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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Feb 03 2012, 7:30 AM

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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

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See AutoGuide’s complete 2012 Chicago Auto Show Preview Here

 |  Jan 19 2012, 11:45 AM

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.

Continue Reading…

 |  Jan 09 2012, 2:12 PM

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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

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 |  Dec 31 2011, 10:00 AM

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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

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[Source: RK Motors]

 |  Nov 16 2011, 2:29 PM

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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

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 |  Aug 15 2011, 5:30 PM

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.”

[Source: Autocar]

 |  Jul 16 2011, 9:00 AM

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Volkswagen‘s update to the Beetle has been well received, and now there are some pricing figures to go along with it. For its initial launch, the 2012 Beetle will come with two powertrain choices, 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. Manual transmissions will be available at a later date for both models. The base Beetle has a starting MSRP of $18,995 while the Turbo will come in at $23,395.

Available models for the 2.5L include Beetle, 2.5 Beetle, 2.5 Beetle with sunroof and 2.5 Beetle with sunroof, sound and Navi. All will be powered by the 170-hp and 177 lb-ft of torque 2.5L motor. The Turbo is available in three trims: Turbo, Turbo with sunroof and Turbo with sunroof, sound and Navi. Those three models will sport 200-hp and 207 lb-ft of torque.

Standard for the $18,995 Beetle has a split-folding rear seat, aux-in for portable media players, a leather steering wheel, customizable 17-inch wheels and an eight-speaker audio system. For the Turbo, standard equipment includes Bluetooth technology, iPod connectivity, three-color ambient lighting, larger brakes with red calipers, kaeferfach additional glovebox, sport seating surfaces, 18-inch wheels, a rear spoiler, foglights, three additional gauges on the dash plus alloy pedals.

Options include a panoramic roof, Fender Premium Audio System, Keyless Access with push-button start and Bi-Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights.

GALLERY: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle

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 |  Jul 06 2011, 6:49 PM

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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

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 |  Jun 22 2011, 3:16 PM



Volkswagen has said that it wants the new Beetle to appeal to a more masculine demographic. So what do they do to achieve that? Show it off in a Britney Spears video.

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.

Continue Reading…

 |  Jun 16 2011, 12:03 PM

The newest generation of the Volkswagen Beetle might not have hit our showrooms yet, but that hasn’t stopped its maker from planning additional future models.

The latest rumors are that a Beetle R version will bow at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September of this year, and this will feature the engine from the Golf R. That means it will have an output of nearly 270-hp from a 2.0-liter turbocharged unit. The current engines available in the Beetle include the 2.5-liter five-cylinder motor producing 170-hp and the 2.0-liter turbo, four-cylinder that produces 200-hp.

The Beetle R would thus be a step above the Turbo model, and would be priced at nearly $30,000. Despite taking a lot of technical bits from the Golf R, it won’t be using its all-wheel drive unit.

If the demand is there, VW might even consider doing a convertible version of the Beetle R, but that only time will tell.

This is not the first time a hot Beetle has been offered, back in 2001 VW had launched the Beetle RSi, which featured a VR6 motor, mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and 4Motion all-wheel drive. Only 250 examples were built, but sadly none were offered in the United States.

Let’s hope this time around, we do get our hands on this latest fast Beetle.

[Source: Car and Driver]

 |  May 03 2011, 5:15 PM

This red 1963 Volkswagen Beetle, known as the “Newman Bug”, isn’t your typical old Beetle, and it’s price tag of $250,000 should reflect that. The drop top Bug, owned by Paul Newman, is fitted with chrome bumpers and a black cloth top in good condition but the beauty of this car is in the rear engine compartment. A mid- mounted 351- cubic inch Ford Windsor engine has been shoe-horned into the little car to make it a deadly hot rod.

Paul Newman bought the convertible in 1963 after he fell in love with racing while filming Winning. He approached renowned Indy-car builder Jerry Eisert to modify the Beetle. Coupled with the 300-hp engine, is a five-speed ZF transmission as well as a high performance suspension components to keep the “Peoples Car” straight under load. The rear gets a custom A-arm setup for racing.

As the story goes, after Eisert finished modifying the car, Newman would speed up and down Mulholland Drive racing anyone who dared to line up with him at the stop light.

The bug has been restored twice. Newman donated the car to Sam Contino at the Chaffey College auto shop in Alta Loma, California. There, the car underwent its first restoration followed by upgrades such as a paint job and four Keystone chrome rims. The car was tweaked to be raced but was mostly used as a show car. After Contino retired, the car was given to him as a gift and was immediately garaged where it slept until 2009. Contino and his son restored the car in April 2009, hoping to show Newman the refinished bug, but the actor passed away before the restoration was completed.

[Source: AutoWeek]

 |  Apr 20 2011, 5:37 PM

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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

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See all the New York Auto Show debuts at AutoGuide’s coverage page here.

 

 |  Apr 05 2011, 9:52 PM

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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

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[Source: Bugster via  Autoblog]

 |  Nov 22 2010, 6:27 PM

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Oprah’s annual “Favorite Things” episode, where the billionaire talk show personality gives audience members a series of lavish gifts, saw the unveiling of the silhouette of the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle, a first for the new car.

Oprah, who owns a current generation Beetle, contacted the automaker regarding a giveaway, and she was given a sneak peek of the unreleased car. The 2012 Beetle won’t be shown until next year after the Detroit Auto Show and winners will have to wait until late in 2011 to collect their cars.

The new Beetle’s design echoes the original Beetle much more closely, with a more aggressive, slanted roofline, rather than the 3 semi-circles look the current car trades on. Volkswagen CEO Jonathan Browning mentioned that the car would be given a sportier edge, with optional features like a sport suspension, sport seats and dual exhausts, while powerplants will include the cracking 2.0 Turbo 4-cylinder and torquey TDI diesel. Volkswagen is hoping to move away from the Beetle’s feminine image – and will ostensibly doing away with Barbie themed Beetles, like the one seen above.

[Source: Volkswagen]

Hit the jump to read the official press release

Continue Reading…

 |  Jan 26 2009, 11:23 AM

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Porsche has just announced the opening of a new $100 million museum on Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen to celebrate the history of the famous German sportscar maker. This 60,250 sq.-ft. building was designed by Viennese architects Delugan Meissl and houses displays with 80 important models.

The museum collection, however, totals 400 vehicles and the 80 shown at any given time will change frequently. Porsche is proud of its driving heritage and so vehicles will regularly be taken out of exhibits and driven or even raced.

Along with the exhibits, Porsche intends to use the museum as a location to hold events and the building also houses a restaurant and even a cigar lounge. Automotive journalists, authors and historians will appreciate the fact that the museum includes an archives which will be made available to them.

Among the most significant exhibits at the new museum, Porsche lists the following:

A 1939 Type 64. Known as the original Porsche, this 33hp vehicle was built by (and raced by) Ferdinand Porsche in the Berlin-Rome long-distance race.

A 1950 VW Beetle. With 21.5 million units sold this original Beetle represents the original People’s Car, which Ferdinand Porsche presented in 1934. With an air-cooled four-cylinder mounted int he rear – creating enough room for four people, this is easily one of the most historic vehicles of all time.

1948 Porsche 356 “No. 1” Roadster. This 35hp model was the  first Porsche to bear the Porsche name.

1953 Porsche 356 America Roadster. With 70hp, this roadster was built specifically for the American market and was much lighter than other models of its time.

1956 Porsche 550 A Spyder. Knick-named “Little Bastard” by James Deam, this is the same model the actor was driving when he died on his way to the racetrack in 1955.

1960 356 B 2000 GS Carrera GT. Featuring 175hp and many innovations this is the first Porsche to bear the Carrera name.

1964 Porsche 911 2.0 Coupé. The successor to the 356, the 911 was original named the 901 but Peugot had legal rights to all three numbered car names with a zero in the middle.

1973 Porsche 917/30 Spyder. Featuring a turbocharged 12-cylinder boxer engine this race car boasted 1200 hp and a top speed of 239 mph.

1973 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Coupé. Known as the fasted production car of its time, the ducktail rear spoiler characterized this vehicle. It made 210hp and was capable of hitting a top speed of 149 mph.

1976 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0 Coupé. The first Porsche to use an exhaust gas turbocharger.

1988 Porsche 959. One of just 292 vehicles ever built the 450hp 959 displayed advanced technology in a street car.

2003 Carrera GT. Yes, all 612hp of V10 goodness. This was the first street car from Porsche to feature an all carbon fiber body.

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Official release INCLUDING MORE INFO ON EVEN MORE PORSCHES after the jump:

Continue Reading…