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Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet

2003-09-19 14:44

It will make its first appearance on South African showroom floors on October 10, and some dealers are already taking orders.

Fitted with a 2-litre engine that produces 85 kW and 172 Nm of torque, it has a 5-speed manual gearbox, accelerates from zero to 100km/h in 11.7sec and the top speed is 185km/h.

Urban cycle driving provides fuel consumption figures of 12 litres/100km, while on the open road that figure drastically drops to only 6.9 litres/100km. Combined fuel consumption is 8.8 litres/100km.

At the same time the New Beetle Cabriolet provides high safety levels, with rollover activated in a quarter of a second.

Electronic sensors activate two supporting profiles behind each seat that act as head protection for both
front and rear seat passengers. This system works in tandem with a reinforced windscreen frame to create levels of rigidity and passenger protection on par with those of cars with a closed roof.

The reason being that the passenger is kept in position during rollover by ultra-sensitive pretensioners that get activated as soon as the vehicle's computer senses an emergency.


The sill, B-pillars, walls and floor have all been reinforced to compensate for the open roof. Assisting these is the energy-absorbing side panelling designed specifically for this car.

The Beetle Cabriolet's electro-hydraulic top can be opened and closed in just 13 seconds. This time
is crucial for security purposes as well.

Once opened, the Beetle Cabriolet's cover is stowed away neatly behind a cover that resembles the car's body colour.

ABS, ESP (stability programme) disc brakes all round, front airbags, highly visible indicators, and open-door warning lights are some of the safety features. There are four airbags, two at the front and two at the sides to go with the stiffer body and impact-absorbing side panels.

Comfort features include a six-speaker special "Beetle design" Gamma radio and tape augmented by a standard 6-disc CD changer. A digital clock is placed near the rear-view mirror next to an ambient temperature display.

Front headlights can be electronically adjusted from inside the vehicle , while heated leather seats are also standard, although this function is more likely to come into play in winter rather than this time of the year.

Running gear includes McPherson struts and coil springs on the front axle; a torsion beam, trailing arm and again coil springs on the rear axle. There are anti-roll bars on both axles.

Standard wheel rims are alloy Route 66 shod with 205/55 16 inch rubber. There are lockable wheel bolts and the cars has remote central locking with alarm.

The Beetle Cab has a 55-litre tank and 201 litres of luggage space.

The New Beetle Cabriolet will be priced at just over R255 000, final price to be announced with the October 1 review.

As in all Volkswagens, 3 year/120 000km warranty, 12-year anti-corrosion warranty and 60 000km/5 year AutoMotion Maintenance Plan are all standard. Service intervals are at the normal 15 000km.


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