The latest VW Beetle upgrades from ABT Sportsline add some real machismo to the styling, performance and handling of this lovable coupe and ragtop. Typically sold on a individual basis, the full ABT kit is also available to turn a stock Beetle into something much more sinister.
The beauty of these ABT upgrades, despite the Euro-market’s sometimes trashy appetite for car modifying products, is that they can generally be applied across any of the engines or trims from the 2011 to present Volkswagen Beetle coupe and cabriolet. This full-line strategy is smart for ABT, and with only a few pieces that are model-year or trim-specific, providing other options to fit a diesel engine or GSR . These guys know Beetles inside and out, so they are a good resource for personalizing your love bug.
Driving a fast Beetle might sound like a joke to serious GTI fans, but there is a special joy in this shape that’s still present after all these years. Additionally, a higher seating position amplifies all the senses, with the G-force feeling even more enjoyable and hilarious inside.
When you pass someone in a fast Beetle, they will be: confused, impressed, and then confused again. That is part of the fun, and ABT certainly gets it.
Click past the jump for all the details on ABT Sportsline’s upgrades to the 2011-present Volkswagen Beetle and Beetle Cabriolet.
The ABT Sportsline upgrades to the latest-gen style of the Beetle are very successful: this car faithfully recreates some of the coolness of the Ragster concept and also numerous chopped-roof custom old Beetles.
In black with the optional OEM VW LED’s lit up in a half moon, the ABT upgrade to the wheels and springs makes the most different to these eyes.
A full body kit is offered, with graphite bumper accents in the lower air dams to increase the stance. These are nicely finished but not really required. Lower springs and big wheels is really all this Beetle needs to look completely different than stock.
Headlight and taillight covers are offered, but seem quite unusual to someone outside the often-tacky German car tuning scene. At least they are color-matching body color, but eyelid headlight covers are right up there with TruckNutz and CarLashes for their hideousness.
On that note, the Herbie-style wrap and custom stripes of the ABT demo car is luckily not mandatory when buying the ECU or handling upgrades.
2011-2014 Volkswagen Beetle by ABT - Exterior Upgrades
- Front Spoiler
- Headlight Covers
- Rear Skirt Set
- License Plate Insert
- Taillight Covers
- Complete Wheel Set
- Valve Caps
- Suspension Springs
Far fewer ABT upgrades are available inside, which is refreshing versus some high-dollar customs. Only special floor mats and LED-lit ABT sill logos are offered.
- Floor Mat Set
- Integrated Entrance Lights With ABT Logo
Drivetrain, Suspension and Brakes
The ABT performance upgrade is actually much more than a chip or flash, which is very nice for ease of installation and the ability to revert back to stock at sale time.
The ABT ECU upgrade is a major piece of equipment, with all the required and matching OEM plug sockets, so the power upgrade is applied consistently across the engine, turbo and other parameters.
General power increases are quite impressive, especially for the diesel engines. The gasoline upgrade from ABT pushes stock power from 200 up to 240 horsepower, which is nothing to sneeze at for about 30 minutes or DIY-able installation.
Performance figures show a corresponding drop, even for the weediest standard engines. Sprint pace is improved across the board, as is top speed.
2011-2014 Volkswagen Beetle by ABT - Performance Upgrades:
|Model||Stock Output||Modified Output|
|VW Beetle (5C0) 1.2-liter TSI||77 kW (105 Horsepower) and 175 Nm (129 Pound-Feet)||103 kW (140 Horsepower), 220 Nm (162 Pound-Feet)|
|VW Beetle (5C0) 1.4-liter TSI||118 kW (160 Horsepower) and 240 Nm (177 Pound-Feet)||154 kW (210 Horsepower) and 280 Nm (207 Pound-Feet)|
|VW Beetle (5C0) 2.0-liter TSI||147 kW (200 Horsepower) and 280 Nm (207 Pound-Feet)||176 kW (240 Horsepower) and 340 Nm (251 Pound-Feet)|
|VW Beetle (5C0) 1.6-liter TDI||77 kW (105 Horsepower) and 250 Nm (184 Pound-Feet)||92 kw (125 Horsepower) and 285 Nm (210 Pound-Feet)|
|VW Beetle (5C0) 2.0-liter TDI||103 kW (140 Horsepower) and 320 Nm (236 Pound-Feet)||125 kW (170 Horsepower) and 360 Nm (266 Pound-Feet)|
Pricing and Availability
All these upgrades area available now for shipping within and outside Europe. Pricing is available on request only, but ABT does have a pretty good configurator to play around with the various options.
Fast Beetles are also fun because they simply shock other traffic. We know because my first car was a bright green 1975 SuperBeetle coupe, with a sunroof, quad pipes and big wheel upgrade. This little 1.6-liter was content to roar around town at full throttle all day, the lightweight steering and very-good snow traction making it a sweet steer all year round in the Chicago suburbs for this former teenager.
Great to see the Beetle hot-rod flame still burning bright with this latest gen of “thug bugs” from ABT Sportsline.
- ECU Upgrade looks totally worthwhile
- The wheels and springs add some style points and improved stability
- Graphics and headlight/taillight covers are not the greatest
- Unpublished pricing, shipping and painting costs for some aero pieces
The ABT Beetle – a sporty Convertible or Coupé
“How cute, how sweet” – that’s how the Beetle has always been described. The “round” shape and its robust technology it has had for generations have turned it into a cult car. And that an extra dose of sportiness is just what the doctor ordered is surely proven by the ABT Beetle. In its latest open or closed version it is very modern, elegant and dynamic. A real “Super Beetle”.
“Economic efficiency, an attractive design and pleasure are not mutually exclusive,” says CEO Hans-Jürgen Abt and explains the upratings concept: “We have an ideal solution for all variants and almost anything customers may want.” Be it as a Coupé or Convertible, the ABT Beetle is always a highly individual car. For frequent drivers who are looking for economic efficiency and endurance there are, for example, the diesel engines. The 2.0 TDI is enhanced to 170 hp or 125 kW (serial version: 140 hp/103 kW) and its torque from 320 to 370 Nm, enough to really get going. The “small” diesel, with its 1.6 liter, ABT has enhanced to 125 hp or 92 KW (serial version: 105 hp/77 kW).
The turbo petrol engines are also economically very efficient. The ABT POWER Pack is the 2.0 TSI with 240 hp or 176 kW (serial version: 200 hp/147 kW). But the not too thirsty 1.4 liter and 1.2 liter engines are also quite sporty: 210 hp or 154 kW (serial version: 160 hp/118 kW) by the 1.4 liter are quite something and make the Beetle very dynamic. The smallest engine reaches 140 hp or 103 kW (serial version: 105 hp/77 kW). But whichever variant you choose, every ABT Beetle combines sportiness with ab(t)solute dependability and a maximum of roadworthiness.
It goes without saying that ABT Sportsline has come up with some aerodynamic elements for this racy Beetle: a front spoiler and headlight covers make the car appear cheekier, especially if lowered by 30mm by ABT suspension springs. The tail light covers, rear panel and rear skirt set with the 2-pipe exhaust system make the car appear assertive and underscore its sportiness. In combination with the ABT alloy wheels, all these make the Beetle perfect. You can choose between the CR in matt “mystic anthracite”, a gunmetal DR and the new, expressive ER-C in a silver bullet look. The designer wheels are available in 18 to 20 inches and also in combination with high-performance tires. Because, after all, the ABT Beetle is to race along bendy roads and also show a good motorway performance.