Wednesday, July 27, 2011

2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Coming Next Spring

The wraps have only just come off the new 2012 Volkswagen Beetle but so far only the hard-top model has been revealed. However, as we saw with the previous generation ‘New Beetle’, sales of the convertible are just as important as those of the coupe and in some years were actually the higher of the two.

In fact, from 2003 to 2005, the New Beetle Convertible was the more popular choice, with sales managing to peak at 24,255 units in 2003, its first full year of sales.

Understandably, Volkswagen will be keen to launch the convertible version of its latest Beetle and thanks to information revealed at a first drive event of the hard-top, we can now reveal that it will come onto the market next spring as a 2013 model.

The 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible will once again feature an automated folding soft-top and should be priced only slightly higher than the hard-top, which lists from $19,765.

It turns out Volkswagen is also waiting until next spring to launch the diesel version of the latest Beetle, the Beetle TDI. This fuel friendly model will be offered in either coupe or convertible bodystyles and will come with a 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine rated at 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy is a claimed 29/40 mpg city/highway.

Look out for the debut of the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show this September, but in the meantime, click here for our first drive report of the coupe, which goes on sale in October.

Source: TheCarConnection

Monday, July 4, 2011

Volkswagen New Beetle Ragster

What Is It?

Volkswagen New Beetle Ragster Concept

What's Special About It?

Although man has harnessed fire, split the atom and created Pay Per View, few thought it could be done, but this concept car unequivocally proves VW's cute Beetle can be a tough-looking, masculine ride with more attitude than a New York City cab driver.

Based on a production Beetle convertible, the horribly named Ragster was designed by Salaeman Halim at Volkswagen's California design studio. "I wanted to give the car more direction and more attitude," says Halim, whose dream car is a Lamborghini Countach LP400. "But I didn't want it to try and be something more than it is."

Halim achieved his objectives by shortening the A-pillars 90 mm and adding a square roof that is 4 inches lower than the Beetle's usual rounded top. The result is a chopped-top look any hot rodder will recognize and respond to positively. Within the U-shaped frame of the top is a sliding canvas panel, which makes the car a kind of quasi-speedster. It's also the genesis for half the car's questionable name, which combines the words "ragtop" and "speedster."

Halim also added edge to the Beetle's bumpers and wheel wells, redesigned the taillights, added large cross-drilled brake rotors, too-cool redline tires and 19-inch alloy wheels. Then he had his creation painted "Rebel-White" with silver racing stripes.

"The redline tires serve three purposes," says Derek Jenkins, Volkswagen's advanced design chief in North America. "They evoke the rideline drag slicks of the 1950s and 1960s, they're supposed to remind people of Hot Wheels and they enhance the diameter of the large wheels."

Inside the Ragster, Halim added racing bucket seats covered in chocolate brown leather with unique white stitching, a three-spoke steering wheel and a dash-mounted rearview mirror.

The powertrain is a mystery. VW says a powerful gasoline engine or a high-torque TDI are imaginable should the Ragster see production.

Source: Insideline

Volkswagen Future Vehicles

Volkswagen CC

2014 Volkswagen CC: After receiving a midcycle refresh in 2011, the CC should get its first redesign around the 2014 Model Year.

Volkswagen Golf

2013 Volkswagen Golf: Redesigned for 2010, the Volkswagen Golf won't get a significant refresh until the 2013 model year. At that time, Volkswagen may add a plug-in hybrid version of the Golf to the lineup.

2013 Volkswagen Golf R: New for Model Year 2013 is the Volkswagen Golf R. Essentially being the old R32, expect it to have standard all-wheel drive, a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that puts out around 270 hp, and will be available in two and four-door configurations. The only transmission offered will be a six-speed manual.

Volkswagen GTI

2013 Volkswagen GTI: All-new for 2010, the Volkswagen GTI won't get a significant refresh until the 2013 model year.

Volkswagen Jetta

2012 Volkswagen Jetta Coupe: Previewed by the NCC concept at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show, the production version of the Jetta Coupe is expected to arrive in late 2011. It will share all of the same drivetrain components with the Jetta sedan and should be priced accordingly.

2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid: A plug-in hybrid version of the next-generation Jetta is planned for production by 2012.

Volkswagen New Beetle

2012 Volkswagen Beetle: After over a decade on the market, the Volkswagen Beetle finally gets a full redesign for the 2012 model year. Expected to go on sale in the fall of 2011 in the U.S., this Beetle, which was revealed at this year's New York auto show, will be slightly bigger than the current model with styling apparently inspired by the Porsche 356.

Volkswagen Passat

2012 Volkswagen Passat: All new for the 2012 model year, the Passat will have a drastically reduced base price and will be available with a 2.0-liter TDI engine good for 43 mpg.

Volkswagen Polo

2013 Volkswagen Polo: This subcompact hatchback has been on sale for years in Europe. The latest version may finally make its way to the States as Volkswagen sees a larger potential market for cars of its size.

Volkswagen Tiguan

2013 Volkswagen Tiguan: A redesign of the Tiguan is expected to arrive by 2012.

Volkswagen Touareg

2014 Volkswagen Touareg: The second-generation Volkswagen Touareg went on sale in the U.S. at the end of 2010. The earliest we expect a refresh to happen is around the 2014 Model Year.

Volkswagen Up!

2013 Volkswagen Up!: Volkswagen may bring its Up! city car to the U.S. by 2012. Although the two-door version is expected to go on sale in Europe in 2011, the U.S. will probably get a four-door version based on the Space Up! concept. An all-electric version of the Up! is also under consideration for the U.S. market.

Source: Insideline