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.
The first thing you will notice as you walk up to the Fender Edition Bug is that it borrows the front fascia from the Beetle Turbo, so it has a chrome band spanning the width of the lower grille and splitting the turn signals from the fog lamps. The headlights are of the Bi-Xenon variety and provide loads of light to see at night.
On each corner the Beetle Fender Edition boasts an 18-inch “Disc” wheel, which is borrows from the Beetle 2.5L. These are called “Disc” wheels because of the large flat disc-like area in the center of the rim, not because they have those goofy simulated brake discs on them. The exterior of the Beetle Fender Edition is draped in Deep Black Pearl Metallic paint, which it borrowed from the Turbo models paint options.
There are really only two parts to the Fender Edition’s exterior that make it truly unique. The first items are the “Fender” emblems mounted just below the A-pillars – the front-most pillars – on the Beetle’s exterior. The other unique features are the chrome side-view mirrors. Neither of these features are available on any other Beetle.
Overall, we are slightly disappointed with the exterior, as it is just a mix-mash of the various trim levels, sans the mirrors and “Fender” emblems, which you can buy online for cheap. It is nice to see VW taking a conservative approach and not completely mar the Beetles sexy new exterior.
On the inside is where things get a lot different on the Beetle Fender Edition. The first thing that stands out is the “Sunburst” dashboard panel, which is where the middle of the dashboard is bright and it slowly darkens as you reach the edge. If you have ever seen or owned a Fender Stratocaster Sunburst – the signature Fender guitar – then you know what we mean, if not, see the above images. On the lower, passenger’s side corner of the “Sunburst” is another “Fender” emblem.
The seats and other upholstery are overall quieter and darker than most Beetles, but it does feature contrasting stitching to avoid becoming boring.
The rest of the interior is as expect in a Beetle, with its flat-bottomed steering wheel with audio and speed controls, light chrome accents, and easy-to-use HVAC controls.
In the technology department is where the Beetle Fender Edition really stands out. The Beetle Fender Edition boasts a 400-watt Fender Premium Audio system with at least nine speakers – there’s likely the option for additional speakers – and an LCD screen. It also boasts a 10-channel amplifier.
On the base level, the Beetle features four Fender Deluxe tweeters to get those high notes out with zero distortion. There are two 20 cm (7.9-inch) Fender Twin speakers with dual-voice coils, which belt out a combination of mid- and high-range frequencies. The two 16 cm (6.3-inch) Fender speakers in the rear of the 2013 Beetle Fender Edition boast neodymium magnets for punchy mid-range sounds. Rounding out the entire system is a 20 cm (7.9-inch) Fender Bassman subwoofer – the term “Bassman” comes from the amplifier that Fender manufactures and designs for use only with bass guitars – with dual-voice coils for precise response and glassfiber reinforced foamed paper for increased durability.
These speakers really only bear the “Fender” name, as they are actually manufactured by Panasonic for Fender, which then sells them to VW. Regardless of their roots and travels they go through getting to the Beetle, this system is simply phenomenal.
Engine and Drivetrain
Okay, in case you haven’t caught on just yet, the Beetle Fender Edition is essentially a Beetle Turbo with the 180inch wheels from a 2.5L and a few visual upgrades and a kick-ass stereo system. So this means that the Fender Edition boasts the same drivetrain and engine as a Turbo model, which is awesome.
The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-pot pumps out 200 horsepower between 5,100 rpm and 6,000 rpm, and 207 pound-feet of torque at 1,700 to 5,000 rpm. Linked to this engine is a standard 6-speed manual trans that feed the power to the front wheels. The Turbo model has an optional 6-speed automatic, so we assume the Fender Edition will have the same options. Our only complaint, which remains true through the whole beetle line, is that it only comes in front-wheel drive. With all of the awesome resources at VW’s fingertips (See: Audi Quattro system and VW 4Motion system) why in the world is there not an AWD version of the Turbo Beetle yet?
All of this power combines to make the Beetle Turbo the fasted production Beetle ever, reaching 60 mph in just 6.8 seconds, and we anticipate the Fender Edition not being any slower. That’s a heck of a lot faster than the 1953 Beetle, whose top speed was just a tick over 60 mph and took 22.9 seconds just to reach 50 mph.
In addition to the additional ponies, this boosted 2.0-liter engine is also pretty thrifty, getting a respectable 21 – 22 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.
We absolutely love the fact that VW chose to build this special edition Beetle on its highest platform. So many automakers tend to build special edition models on the base or mid-range platform in hopes of raking in higher profits by marking up lower trim levels for the added special equipment. Good call, VW.
Suspension and Braking
Again from the apparent fact that this is a Beetle Turbo with some mild visual changes, we can come to the conclusion that the steering and suspension systems on the Fender Edition are the same as on the Beetle Turbo.
This would indicate that the 2013 Beetle Fender Edition boasts an independent front suspension with McPherson struts and a 23 mm stabilizer bar to minimize body lean in hard turning. The rear end is a multi-link design with shock absorbers and coil springs. The rear suspension boasts a slightly smaller stabilizer bar as 18 mm.
On all four corners of the Beetle Fender Edition are disc brakes. The front brakes feature 312 mm (12.28-inch) x 25 mm (0.98-inch) ventilated rotors and the rear brakes have solid rotors measuring 272 mm (10.7 inches) x 10 mm (0.39 inches). As required by law, the 2013 Beetle Fender Edition boasts antilock brakes on all four wheels.
The base Beetle Fender Edition has been priced at $25,235 with a six-speed manual. Should you want the DSG automatic as your tranny, you’re going to have to add $1,100. For the Beetle Turbo, the price has been set at st $28,925, with the DSG model tacking in another $,1070.
When Can I Get One?
Volkswagen plans to release the 2013 Beetle Fender Edition in Europe in a few months, then start bringing it to the U.S. in the fall of 2012.
The Beetle itself has loads of competitors, including: Chevy Cruze , Fiat 500 and Ford Focus . None of those competitors have a special edition, like the Fender Edition, to directly compete with this model. Depending on the production level, this may also end up being a highly collectable car, which separates from any competition, as well. WE will continue to keep an eye out for upcoming special editions that may compete with this model and keep you updated.
Without seeing the final price, it is really tough to make a final verdict on the 2013 Beetle Fender Edition. As it sits, it is just a Beetle Turbo with upgraded stereo, different wheels and some small visual changes on the interior and exterior. If VW puts a $5,000, or so, extra on the Turbo’s sticker for this package, we say it is well worth it, but anything more than that is just a waste of money.
We will give you our final ruling once the official pricing comes out.
- 2.0-Liters of turbocharged fun
- Sunburst dashboard insert is an awesome touch
- Very reserved interior
- Still no AWD option for the 2.0 turbo
- Not much difference between this model and a loaded Beetle Turbo
- What, no guitar? The VW Jetta Trek came with a bike...
Gallery Volkswagen Beetle Fender Edition
31 May 2012
THE BEETLE FENDER EDITION: TWO ICONS, ONE STATEMENT
Volkswagen presents a new special edition of the Beetle at the Leipzig Auto Show
Standard concert-quality Fender Premium Audio System
Interior features “Sunburst” dash and contrasting stitching
Brushed chrome side mirrors, 18-inch “Disc” aluminum-alloy wheels
Fender logo displayed in chrome
Leipzig, Germany/Herndon, VA — First seen as a concept car at the Frankfurt International Auto Show in 2011, the production version of the Beetle Fender Edition makes its world debut at the Leipzig International Auto Show. Volkswagen’s iconic coupe is not only fitted with the outstanding premium Fender© sound system, but also visually demonstrates its affiliation with the American musical icon.
The Beetle Fender Edition stands out with unique interior and exterior styling. Its distinctively painted dashboard features the quintessential sunburst color of Fender guitars, and the vehicle’s interior is accented with color-contrasting seams that complement the dash’s colors. Beetle Fender Edition vehicles equipped with the 200-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder TSI© engine will receive seats with exclusive fabric inserts. Outside, all Beetle Fender Edition vehicles are painted in Deep Black Metallic and also feature brushed chrome exterior mirrors, 18-inch “Disc” aluminum-alloy wheels, Bi-Xenon headlights, and the famous Fender logo.
The Fender Premium Audio System debuted in the Jetta GLI in the U.S., but the Beetle is the first VW vehicle in Europe equipped with the high-performance sound setup. Using proprietary Panasonic© speaker technology, the system cuts through noise and other distraction with front dual-voice coil speakers to create a soundstage closely akin to a true, live performance. The concert-quality audio won CNET.com’s “Best-sounding car stereo” award.
The Fender Premium Audio System includes no fewer than nine speakers along with a 10-channel amplifier providing 400 Watts of system power:
Four Fender Deluxe™ Tweeters
Two-ohm soft dome with neodymium magnet
Wide frequency range and extension
Incredibly low distortion
Excellent off-axis performance
Reveals the harmonic richness of voices and instruments
Two Fender Twin™ Speakers
20-cm with dual-voice coils
Ribbed polypropylene honeycomb cone
Wide frequency range and extension
High power-handling capability
Lightweight and low distortion
Two Fender Rear Speakers
16-cm with neodymium magnet
Ribbed polypropylene honeycomb cone
Smooth midrange response
One Fender Bassman™ Subwoofer
20-cm with dual-voice coils
Lightweight and high-efficiency neodymium magnet
Glassfiber-reinforced foamed paper
High power-handling capability
Powerful and precise bass response
The Beetle Fender Edition will first go on sale in Europe and will be available in America in the fall of 2012. Pricing will be announced at a later date.
About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen’s operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Volkswagen is one of the world’s largest producers of passenger cars and Europe’s largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Beetle, Eos, Golf, Golf R, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan, Touareg and Routan vehicles through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen of America online at www.vw.com or media.vw.com to learn more.
About Fender Musical Instruments Corporation:
Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) is a leading, global musical instruments company whose comprehensive portfolio of brands includes Fender®, Squier®, Guild®, Tacoma®, Gretsch®, Jackson®, Charvel®, EVH®, SWR® and Groove Tubes®, among others. Fender® instruments include the Telecaster®, Stratocaster®, Precision Bass® and Jazz Bass® guitars. For more information, visit www.fender.com.
About Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America:
Based in Peachtree City, Georgia, and with Detroit area operations located in Southfield, MI, Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America is a division of Secaucus, New Jersey-based Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation., Ltd. (NYSE: PC) of Osaka, Japan, one of the world’s leading developers and producers of innovative digital and other electronic products for consumer,
Business, and industrial use. Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America also acts as the North American operating company of Panasonic Automotive Systems Company, which coordinates global automotive industry systems and components operations. For more information on Panasonic, visit www.panasonic.com.
This press release and images of the Beetle Fender Edition are available at media.vw.com.
“TSI”, “VW”, “Volkswagen”, all model names and the Volkswagen logo are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG. “Fender” is a registered trademark of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. “Panasonic” is a registered trademark of Panasonic Corporation.
Features and technical data apply to models offered in the USA. They may differ in other countries.
Leigh Anne Sessions