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At last year’s Frankfurt Auto Show, Volkswagen displayed a Beetle “Fender Edition” concept car that paid homage to the legendary guitar brand based out of the U.S. A year later, the German automaker has decided to offer the package to interested buyers.
Unfortunately the production model won’t be as cool as the concept, which featured the ability to connect an electric guitar to a subwoofer of the Fender sound system. A subwoofer will still be in the production model, but musicians will have to plug it in via an aux-in port or through Bluetooth by means of a smartphone app. Missing will also be the auxiliary tube amplifier located on top of the dash.
What buyers will get however are 19-inch wheels and a leather-coated roof along with a high-gloss black paint job with red accents. The door mirror covers, handles, side sill accents, VW badge, exhaust tips, and trim strip beneath the side windows will be finished in chrome. The Beetle Fender Edition concept was also lowered 1.2-inch, though we expect the production model won’t be as drastic. On the hood is a guitar pick decal while the original Fender signature can be seen underneath the VW badge on the trunk.
Inside the Fender Edition Beetle, what will remain is its unique ‘Sunburst’ two-tone wood design pattern that’s seen on many Fender guitars. And of course there will be a high-end stereo system to enjoy your beats while driving around town.
GALLERY: Volkswagen Beetle Fender Edition
[Source: Car and Driver]
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.
The Volkswagen Beetle is an iconic car. From the beaches of California to remote German towns, the Beetle is instantly recognizable by the locals.
While the new Beetle is stylish, the classic original body style of the German mini car is what is known throughout the world.
The video below is a series of 500 different classic Beetles, all found sitting on the streets of various Mexican cities. Thanks to the dry climate, and lack of road salt, countries like Mexico become hot beds for antique cars to go and live out their final days because they don’t rust.
Watch all 500 Beetle’s flash by in the video below.
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
There’s no doubt that the redesigned 2012 Volkswagen Beetle is sportier and less “bubbly” than the previous model, but is it really attracting more male buyers?
When Volkswagen released its New Beetle in 1998, it was clearly built for the female demographic with its cute, round body and flower vase. Try as it might, the German automaker was unable to shake that image over the last decade until the newer Beetle debuted.
“One of the goals, obviously, was to potentially attract a more-balanced buyer group,” said Tim Mahoney, VW’s U.S. chief product and marketing officer said. “We’re seeing that happen.”
According to sales statistics of the new 2012 VW Beetle that hit dealerships in September of 2011, 43-percent of its buyers in America are men. Compared to the 29-percent from a year earlier with the older model. In December alone, half of Beetle buyers were male compared to the 36-percent a year earlier.
Even still, we’re not convinced the “chick car” stigma is really gone. It’s still easy to imagine the ribbing you might get after pulling up to your buddy’s place in one of these.
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
10. Chevy Impala: 14M units sold
There are some surprises on the list, but for the most part it all makes sense. Whether they’ve been in production for a long time or they’re reasonably priced worldwide, the top 10 best-selling cars of all time might not be the most exciting, but are clearly the most popular throughout history.
The Chevrolet Impala is the only GM vehicle on the list and has quite the history since hitting the market 54 years ago. Starting its life as a large two-door performance coupe, the Impala evolved into a versatile sedan. Or as we like to call it, a rental car. Ironically, it isn’t actually offered as a coupe anymore, which seems like a distant memory after 10 generations of upgrades.
The 2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI will be going on sale this summer and will make its official debut at the upcoming 2012 Chicago Auto Show. VW has fed us some information ahead of its debut, however, revealing that it’ll be available in three trim levels and is expected to get 29-mpg city and 39-mpg highway.
The Beetle TDI will be powered by a 2.0L turbocharged diesel engine with 140-hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. The engine can be mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or Volkswagen’s innovative, dual-clutch DSG six-speed automatic. For the inside, the TDI models feature an extra instrument pod with oil temperature and boost gauges along with a stopwatch.
The three models the Beetle TDI will be available in are TDI, TDI with Sunroof, and TDI with Sunroof, Sound and Navigation. The upgraded models are pretty self-explanatory, with the base model coming with 17-inch wheels standard while the Sunroof model also adds a Premium VIII audio system with a full-color touchscreen display. Lastly, the top-of-the-line model has an RNS 315 navigation system with a five-inch touchscreen display and Fender Premium audio system.
Pricing has not yet been announced.
GALLERY: 2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI
Good news – Volkswagen has just released a 60-second teaser ad called “The Bark Side” to get us excited about this year’s Super Bowl offering that will air during the big game on February 5.
Playing on last year’s “The Force” commercial, “The Bark Side” stars 12 cute pooches regaling us with a rendition of the “Imperial Death March.” The dogs are outfitted in various Star Wars outfits that would make even Darth Vader melt.
“The Force” ad went viral after it aired during the Super Bowl, so VW fans and ad enthusiasts alike are eagerly awaiting the newest commercial, which will be 60-seconds long (last year, VW ran two 30-second ads). The new ad is expected to feature the VW Beetle, and you can expect the Star Wars theme to carry over. In fact, at the end of “The Bark Side,” you’re directed to visit a URL on VW’s website that features an “Intergalactic Invite Creator.” It lets you create cool Super Bowl party invites that can be personalized with your friends’ names written in the stars just like the Star Wars title crawl.
“The Bark Side” closes with a promise that VW is “Back. And Better Than Ever.” We can’t wait to see if the new Super Bowl ad makes good on that affirmation. You can watch “The Bark Side” after the jump.
It’s not intended for production, but rather showcases just what possibilities are out there when it comes to Volkswagen‘s best loved car. The new 2012 Beetle is proving that interest in the iconic Bug is still strong, so given the current trend towards EVs, why not have some fun and make a sporty, zero emissions concept out of it.
Although not a true roadster (the roof is fixed), the E-Bugster lends a feeling of fun and intimacy due to its two-seat cabin, cropped windshield and swoopy roof, which does actually look like a removable hardtop.
As it’s name suggests, the E-Bugster relies on pure electric power for motivation, in this case an 85 kW (114 hp) electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack. Projected range is over 100 miles according to VW, while three charging options are available.
Level 1 operates off a standard household 120-volt system, Level 2, off 240 volts and Level 3 is a quick charge setup. For the latter, VW says that around 80 percent of battery capacity can be restored in 30 minutes. Inside VW has fitted EV specific gauges to monitor charge and and driving range, as well as the intensity of battery power generation.
The electric drive system in the E-Bugster, dubbed Blue-e-Motion by Volkswagen, will probably pop again in the near future, as it’s slated to be fitted in an upcoming version of the bread and butter Golf Hatchback. And who knows, depending on its success in the marketplace, perhaps we’ll see another E-Bugster a few years from now, one you’ll be able to actually lease or buy.
GALLERY: Volkswagen E-Bugster Concept
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
Volkswagen executives are reportedly “very serious” to add the Bulli to their production lineup, as part of a “Heritage Range.”
So far, this range consists of the Beetle, and…well, nothing else. But given the cult status of the old Microbus, and the overwhelmingly positive response of the Bulli at various auto shows, and VW is eager to chase the dollar of nostalgia-tripping baby boomers.
On the road to production, the Bulli would keep its five-seater capacity but lose its electric powerplant, instead going for a conventional range of shared gasoline and diesel engines. If it enters production—as soon as 2014, in fact—it would be built in Puebla, Mexico, alongside a Beetle convertible that will debut next year.
Lastly, the Bulli would serve in the MPV market, and it would be slightly longer than the Golf—but its heritage styling would give it a unique place in VW’s lineup. “As a designer, I am convinced by this idea,” said Walter de’Silva, VW’s design chief. “We don’t have a space for another conventional MPV, but this one would be desirable on a different level, combining practicality with the heritage appeal.”