2013 Volkswagen iBeetle

German automaker, Volkswagen , is presenting quite a roster of vehicles at the Shanghai Auto Show. One of them, though, already has a dealership future. It’s also has a name that should catch a lot of peoples’ attention.

This is the Volkswagen iBeetle.

In case you’re wondering why there’s an "i" in front of "Beetle ", that’s because the iBeetle comes with a unique feature that no other Volkswagen has ever had. It’s the first VW to carry a newly developed docking station and a special iPhone application.

Oh, ok.

Honestly, a lot of people were probably expecting a whole lot more for a Beetle with an "i" prefix of sorts. So it’s got a docking station that you can put your iPhone into and take advantage of all its capabilities? Not exactly the kind of iCar we were all thinking Apple collaborate on.

But once you dive into what the iBeetle is fully capable of, you’ll understand why Volkswagen is pretty excited about this model.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen iBeetle

Exterior

Volkswagen iBeetle

Contrary to initial reactions, the Volkswagen iBeetle is more than just a Beetle with a new iPhone docking station on the dash. While it’s still a Beetle for all intents and purposes, it does have a number of distinctive features, including a choice of seven different exterior colors (Candy White, Oryx White Mother of Pearl Effect, Black Monochrome, Deep Black Pearl Effect, Platinum Grey, or Reflex Silver).

The exterior features door mirror housings and side trim panels finished in Galvano Grey, as well as black door sill plates and chrome badges with the "iBeetle" signature, and a set of 18-inch "Disc" alloy wheels painted in Galvano Grey with chrome wheel covers.

Interior

Volkswagen iBeetle

The interior of the iBeetle also has a few unique design details, highlighted by the same Galvano Grey accents on the dash pad and the steering wheel. There are also black sport seats in "Vienna" leather with contrast seams in light Ceramique and a new customized shift lever grip.

But the real highlight of the interior is the newly designed docking station that you can find on the the Beetle’s dashboard. Essentially, the docking station allows you to integrate your iPhone into the car, thus making use of all the phone’s functions using the Beetle itself.

Beetle App

Volkswagen iBeetle

Anybody looking to buy this model must obviously have an iPhone to make good use of all its features. But it doesn’t stop there. The iPhone must also have the special Beetle App that when launched, opens up a multitude of features that carries unique functions.

Among them include:

  • Spotify: lets users stream media such as new songs, customized playlists or online radio stations into the Beetle. Those who wish can post their favorite music directly to friends. In addition, users in the Beetle can switch between “Spotify” and “iTunes” at any time.
  • Expert: offers five functions which make the iPhone an extended on-board instrument of the Beetle, such as a G-Meter (for measuring lateral acceleration), oil and coolant temperature gauges for the engine, a chronometer, and a compass.
  • Trainer: can be used to compare driving times, distances, and fuel economy values for different routes between any two destinations. Here, too, tips can be posted via social networks like Twitter and Facebook—such as which route is faster to the office. -*Reader: lists the latest messages from social networks like Facebook, and reads iPhone messages aloud.
  • Postcard: Sends the current location of the Beetle to friends as a digital postcard with a map motif.
  • Photo: Sends photos taken inside the car to numerous social networks. Simply activate it, and the app does the rest.
  • Milestones: Available when the smartphone is undocked. Rewards its users with virtual “milestone stickers” for the Beetle when certain tasks have been completed.

Performance

Volkswagen didn’t say what kind of powertrain trim the iBeetle will have. Having said that, we expect the full range of engine trims, beginning with a 1.2-liter TSI engine that produces 105 horsepower, a 1.6-liter TDI with an output of 160 horsepower, a 2.0-liter TDI that produces 138 horsepower, a 2.0-liter TSI that nets 197 horsepower and a 2.5-liter five-cylinder.

Pricing

The iBeetle, which will be available in both coupe and convertible versions, will go on sale next year. No word yet on pricing, but we expect it to retail for just over $20,000.

Competition

2014 MINI Cooper

Mini Cooper

In a nutshell, the iBeetle is just a Volkswagen Beetle with a pretty cool technology added into it. One of the Beetle’s competitors, the 2014 MINI Cooper, doesn’t lack in its own share of unique features.

Price won’t be too different given the spate of new features on both models but ultimately, the one thing that differentiates the iBeetle from any Cooper version is precisely that docking station and all the accompanying features and technology it has at the owner’s disposal.

Conclusion

If you don’t have an iPhone, there’s no point in even buying the iBeetle. But if you’ve got one, the intrigue of actually syncing all of your phone’s capabilities into the car is pretty intriguing, to say the least.

LOVE IT
  • Plenty of features waiting to be used
  • Choice of different body colors
LEAVE IT
  • No iPhone, no sense in buying it
  • No performance upgrades
  • It’s not exactly what we envisioned for a car with integrated Apple technology

Press Release

Volkswagen iBeetle

Wolfsburg / Shanghai - Two iconic products will form an alliance later this year: the iPhone from Apple, and the Beetle from Volkswagen. The iPhone will interface with the Beetle and Beetle Convertible via a specially developed app and a docking station. The iBeetle is the first model line from the Volkswagen Group in which the iPhone will become an integrated component.

Volkswagen offers two different ways to acquire the innovative interface between iPhone and Beetle: as an app or as a standard feature of the new iBeetle and iBeetle Convertible. Both special models will be launched at the beginning of 2014. The app, docking station and iBeetle will make their world debut at the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show (20th to 29th of April).

The interface

The newly designed docking station is located centrally on the dashboard of the Beetle: the iPhone simply snaps in to integrate it with the car. Essentially, all iPhone functions can be used in the Beetle; the iPhone can be used to navigate, make calls hands-free, listen to music, and much more.

The Beetle app

When this special app is launched on an iPhone, it can either connect the phone to the Beetle via the docking station or wirelessly. Each option allows for different app functions to be accessed:

  • Spotify: lets users stream media such as new songs, customized playlists or online radio stations into the Beetle. Those who wish can post their favorite music directly to friends. In addition, users in the Beetle can switch between “Spotify” and “iTunes” at any time.
  • Expert: offers five functions which make the iPhone an extended on-board instrument of the Beetle, such as a G-Meter (for measuring lateral acceleration), oil and coolant temperature gauges for the engine, a chronometer, and a compass.
  • Trainer: can be used to compare driving times, distances, and fuel economy values for different routes between any two destinations. Here, too, tips can be posted via social networks like Twitter and Facebook—such as which route is faster to the office.
  • Reader: lists the latest messages from social networks like Facebook, and reads iPhone messages aloud.
  • Postcard: Sends the current location of the Beetle to friends as a digital postcard with a map motif.
  • Photo: Sends photos taken inside the car to numerous social networks. Simply activate it, and the app does the rest.
  • Milestones: Available when the smartphone is undocked. Rewards its users with virtual “milestone stickers” for the Beetle when certain tasks have been completed.

The iBeetle

Volkswagen iBeetle

The iBeetle is one of the first cars in the world to have a genuine integrative interface for the iPhone that was coordinated with Apple. As mentioned, the special model will be available as a Coupe and Convertible. The colors and equipment features of the iBeetle are stylistically linked to the Cupertino-based US company, bringing its iconic smartphones into harmony with what is certainly one of the world’s most iconic automotive designs.

The iBeetle, which will be available in early 2014, will come with other customized features in addition to the standard iPhone interface. On the exterior, they include standard features such as 18-inch “Disc” alloy wheels (painted in “Galvano Grey” with chrome wheel covers), door mirror housings and side trim panels (above the sill) in “Galvano Grey”, black door sill plates with the “iBeetle” signature, “iBeetle” chrome badges (on the front fender) and a “Chrome pack” (includes chrome trim strips on the sides). In a nod to the iPhone’s color scheme, the new iBeetle can be ordered in “Candy White”, “Oryx White Mother of Pearl Effect”, “Black Monochrome”, “Deep Black Pearl Effect”, “Platinum Grey”, or “Reflex Silver”.

Inside, steering wheel accents and the dash pad are executed in “Galvano Grey”. The iBeetle is also upgraded by a customized shift lever grip, black sport seats in “Vienna” leather, and contrasting seams in light “Ceramique”.


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