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Karmann Transformer Concept

Four-seater concept car "Karmann Transformer" reveals a new dimension in roof systems

  • Innovative "Dual Top" roof concept offers more space in the interior and trunk

  • Rear glass dome gives maximum vision and allows the designers more freedom in the design of the vehicle

  • Vertically adjustable chassis and retractable protective edgings offer good protection on the gravel road


With the "Karmann Transformer" four-seater concept car Wilhelm Karmann GmbH is presenting a new approach on the occasion of the corporate centenary celebrations with the construction of coupe and convertible roof concepts. The so-called "Dual Top" roof system consists of a front textile soft-top portion and a rear fixed glass dome. The central feature of the concept car which will be introduced at the coming Frankfurt International Motor Show is the "Dual Top" roof system.

Karmann Transformer
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It consists of the front softtop section and a connected glass roof. Both halves of the hood retract electro-hydraulically into the boot in such a compact manner that substantially more stowage space remains than in vehicles with the conventional "Retractable Hardtop". In addition there are optical and functional advantages which makes the system especially attractive for the compact and middle class vehicles.

With the new canopy solution we are combining the best of both worlds.", Winfried Bunsmann, head of the Karmann's concept Team is convinced. "The Dual Top canopy offers even more advantages. It opens more free-space to the designers regarding the layout of the rear of the car, improves the often unsatisfactory vision with the sloping rear for convertibles that have a fabric canopy, offers the rear passengers an increase in shoulder space and leaves more storage space in the trunk. "

Karmann Transformer
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Developed in eight months at the Karmann's headquarters in Osnabrück, the study also demonstrates its transformation capability in another way: Due to the vertically adjustable chassis, its body can be raised by up to 65 mm is required. The sporty coupe/convertible can therefore tackle the gravel shoulder beside the tarmac road without difficulty, particularly as protective aluminum edgings project from the bumpers and skirting. They protect the under part of the body shell from stones and ground contact.

Mr. Thieme, CEO of Karmann, Osnabrueck, Germany 2001

Karmann Transformer
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With this 410 liters fit into the 4.38 meter long Transformer with a closed canopy and even 280 liters with the canopy lowered into the trunk (according to VDA standard) - a significantly higher volumes than by the models with conventional retractable hardtop.

The Karmann Transformer advances the exterior and interior styling of the coupe concept car that was shown at the 1999 Frankfurt International Motor Show by Karmann. Small chassis overhangs, 20 inch rims, stressed developed wheel-wells and rectangular exhaust pipes however allow the Transformer to appear more sporty.

Karmann's chief designer Jörg Steuernagel combined modern elements with classical quotes of the Karmann Ghia Coupé in the Transformer. To the newly interpreted Karmann Ghia icons count the Z type rising flanges from front to rear on the swage line (called "Z Flitzer- sporty little thing - in Karmann jargon), the forward cold air vents, the concise central outline of the bonnet and the vertical rear-lights.

Picture source: Automotive Intelligence

September 08, 2001

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