FRANKFURT – Volkswagen AG uses a bed of sunflowers as the red carpet for the world debut of the VW Eos coupe/cabriolet at the auto show here.

The German auto maker bills it as the first 4-seat convertible coupe with a 5-section roof.

The car was shown as the Concept C at the Geneva auto show 18 months ago. In size, it slots between the Golf and Passat, larger than the Beetle convertible that has been positioned as the successor to the Golf convertible.

The Eos, built in Portugal, goes on sale in the spring in Europe. The global vehicle will be marketed on five continents later in the year. The on-sale date for North America is May or June, a spokesman says.

Pricing has not been announced, but is expected to be in the $30,000 range.

Chairman of the VW brand, Wolfgang Bernhard, declines to give global volume projections for the car, but North American officials expect to sell 15,000 units annually.

VW Eos

The Eos, its name derived from the Greek goddess of sunrise, has a folding glass hardtop that slides and tilts and can open or close in 25 seconds.

The top was designed to allow for the windscreen or roof crossmember to be shortened so there is nothing but blue sky above the driver, Bernhard says. It also is easier to get in and out with the top down.

The engine choices include four gasoline and one turbodiesel. The three 4-cyl. direct-injection gasoline engines range in output from 115 hp to 200 hp and include a 2.0L FSI and 2.0L Turbo-FSI.

A 3.2L V-6 stretches the band to 250 hp and is shifted with the standard double-clutch, direct-shift gearbox (DSG).

The 2.0L TDI generates 140 hp, with a diesel particulate filter as standard and DSG optional. DSG also is optional with the Turbo-FSI.

North American customers will have a choice between the 2.0L 4-cyl. turbo-FSI or the 3.2L V-6.

Electrically activated seats remember first-row seating positions and, with the push of a button, return to those positions after the rear passengers have entered or exited.

The Eos will come in only one trim level, with standard electronic stability control. Also standard are front and special side airbags, referred to as head-thorax airbags, that unfold horizontally and vertically for the length of the side windows – an innovative way to offer crash protection in an open-air vehicle.

Bi-xenon cornering headlamps are among the options.

The Eos adopts the grille of the new Passat and Jetta, and is identifiable by its expressive headlights. The rear of the wedge-shaped car was designed to appear muscular and athletic, with a huge bumper, perhaps a counter to the more feminine character of the Beetle convertible.

apriddle@primediabusiness.com