Volkswagen Beetle Goes Topless at LA Auto Show

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande

Fatter and slimmer in all the right places, the topless version of Volkswagen’s better-looking Beetle got its in-person debut today during the 2012 LA Auto Show.

Mechanically, there’s little different about this car than its coupe sibling, but VW is making sure not to take this car in the same direction as its last Beetle convertible. Most notably, the car’s soft top doesn’t lump up into a Porsche 911-esque whale tail anymore. Instead it looks more like a smaller spoiler. Better yet, it drops in only 10 seconds: quick by any soft top standard.

Customers will be able to choose from the same three engine options as in the coupe: a 2.5-liter five cylinder with 170 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque, a 2.0-liter turbo unit with 200 hp and 207 lb-ft or a diesel engine with 140 hp and 236 lb-ft of twist at low rpm.

In each case, drivers may choose between a diesel or manual which can offer up to 41 mpg according to VW between the oil-burning engine and manual gearbox.

Volkswagen hopes to attract a less homogeneous group of buyers with its current-generation Beetle, and it might be able to do it. With more Porsche-like proportions and the 2.0-liter turbo paired with a manual, the car could find its way into new niches.

Of course, doing that will mean getting past the flower power baggage its nameplate carries, which is probably stickier than pollen.

The German automaker unveiled four variants of its Beetle Convertible at the 2012 LA Auto Show and you can enjoy them all below.

GALLERY: Volkswagen Beetle Convertible

Luke Vandezande
Luke Vandezande

Luke is an energetic automotive journalist who spends his time covering industry news and crawling the internet for the latest breaking story. When he isn't in the office, Luke can be found obsessively browsing used car listings, drinking scotch at his favorite bar and dreaming of what to drive next, though the list grows a lot faster than his bank account. He's always on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="http://twitter.com/lukevandezande">Twitter</A> looking for a good car conversation. Find Luke on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="http://twitter.com/lukevandezande">Twitter</A> and <A title="Luke on Google+" href="http://plus.google.com/112531385961538774338?rel=author">Google+</A>.

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