In the high-octane, torque-twisting world of the drag strip, a paradigm shift is slowly taking shape with the most unlikely of cars leading the way. Unassuming look aside, the “Black Current” Volkswagen Beetle EV by Oliver Young is an electric vehicle that has done some serious damage on the drag strip becoming the first street-bodied EV to post a nine-second, quarter-mile time. That time looks more impressive when you take into account the fact that this little Beetle once destroyed a Tesla Roadster on a drag strip.
While it’s not the fastest quarter-mile time ever posted by an EV – that title belongs to the Current Eliminator, which covered the same distance in seven seconds at 160 mph – the Black Current does hold the record for being the fastest ‘street-bodied’ EV in the world - at least until proven otherwise.
For now, though, Oliver Young can stake claim to this tremendous achievement and on a grander scale, he and his ‘Black Current’ Beetle EV are giving EVs the proper exposure in the world of drag racing, something that was unheard of as late as a decade ago.
More details on the Volkswagen Beetle EV “Black Current” after the jump
There’s a certain sense of artistic symbolism to this commercial that makes it one of our favorite ads that is set to be shown at the Super Bowl later today.
Created by Volkswagen for this special day, the commercial takes us into the life of a wandering beetle in the forest that’s seemingly determined to race past all of the other insects like his life depended on it. It sort of reminds us of that movie ’A Bug’s Life’ except that instead of Flik the Ant, we’re treated to a beetle that always seems to be in a hurry, even demonstrating a few drift maneuvers while racing past other insects in the jungle.
If you’re not the type to get queasy in seeing the mugs of bugs up close, then you’ll definitely enjoy this commercial. Obviously, there’s only one car in Volkswagen’s line-up that can be associated with this ad and we don’t need to remind you what it is.
All you need to do is look at the main character of the commercial and it’s physical characteristics and it becomes as obvious as the name associated with it.
And if you still haven’t figured out that this commercial is for the 2012 Beetle, then the sick ending of the insect fading into the silhouette of the new Beetle is as mind-numbingly obvious as it can get.
Apparently, even the tall and mighty are not immune to the auto world’s version of the flu: recalls.
Volkswagen, one of the biggest automakers in the world has issued a huge recall involving five of its models that were manufactured during a five-year period from 2006 to 2010. The problem appears to be a small plastic tab on the windshield washer fluid reservoir that could chafe against the car’s fuel supply line. The models affected by this problem include the Volkswagen Jetta, the Jetta Sportwagen, the Golf, and the Rabbit.
Meanwhile, another model – the New Beetle – has it’s own set of problems involving a fastening clamp on its hydraulic hose that could also chafe against the car’s fuel supply line.
These problems, if not treated immediately, could cause a fuel leak and at worst, the cars could also end up catching fire.
All in all, 228,236 models are affected by this problem. For their part, Volkswagen has already begun initiatives for the recall, which is expected to begin no later than January 31, 2011. If you have the Jetta, Golf, and Rabbit, service technicians will remove the plastic tab from the washer fluid reservoir. On the flip side, if you have the Beetle, service technicians will adjust the fastening clamp’s position, steering it clear from the car’s fuel supply line.
Should you have any questions regarding the recall, you can call Volkswagen at the 1-800-822-8987.
Volkswagen isn’t just going to let Ferdinand Porsche’s immortal beetle get washed down the drain. After such a successful sales run, it would be a shame for the beetle to just drift away into nothingness so Volkswagen has decided to rejuvenate the bug by presenting the funky Volkswagen Ragster Concept.
Sources say the Ragster concept will be exhibited during next year’s Detroit International Motor Show where it will either create a big stir amongst the Beetle lovers or be haphazardly glanced at by passers-by. According to recent reports, Volkswagen says the Ragster isn’t just a remodel of the current Beetle, but a completely re-engineered vehicle complete with an all new chassis, body panels, and interior.
The power for the concept comes from a choice of three engine packages, from a range-topping 2.0-liter to a 211hp four-cylinder, and a 1.2-liter that produces a mighty 110hp. There are also plans for a mix of turbo diesel variants.
We must say, the Volkswagen Ragster Concept does show a bit of promise. They have basically taken the Beetle, added a ragtop, and gave it some attitude. The Ragster even looks the part with the front windshield looking as if the Beetle has furrowed its eyebrows. Nicely done, V-Dub. Definitely a much better option than the next generation Beetle rendered by David Cordoso. Now we’ll just have to wait and see if it can take the place of the classic Beetle.
Just in case you’ve believed the myth that muscle-bound, sports cars are the fastest way to a woman’s, uhm, heart, then you might reconsider everything you’ve believed before.
According to auto industry research firm TrueCar, women have and continue to be gaga over the Volkswagen New Beetle. That’s right, the cute little bug is a tried-and-tested babe magnet.
Another interesting thing TrueCar discovered was that despite outpopulating men by a fairly slim margin - 51% to 49% - in America, 64% of all the registered cars belonged to men while 36% only belonged to women. Despite the skewed figures relative to the population difference, the New Beetle scored fairly well in the eyes of the opposite sex, registered to 56.1% of all the women that were part of the survey.
And just in case you have any one of these other cars, you wouldn’t need to worry about scoring brownie points with the ladies too because they’re also digging these rides: the Nissan Rogue, the Hyundai Tucson, the Volkswagen Eos, and the Volvo S40.
Designing car renderings is already a pretty laborious endeavor in itself, but when the car you’re designing happens to be one of the most iconic of any kind in history, the standards are, shall we say, a little higher.
Independent designer, David Cordoso, knows all of this and yet didn’t shy away from designing a proposal for the next-generation Volkswagen Beetle, which VW is set to release sometime in the near future.
According to Cordoso, his Beetle design is a fully-electric, emissions-free vehicle that is in-line with the latest development plans of Volkswagen. As far as the design itself is concerned, it’s a fresh interpretation of its predecessor and something that we’ve actually taken a liking to. On the other hand, the car’s headlights are a little too small for our taste, which pretty much defeats the purpose of it being called a ’Beetle’.
Nobody saw this coming, or at least those who don’t know the underlying secrets of why this custom electric Volkswagen Beetle laid the smackdown on a Tesla Roadster in a quarter-mile drag race.
While people may question the manhood of the Roadster for losing to a Beetle, it’s worth noting that this Bug, which was the handiwork of brothers Olly and Sam Young, is far from being a typical car. The Beetle actually has two electric motors - 60 Odyssey PC680 12V batteries and a Zilla 2K motor controller - that delivers as much as 1,200 lb.-ft. of torque. With all that power, the Beetle, aka the Black Current III, can clear 0-60 mph in just three seconds while posting a quarter-mile time of 11.24 seconds at 114 mph.
Proving that perception isn’t always reality, this souped-up electric Beetle takes on a Tesla Roadster, which now seems to be woefully incompetent in putting up a fight against the electric Beetle. Watch the video and see how the race unfolds.
The second incarnation of the immortal Volkswagen Beetle - they call it the New Beetle, although at this point, there’s really nothing new about it - is set to ride of into the sunset. However, before it makes its final curtain call, VW is accepting final orders for the little bug before it completely ceases production in the near future.
This should pave the way for the highly-toute new version of the Beetle, which Volkswagen has reported to have given a thorough revision with more emphasis placed on the "New" Beetle’s tech specs rather than the overall aesthetics.
In any case, final orders for the current-generation New Beetle are being taken in anticipation of its eventual departure, which would then pave the way for the next-generation Beetle’s release sometime in the early part of next year.
Volkswagen is currently preparing the next generation Beetle city car. It will be previewed by a concept version in November at the Los Angeles Auto Show with a production version to follow in 2011.
The 2012 Beetle will be built on a new chassis with wider tracks and a longer wheelbase and will feature MacPherson struts suspensions at the front and a torsion beam at the rear. Engine line-up will include a 105bhp 1.2, a 160bhp 1.4 and a 210bhp 2.0 liter. The US market will also get a 170bhp 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine. Diesel line-up will include the new 105bhp 1.6 and a 140bhp 2.0 liter.
In an interview with AutoCar, a Volkswagen insider said: "It is more contoured, with additional structuring and defined feature lines used to help to break up the simple surfacing and unadorned character of the current model. The screen angles are less extreme and the roof structure is less rounded than it is at the moment."
Volkswagen Australia has just revealed a new special edition Volkswagen New Beetle, which they’re making available for both coupe and convertible versions and petrol and diesel engine options. Prices for the new Beetle BlackOrange start at $27,500 for the coupe version and at $37,700 for the convertible one. The auto transmission is an optional feature that will cost you $2,500.
The New Beetle BlackOrange is distinguished by 17-inch alloy wheels with sports suspension, leatherette seat upholstery, cruise control, and front fog lights. Meanwhile, the car’s interior will be outfitted with an aluminum finish clutch, brake and accelerator pedals, as well as a leather steering wheel and gearshift knob.
As far as color options are concerned, the New Beetle BlackOrange will be available in two color combinations. One offers a Black gloss exterior with silver exterior mirrors, silver alloy wheels and lower body side decals in silver. The alternative combination is a Red Rock Metallic exterior with black roof and exterior mirrors as well as black alloy wheels and lower body side decals in Black.