Volkswagen Beetle

Volkswagen Beetle

We are all set to get our first glimpse of the Beetle convertible when the 2012 Los Angeles Motor Show opens it doors, though we have a pretty good idea of what to expect, thanks to the E-Bugster convertible that we saw in Beijing. Well, now we got our first preview glimpse of the upcoming Beetle, but not directly from Volkswagen. This preview comes in the form of a scaled-down model of the upcoming drop top from Schuco Modell.

This 1:43-scale Beetle, which comes in black, white, and light blue, shows off the retro styling that VW has been talking about with the new Beetle and some pretty intense details. Volkswagen was obviously careful not to give Modell too much information, as to leave its 2012 release still somewhat of a mystery.

The Beetle convertible is expected to hit the UK market sometime early next year, to the tune of ₤18,000 ($28,602 at current exchange rates). We attempted to find a price and ordering medium for this model, but there is no information available.

Until we finally get to see the VW Beetle convertible in dealerships and parking spaces of men (and women) everywhere , we will just have to gaze at this petite model of the drop-top Bug.

The Dark Knight Rises has been heating up cinemas for the past few days, so it seems only fitting that with the last part of the trilogy in cinemas today, we take a look at one of the most enduring stars of the famed DC super hero movie franchise. No, we’re not talking about Alicia Silverstone’s Batgirl character from Batman and Robin. What we’re referring to is the Batmobile, the Dark Knight’s very own ride-of-choice.

In this section though, we’re going to pay tribute - we use that word loosely - to the five worst Batmobile replicas we’ve ever seen. Some are more eye-cringing than the others, but rest assured, none of them would pass the standards of Bruce Wayne.

Heck, we don’t even think the Joker would be caught dead riding in one of these so-called Batmobiles.

So here it is, folks. Prepare to cringe, laugh, or whatever emotion these pictures will do to you.

Find out TopSpeed’s five worst Batmobile replicas after the jump

Forza Motorsports players will have the possibility to further enrich their garages with 10 more cars thanks to the addition of a new Meguiar’s DLC car pack. The new pack is priced at 560 Microsoft Points.

The Meguiar’s DLC car pack will offer a mix of classic elegance and modern power, and combines cars from nearly the entire spectrum of the automotive history going from 1940 to 2012. Players will enjoy some of the most prominent ALMS race cars in recent history, some classic untouchable convertibles, several pre-war coupes, supercars, and more.

Here are the 10 new cars brought to you courtesy of the new Meguiar’s DLC car pack: Chevrolet Corvette Racing ZR1 ; 1959 BMW 507; 1940 Ford De Luxe Coupe; 2011 Aston Martin Cygnet ; 1997 Maserati Ghibli Cup; 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series ; 1987 RUF CTR Yellowbird; 1992 Toyota Celica GT-Four RC ST185; 1963 Volkswagen Beetle ; and 1958 MG MGA Twin-Cam.

Late last year we announced that Volkswagen was displaying a new concept car, the Beetle Fender Edition, and they were working toward possibly putting the model into production. Well, the “possibly “ part can be eliminated, as the production model 2013 Beetle Fender Edition has been put on display at the Leipzig Auto Show for all to see.

While the 2013 VW Beetle Fender Edition may not boast any significant performance upgrades, it certainly does feature a ton of audio and visual upgrades, which is exactly what you would expect of a Fender Edition car.

Volkswagen was kind enough to provide us with a press release that lays out all of the specs and features that this special edition bug boasts, as well as a good amount of high-quality images. The rear test is to see how this special edition stacks up to its competition and if it is really worth sinking the extra money into.

UPDATE 10/31/12: Volkswagen has officially priced the Beetle Fender Edition. How much is it going to cost? Hop on over after the jump to find out.

All of these answers and more are addressed in our full review after the jump.

Volkswagen E-Bugster Speedster Concept

Volkswagen has a long history of doing things the right way, especially when it comes to the maker’s storied past. One of the key moments in VW’s recent history was the release of the New Beetle back in the late-1990s. In this instance, Volkswagen made sure to build a car that was new, but still paid tribute to its historic predecessors. When Vee-Dub redesigned the New Beetle in 2011, dropping the “New” in the process, it hit a homerun in terms of making it look even more retro, yet remaining modern.

Volkswagen is now in for yet another change for the Beetle and it is again paying direct tribute to its past. This new change is the upcoming convertible models , which will debut at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show in November. According to a Car and Driver report, VW is making three special edition Beetle convertibles that pay homage to its past generations, one for the 1950s, one for the 1960s, and one for the 1970s.

There is no mention of what each decade’s special edition will come with, but we do know that they will include: unique color schemes, custom upholstery and white-wall – yes, white-wall – tires. From what we can tell, these three launches will not gobble up every Beetle convertible, so there should be plenty of normal convertible Beetles available for those that don’t want a special edition.

We all have to stand and applaud VW for not being afraid of paying homage to its very humble roots as the “People’s Car” and a car that was not the most popular amongst hot rodders of the day. As soon as we know more details on these special dedicatory Bugs we will let you know. One thing we hope for are a nice set of dog dish rims that came on the Bug through its early years.

Volkswagen is expanding on its E-Bugster Coupe shown at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in early 2012 by bringing a similar model to the Beijing Auto Show. The new model is called the E-Bugster Speedster Concept and shares many of the styling cues as that of its coupe counterpart.

Stylistically, we love this version of the concept because of its drop-top configuration. Nothing evokes images of breathless freedom than driving down the highway in a Beetle with the top down and the wind blowing your hair. The E-Bugster Speedster Concept may still be a concept in every sense of the word, but trust us when we tell you that this is one car that we won’t mind seeing inside Volkswagen dealerships soon.

Will it happen? We don’t know. But rest assured, you can expect a lot of people to clamor Volkswagen to send this one to production.

Find out more about the Volkswagen E-Bugster Cabriolet Concept after the jump.

Volkswagen Beetle Cabrio

When Volkswagen rid its lineup of the aging New Beetle in 2010 and released the all-new and more stylish Beetle in 2012 , the convertible option was left out. V-Dub-Ya gave no real explanation to the lacking of a ragtop, but we all assumed it would eventually become a part of the lineup; much like it took VW five years to put a drop-top on the New Beetle.

It appears that the Beetle won’t have nearly as long of a waiting period before allowing its new-found male buyers to lower the top and let the whole world know they aren’t afraid to drive a “chick’s" car. At the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition – Auto China 2012 for short – Volkswagen plans to unveil a new convertible model.

Now hold your horses before you head out to your local “People’s Car” dealership to reserve your ragtop Bug, as the revealed drop- top Bug is not going to be a production model. It will actually be a convertible version of the E-Bugster , VW’s concept electric Bug.

Regardless of the ragtop being on the top of the concept Bug, just teasing the possibility of a convertible Bug is enough to make Bug lovers happy. VW has yet to even hint about a release date for any convertible models, and we have a sneaking suspicion that it will be a late-2012 or early-2013 addition to the lineup, given the fact they are not displaying a production model.

Keep an eye out, as the Auto China 2012 is coming up soon – it opens to us media folk on April 23rd – and we will let you know the second we get a glimpse at it and any information on a potential release date. Let’s also keep our fingers crossed that VW adds a drop-top option to its sweet 200-horsepower Beetle Turbo model.

Seemingly every car has a stigma attached to it. Some make their driver look like he has a big ego, some are classified for country folk, and some cars even get tagged with a specific gender. Yup, how many guys do you see driving a Miata ? Not too many, unless you happen to know me – hey, it’s a Mazdaspeed MX-5 , leave me alone. The Volkswagen New Beetle was another car that got stuck with the “chick’s car” label, and rightfully so. C’mon, there is a flower vase in the dashboard…

In 2012, VW redesigned the beetle, giving it a lower profile and elongated hood, which makes it look stouter, flower vase and all. On top of the more “manly” look, VW also targeted men in particular in 2012 Beetle ads. The two ads that stick out most are the “Slap five” and “Thanks for flying Volkswagen,” both of which are directly aimed at men – the former more than the latter. I guess fist bumping and high-fiving random dudes and one pretty woman makes the Beetle manly. Hmm…

Regardless of my opinion on it, this campaign worked. Since September 2011, 49% of all 2012 Beetle buyers were men. That’s nearly one-third more than last year. Apparently, Volkswagen knows a thing or two about how men’s brains work and aren’t afraid to blatantly go after what it wants. One mind trick VW pulled over men’s eyes was to focus mostly on the turbocharged models, tugging away at our weakest point, raw power. I wonder what people would think of me if I decided to trade my Miata for a Beetle.

Volkswagen Beetle Cabrio

The new generation Beetle was launched last year in its coupe version, but Volkswagen is still trying to keep the cabrio version a secret until its official debut this Spring at the 2012 New York Auto Show. Tough luck, V-Dub, because our spy photographers have caught the drop top Beetle testing in some shivery winter conditions.

Volkswagen has done their best to make the convertible Beetle look like the old version, but they haven’t really succeeded at that. The model will borrow its design language from the coupe except it will feature an automated folding soft-top. Of course, that one selling point may be its most attractive feature, so expect higher sales for the convertible version.

The Volkswagen Beetle Cabrio will be powered by the same engine line-up found in the coupe. There will be one diesel engine, as well as two petrol engines with power ranging from 138 HP to 197 HP. The engines will be mated to either a standard 6-speed manual or an optional 6-speed DSG.

While everyone is waiting for the Beetle TDI version to debut next week in Chicago, German tuner Je Design has prepared an upgrade package for the existing 2.0 TFSI version . The package includes a pretty cool exterior upgrade, as well as the addition of 40 HP under the hood.

The new Beetle already looks the part with its new, more masculine design, so the exterior didn’t need much. Je Design only added an attractive rear apron insert with a diffuser, a centered air duct, and a new steel muffler with a round 90 millimeter large twin tailpipe. The car now sits on a new set of 19" alloy multi spoke wheels painted in an exclusive black "Tornado" finish. The new wheels can be combined with new suspension springs with a progressive characteristic and a sporty spring constant.

Under the hood, Je Design has tweaked the ECU to increase the output from 200 HP to 240 HP and the peak torque from 206 lbs-ft to 228 lbs-ft. As a result, the Beetle will now sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds (down from 7.5) and will hit a top speed of 138 mph.


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