VW resurrects soft-top Beetle
FAMILIAR LOOKING FACE: The latest design of the VW Beetle Convertible has some changes but stays true to its legacy.
WOLFSBURG, Germany - 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, first launched in 1949, and the new Beetle convertible of 2002, it marks the third generation of the Volkswagen soft-top which offers practicality and open-top driving for four.
Its silhouette has made generations of the Beetle into cult cars. The fact that over 330 000 units of the original cars were produced from 1949 to 1980 speaks for itself.
In creating the latest version, Volkswagen has reinterpreted the 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 the 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.
Another feature contributing to the car is the traditional soft top. When open it lays flat, enabling good vision to the rear. It opens and closes automatically within around ten seconds and up to a driving speed of 48km/h.
With its spacious interior the Beetle is a fully-fledged four-seat vehicle. The boot holds up to 225 litres and includes a fold-down 60/40 split rear bench seat that allows for transporting of bigger items, even when the roof is closed.
To provide added safety in the event of a car rolling over, two rollover modules would be activated via the central airbag triggering unit. Along with the fixed A-pillars, they provide 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.
It will be available with seven engine options. The entry-level engine is a 1.2-litre TSI, delivering 77 kW, while the BlueMotion version of this petrol engine will also be available. Other engines include the 1.4-litre TSI and the 2-litre version, producing 118 kW and 147 kW respectively. In the diesel area, Volkswagen is offering the 1.6-litre TDI with 77 kW (including as a BMT version) and the 2-litre TDI, delivering 103 kW.
In Germany, the new Beetle Convertible can be ordered beginning in November, 2012 although VWSA told Wheels24 there are no plans to introduce it in South