- Launching in Europe in spring 2013
- Open-top version combines classic style with everyday practicality
A new wind will soon be blowing in the open-top car market, created by a new Volkswagen: the Beetle Convertible. The car continues a unique automotive story: following the original Beetle Convertible (type 15), first launched in 1949, and the New Beetle Convertible of 2002, it marks the third generation of the curvaceous Volkswagen soft-top that offers unprecedented practicality and open-top driving fun for four.
Its unmistakable silhouette has made generations of the Beetle into cult cars. The fact that over 330,000 units of the original Beetle Cabriolet cars were produced from 1949 to 1980 speaks for itself. In creating the latest version of the Beetle Convertible, Volkswagen has reinterpreted the timeless design of bygone days and given the silhouette a sportier and more dynamic look. The combination of a flatter roofline and the more upright windshield gives the car a silhouette that resembles that of the legendary original Beetle Cabriolet.
The new model also incorporates design criteria of the modern Volkswagen line-up: the air inlet under the bumper, the flat contour of the hood’s bottom edge and in particular the tail lights show the close family ties. In the new Beetle Convertible, Volkswagen brings together modern technology and the highest standards of quality with the emotional legacy of the car’s ‘forefather’. As on the nostalgic icon, the headlights still have their classic round shape.
Another feature contributing to the special charm of the new Beetle Convertible is the traditional soft top. When open it lies very flat, enabling good vision to the rear. Despite its compact construction, the top is very wide and elongated in shape. It opens and closes entirely automatically (on all models) within around ten seconds and up to a driving speed of 30mph.
Included with the Beetle Convertible is a standard soft-top cover, which, if desired, tucks the opened top neatly away. Surrounding chrome trim accentuates the borders between steel and fabric. As in other Beetle models, the compact instrument panel with extra large round instrument cluster and several nostalgic elements, such as the additional glove box, create a markedly different design inside the new Beetle Convertible as well.
With its spacious and comfortably designed interior the Beetle Convertible is a fully-fledged four-seat vehicle. The trunk enfolding up to 225 liters includes a fold-down symmetrically split rear bench seat which allows transporting bigger items event when the roof is closed.
To provide added safety in the event of a rollover accident, Volkswagen has developed an active rollover protection system. It consists of two extendable modules fitted inside the vehicle in concealed fashion behind the back of the rear bench seat. If the car were to roll over, the two rollover modules would be activated via the central airbag triggering unit. Along with the fixed A-pillars, they provide effective protection for the occupants of all four seats within a matter of milliseconds. Another extra safety feature is front and head-thorax-airbags that are standard equipment.
The new Beetle Convertible will be available with seven engine options. The entry-level engine is a highly efficient 1.2-liter TSI, delivering 77 kW/ 105 PS. Right from the launch, the BlueMotion Technology version of this gasoline engine will also be available. The other gasoline engines are the lively 1.4-liter TSI and the 2.0-liter version, producing 118 kW and 147 kW respectively. In the diesel area, Volkswagen is offering the tried and tested 1.6-liter TDI with 77 kW (including as a BMT version) and the 2.0-liter TDI, delivering 103 kW.
In Germany, the new Beetle Convertible can be ordered beginning in November with prices starting at €21,350.
The new Beetle Convertible will be available in the United States with three engine options. The entry-level powerplant is the familiar 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that makes 170 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Volkswagen’s fuel-efficient 2.0-liter TDI® Clean Diesel four-cylinder engine makes 140 hp and 236 lb-ft, but just as importantly delivers an EPA estimated fuel economy figure of 41 mpg on the highway with the six-speed manual transmission. (A six-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic is also available with this engine.) Finally, the 2.0-liter turbocharged TSI® four-cylinder, which makes 200 hp and 207 lb-ft, can be ordered with either a six-speed manual or DSG automatic.
Beetle Convertible pricing for the U.S. will be announced closer to launch, which occurs in the last quarter of 2012.