which is not least distinguished by the classic fabric look of the roof. The almost nostalgic flair of the softtop has, after all, always been a reason for the love of convertibles - you look at the top and inevitably think of summer, holidays, mystery tours and the value exuded by the vehicle.
Anyone who makes the claim of bringing technology and emotion together will certainly try everything to answer the roof issue with a solution that brings both parities together. The solution is called EDroof, and combines the best of both worlds: the aesthetics and lightness of the classic fabric top with the convenient features of the hard variation. The idea behind it is conceivably simple: the moving soft top shells are not installed like RHTs, but are tensed by a fabric panel fixed with clamp rails. The effect: the comfort of the RHTs is retained but the fabric ensures that it is watertight and has visual sophistication.
The EDroof is a solution that could not be any better for the development of modern convertibles. By adding the soft top, much lighter materials can be installed for the shells and complex seals and coatings can be avoided. This saves costs and weight, increases the space for luggage and provides a new level of freedom for design. The solution from the EDAG engineers means the soft top contour is moved in the direction of a "coupe body contour" - to express it with the correct technical term. And last but not least, it should get hearts racing among fans of classic convertible shapes - because the EDroof looks amazingly good as well.
The next exhibition:
Body Construction Conference