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The Volkswagen Jetta will see a new top-of-the-line trim level called the SEL Plus later this year, though the more exciting news is that Volkswagen plans to replace its 2.5-liter inline-four with a 1.8-liter turbo-four next year.
The new high-end SEL Plus trim will see softer-touch materials in the interior, and like the GLI model, the American counterpart will more closely resemble all the upgrades and refinements seen in the European version, including electric power steering.
When the 1973 Volkswagen Beetle first came out, it was powered by a 1.3L air-cooled engine with a mere 44-hp. Considering there are over 70 cars that make 500-hp or more, the stock Beetle powerplant just doesn’t cut it these days.
So imagine what this Beetle feels like packing at least 282-hp with a 2.0L turbocharged, boxer Subaru WRX STi engine in the rear. This swapped Volkswagen Beetle is up for sale on a Romanian website for a ridiculous $79,500 (€59,990). With it though, are Porsche-sourced brakes, wheels, and other accessories.
We imagine it’s probably a ton of fun trying to control this Beetle on the road and is definitely an interesting choice of engine swap donor and donee.
GALLERY: Subaru WRX STi Powered VW Beetle
The latest generation of the classic Volkswagen Beetle has been well received in its newest form, and will continue to get attention from VW to expand its customer base. Coming next for the new Beetle will be a soft top convertible option, which our photographers recently grabbed some spy photos of.
The Beetle convertible will likely be available with both of the powertrain options offered on standard Beetle, a 2.5L five-cylinder with a six-speed automatic, or a 2.0L TSI turbocharged four-cylinder with a DSG six-speed dual-clutch automatic. The larger 2.5L motor makes 170-hp and 177 lb-ft of torque, while the smaller displacement turbo variant puts out 200-hp and 207 lb-ft of torque.
The Beetle TDI debuted at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, and we are hopeful that the 2.0L diesel engine will find its way into the convertible, but it doesn’t seem likely.
Look for the drop-top Bug to bow at the New York Auto Show in April.
GALLERY: Volkswagen Beetle Convertible
The U.S. could have a plug-in hybrid from Volkswagen in the relatively near future. The company already has a hybrid Jetta on the way for the 2013 model year, but this version of the car would take electrical implementation to the next level.
We’ve known about the possibility of a plug-in hybrid for quite some time, but details have been sketchy at best. Watching each automaker deal with the growing demand for fuel efficiency has been interesting to say the least, but for the most part Volkswagen remained firmly in the diesel segment. That’s all set to change with the 2013 model year marking the hybrid Jetta’s release, but that isn’t the end of the story according to Car and Driver.
An article they published suggests that the fabled plug-in hybrid we reported briefly back in May of last year is relatively close to release. They report that the car will feature the same 1.4-liter turbocharged inline four cylinder making 150 hp. Of course, the plug-in will have, well, a place to put a charging cable meant to replenish the larger battery paired to the car’s electric motor.
Though it isn’t clear which car will surface with the plug-in setup, a Volkswagen executive told Car and Driver that it will be in a mass market segment: in other words one of their top sellers. That means something along the lines of the Jetta, Passat or Beetle, though we don’t know which yet.
[Source: Car and Driver]
We won’t mind if you want to take a second to rub your eyes to make sure you’re not seeing things. This 1973 Volkswagen Super Beetle is quite possibly the cleanest classic Beetle in the world and with 445-miles on the odometer since it was fully rebuilt, it’s more than worth the $21,900 price tag.
This ’73 Beetle recently underwent a complete restoration from the ground up that likely cost more than twice the asking price. Admittedly the body isn’t perfect for an event like the Concours d’Elegance, but it is super straight and the brilliant blue paint finish is stellar. Much of the chrome and stainless steel components were replaced during the restoration process giving it a perfect, showroom shine.
Powering the Beetle is the vehicle’s original 1600-cc air-cooled, flat-four cylinder powerplant. When it was first introduced in 1971, it made just 50-hp and has been completely rebuilt. The engine bay has also been restored to showroom new, if not better. The engine is mated to a four-speed manual transmission.
Inside the Beetle there’s a bit of modern-age technology including a $2,000 sound system and a custom blue-LED lit interior. The driver and passenger seats have been swapped out with Procar by Scat buckets while the rear features a custom covered bench. The rest of the interior has been refinished with today’s finest upholstery and is truly like no other.
GALLERY: 1973 Volkswagen Super Beetle
[Source: RK Motors]
Looking a bit like a junior DTM car, Volkswagen today showed off the “Concept” Volkswagen Beetle R, the same car that made its world debut a few months ago in Frankfurt - and it looks just as production ready today as it did then.
While the German firm was a bit tight-lipped about the details, they did say that this will follow in the GTI R’s footsteps as the second R model, “after we monitor reaction this week.” There doesn’t seem to be much of a reason to not build it, and the car looks as close to production as we’ve ever seen in a concept, so chances are this 260-ish hp Beetle R will be in showrooms some time next year.
As a refresher on what makes this particular Beetle special, this concept makes use of AWD, with fenders front and rear that have been widened by 0.6-inches on each side to produce a car that is 1.2 inches wider than the base model. Other striking exterior styling changes include large black gloss air intakes on the front of the car, not to mention a sporty rear diffuser with integral air outlets. Giant brakes with big blue calipers are easily viewed through the unique 20-inch chrome wheels.
Perhaps even more impressive is the Beetle R’s interior with some seriously sporty bucket seats and R logos throughout. The rest of the cabin gets gloss black accenting, blue highlights and the sort of high-grade features and quality you’d expect from a real Vee-dub.
Gallery: Volkswagen Beetle R Concept
Famed tuner ABT Sportsline has now taken their turn with the new Volkswagen Beetle, putting plenty of blood, sweat and tears into refining the fun automobile. As the world’s largest tuner of Volkswagens, it’s natural to see ABT Sportsline adding some spice to the agile and fun Beetle, which ABT has nicknamed Speedle. Unfortunately exact specs on the power upgrades haven’t been finalized yet, but ABT did release the power gains they expect to make from the various models.
For the 1.2 TSI, ABT hopes to increase power from 105-hp to 140-hp, while the 1.4 TSI will see gains of about 50-hp from 160-hp to 210-hp. The 2.0L turbocharged model will see around 230- to 240-hp from the factory 200-hp figure. The diesel models will remain “economically-conscious” as ABT says, taking the 1.6 diesel to 125-hp from 100-hp and the 2.0 TDI to 170-hp from 140-hp.
Complementing the inevitable power upgrades that ABT will be releasing is the aerodynamic package that can be seen in the photos. ABT spices up the Beetle’s form by adding on a front spoiler, rear skirt insert, rear skirt set that includes a rear muffler and oval exhaust pipes and side skirts. The aerodynamic kit does a great job in accenting the natural curvy lines of the Beetle while giving it a nice and fresh look to it. ABT will also be offering their 19-inch DR wheels for the Beetle with your choice of high-performance tire options.
No pricing was announced from ABT.
GALLERY: ABT Sportsline VW Beetle
The latest video, “I Wanna Go,” shows a bright red Volkswagen Beetle being assaulted by Spears’ bodacious hips—in some elaborate, Terminator-inspired setpiece with a Karmann Ghia that gets sprayed with milk. Apparently.
If Volkswagen wants to balance out the Beetle’s manliness, then, they could build a monster truck out of it, or place it in a Ted Nugent video. Click the jump to see the video in its entirety.
Volkswagen has launched a new platform called “People’s Car Project” debuting in China. This allows internet users in China to post ideas about cars of the future at zaoche.cn.
This project is hoping to inspire the Chinese with VW through the interactive content. The aim is for users to co-develop their Volkswagen model of the future as well as posting ideas which are then discussed and developed further by other users.
“With PCP we are listening very carefully to what our customers have to say and are building cars not only for, but also with people,” Luca de Meo, Director of Marketing, Volkswagen Group and the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand explained.
If the project becomes popular in China, there will be potential for launching the project in other markets as well, said de Meo. The PCP is initially scheduled to run for a one-year period.
Volkswagen is cooperating closely with the city of Hanover to launch a new car sharing project with 200 VW Golf BlueMotion vehicles called “Quicar- Share a Volkswagen”. There will be 50 pick-up and drop-off locations throughout the city, however, this number may reach 100 locations. The program was set up to highlight the efficiency of these vehicles including high vehicle availability and excellent functionality.
Operating in a way similar to Zipcar, the customer registers and books the Golf via the Internet only five minutes prior to use of the vehicle. He or she then holds a chip card or a chip fixed to the drivers license over a reader fitted to the car to unlock the vehicle. The ignition key is located inside and the driver completes the rest of the process by entering a PIN using a touch screen.
Each vehicle will come equipped with navigation and entertainment systems and customers will be issued an SD memory card, allowing them to save individual settings, music, destinations, or routes. Other models such as the VW Caddy and the newly launched VW Bettle will be added to the fleet in the future.
Since the launch of the redesigned Volkswagen Jetta, registrations among new owners have soared, suggesting that the newer, more affordable Jetta is a home run with consumers.
The Jetta has climbed almost 61% during the first two months of this year compared to over a year ago. In those two months, 20,272 Jettas were registered and made up 57% of all VW’s sold within that time frame.
Volkswagen Golf registration is also improving, however, other VW vehicles are declining in registration. The CC, New Beetle and Passat are all struggling vehicles within the VW line up. The decline of all VW cars other than the Jetta and Golf is so substantial that VW car registration in January and February was up only 25% compared to 32% rise in the car registration industry. Volkswagen will need to build their sales in the Jetta as much as possible in order to attain the 800,000 VW badged unit registrations by 2018.
[Source: The Polk Blog]
Volkswagen‘s main goal for the redesigned, sleeker Beetle was to appeal to the less fairer sex. So they’ve ditched the flower vase, lowered the roofline, employed turbo power, and even made it more fuel-efficient. Will manly men drive to steakhouses, gun ranges and the gym in the 2012 Beetle?
It’s an evolved look, but it’s already more aggressive than the outgoing bubble. The new Beetle (that’s not called “New Beetle,” mercifully) is 3.3 inches wider, half an inch lower, and 6 inches longer. It’s a smooth, more handsome look, and it’s still immediately recognizable as a Beetle—take that how you will.
The engine is still in the front, and there are three available: a 2.5-liter 5-cylinder at 170 horsepower and two turbocharged models. One is a 2-liter TDI at 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque, and the other is a 200-horsepower four-cylinder gasoline engine that’s also 2.0 liters. The diesel can achieve 33-mpg combined (29-mpg city and 40-mpg highway), and the gasoline four comes with a neat two-tone spoiler on the back. Manly!
The interior loses the round cuteness of the last generation’s and—mercifully enough—its harsh plastics too; its piano-black surface brings it in line with the rest of the current VW lineup, and is sufficiently monotone and dour enough to fit into rational German standards. Manly! Plastics and fit/finish are much improved, and the top of the range can be available with splashy red seats.
No word on whether it comes with a gun rack, straight pipes or other manly accoutrements.
GALLERY: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle
See all the New York Auto Show debuts at AutoGuide’s coverage page here.
Now that Volkswagen has unveiled the upcoming 2012 Beetle to the general public, it’s exciting to hear that the German automaker will also be bringing a Beetle R version, as well as a Beetle convertible to America. The convertible version will be available next year while Volkswagen hasn’t confirmed when the Beetle R will arrive.
The safe assumption for the Beetle R’s powerplant will be the 2.0L turbocharged unit from the Golf R, though it’s not confirmed. VW did express that the Beetle R will remain a front-wheel-drive application, but it’s nice to know those who yearn for a Beetle with slightly more power output than the 200-hp 2.0 TSI will have a viable option in the future.
GALLERY: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle
[Source: Car and Driver]
Nowadays we can’t toss the term hybrid around without people thinking electric-first rather than one vehicle’s powertrain in another vehicle’s body. Back before Prii and Insights were all the rage, the term hybrids was used to describe a vehicle that received an engine transplant from another vehicle.
While these engine swaps date back to the early days of the automobile, most recently it became almost a mainstream trend for Hondas with larger B-Series or even K-Series powerplants, or in the case of the Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift, a 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 with a Nissan RB26 motor.
But this combination is possibly one of the most awesome marriages we’ve ever seen. Siegfried Rudolf, owner of CarMaxx out in Austria (not to be mistaken for Carmax in America), combined a 1973 Volkswagen Beetle with a 2000 Porsche Boxster convertible. The result is a slick looking car, despite its age, sporting 18-inch mesh wheels and custom fenders.
Now equipped with the mid-engined Porsche Boxster powerplant, the Beetle puts out 270-hp, making it a complete blast to drive we’re sure. It’s also dialed-in with fully adjustable suspension and even sports the complete Porsche dash on the interior. Dropping a classic Beetle shell onto a Porsche Boxster chassis? We dig it.
GALLERY: Volkswagen Bugster
After teasing the public with a Superbowl ad hinting at the new 2012 Volkswagen Beetle, the new coupe will almost certainly bow at the New York Auto Show in April.
Arriving in showrooms this fall, the Beetle will get simultaneous unveilings at both the Shangai and New York Auto Shows, with a convertible version bowing later. Although the current Beetle was knocked for being a little soft around the edges, the new car is set to be more performance oriented, although we’re certain that males will remain a minority demographic for this car. AutoGuide will be on hand for live coverage of the unveiling, so stay tuned starting April 19th.