From the company that gave us the oddball T-Roc crossover with a folding fabric top, here comes an open-air sedan. Volkswagen Brazil has taken the wraps (and roof) off a Virtus that was turned into a convertible by 30 engineers over the course of just six weeks. You might ask – What the heck is the Virtus? It’s essentially a sedan version of the Polo supermini.
The convertible sedan is a unique project designed specifically for the visit of Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to VW’s factory in São Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo. It doesn’t seem to be a convertible per se since none of the images are showing the Virtus with the roof in place. Aside from losing the B and C pillars, the car has been subjected to additional changes.
VW’s Brazilian team extended the car by elongating the wheelbase, resulting in a more spacious rear compartment. This modification, however, necessitated a change in the size of the fuel tank. Furthermore, after removing the roof, the body had to undergo reinforcement. Additionally, a transversal bar was installed between the front and rear seats, allowing passengers in the back to hold onto it while standing up.
The quirky open-top Virtus marks the fifth vehicle modified by Volkswagen Brazil for presidential visits, following the Fusca/Beetle (1959, 1993), Polo Sedan (2003), and Fox (2005). The country’s president toured the plant while riding in the back of this sedan-turned-convertible contraption. The car will now rest in a museum of historic vehicles located within the factory.
Toyota did a similar conversion at the beginning of the year when it introduced a Century Convertible SUV. That one-off wasn’t built for the president since Japan is a monarchy. Instead, it’s a parade vehicle destined to be used by the Japan Sumo Association.