By most accounts, the A5 Volkswagen Beetle is a very good car. It retains the iconic Beetle look of previous generations, but visually, it’s been updated, tweaked, nipped, and tucked to give it a more modern, even somewhat masculine, appearance. Under the skin, it’s built on a very capable platform that’s shared with the Jetta and the Golf . It might not be your cup of tea, and especially in its convertible form, it may be hard to get past the cultural stigma that the Beetle is a car for teenage girls, but if anyone can break the Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet of its feminine image, it’s ABT.
ABT Sportsline , the mostly-Audi and Volkswagen tuner out of Germany, now offers its complete package for the Beetle Cabriolet. If you want a more aggressive look, the company can give you that. If you want an upgraded suspension, it can give you that. Best of all though, if you want more power from they engine, the tuner can give you that too. Put it all together, and you might even have a drop-top GTI -killer.
Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet by ABT Sportsline.
Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet by ABT Sportsline in detail
ABT Sportsline has been tuning Volkswagens for years, and with all that experience, it’s developed a reputation for offering some of the best tuner packages in the business. Part of what makes their packages so good is that they can be applied to pretty much any trim level, meaning that even the base version of any model can be made a little bit better, and you can add only the parts that you want to add.
The full kit is pretty impressive though. The 2.0-liter TSI jumps from 210 horsepower to 260 ponies. If you opted for the TDI, however, don’t worry, because ABT has you covered as well, cranking the power from 140 horsepower up to 170 horsepower. With all that extra "go," there’s a need for more "slow," and ABT delivers with upgraded 345-by-30-mm (13.2-by-1.2-inch) discs, steel flex lines, and black ABT brake calipers. The suspension gets an upgrade too, which ABT promises will lead to better handling and higher cornering speeds. Helping the engine to breathe better, a two-pipe exhaust is included as well.
Visual upgrades abound as well, offering a front spoiler, covers for headlights and taillights, a new rear panel, and a new rear skirt to fit the twin exhaust pipes. Thankfully, ABT refrains from offering a whale tail or even a wing, which not only helps out visually, but also better fits the character of the Beetle Cabrio. No tuner package would be complete without new, more aggressive wheels though, and on that front, ABT delivers with a set of 20-inch, gun-metal gray wheels that serve to really set off the kit.
The ABT Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet may still be a Beetle, and it doesn’t quite have the history of the Volkswagen GTI, but is there a certain appeal to outperforming those GTI fanboys with your top down and the wind in your hair? Surely there is.
Introduced in 1997, the Volkswagen New Beetle featured retro styling reminiscent of Volkswagen’s original Beetle, but unfortunately, did not retain the rear-engine design or rear-engine layout of its namesake. Instead, it was based on the A4 platform, the same as the Volkswagen Jetta , Volkswagen Golf , Audi A3 , and Audi TT. Arguably the best execution of that era’s retro trend, the New Beetle was refreshed in 2006, with slightly different bumpers and wheel wells, and Volkswagen’s 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine.
In 2011, the New Beetle received a redesign and a slight name change, now being referred to simply as the Beetle. Volkswagen wanted to retain the original look while taking the design in a more aggressive direction, making it longer, lower, and wider. With a new platform and an upgraded look, the North American Beetle carried over the 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine from the previous generation, but it was also offered with a 2.0-liter TSI engine. A 2.0-liter TDI diesel option was offered as well, offering better gas mileage and lots of torque. While gasoline versions are offered with a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, the diesel is offered with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Pricing for the Volkswagen Beetle starts at $20,295, while the convertible starts at $25,170.
What some insects are able to do, despite their small size, is really quite astonishing. With up to 260 hp / 191 kW this Bavarian Beetle is certainly one of the fastest animals out there. This is due to ABT Sportsline, the globally largest tuner of cars produced by the Volkswagen Group, which has uprated the Beetle Cabrio 2.0 TSI with its original 210 hp / 154 kW. But ABT Power New Generation, the equally innovative and dependable uprating with its own control unit and software, can also make the other convertible engine variants “crawl” faster.
The 1.2 TSI, for example, is upgraded from 105 hp / 77 kW to 140 hp / 103 kW, the 1.4 TSI from 160 hp / 118 kW to 210 hp / 154 kW and the “little” 2.0 TSI with 200 hp / 147 kW to
240 hp / 176 kW. But diesel drivers also get their due: the 1.6 TDI is upped from
105 hp / 77 kW to 125 hp / 92 kW and the 2.0 TDI from 140 hp / 103 kW to 170 hp / 125 kW. All engines also got extra torque. Beetles live very near the ground, of course, which is why ABT suspension springs (front axle -30mm, rear axle -35mm) guarantee “species-appropriate husbandry” and a higher speed when taking bends.
This Beetle is not a “curb crawler”. ABT has made it very racy, also with the brake system with its 345 x 30 mm discs, steel flex lines and black callipers bearing the ABT logo. By contrast with its insect relatives, the ABT has no wings. After all, a too large spoiler kit would not really fit the round and attractive Beetle silhouette. “The ABT Aero-Kit is therefore harmonious. It uses a front spoiler, head and tail light covers, rear panel and rear skirt set with a two-pipe exhaust system that make this Beetle different indeed, while still appearing very natural,” says CEO Hans-Jürgen Abt.
And, of course, the ABT Beetle Cabrio also doesn’t have six legs. Instead, it has four attractive DR 20’’ gun-metal wheels or the ER-C and CR models and various colours and sizes. “Sunbathers” can thus lend their Beetle convertible a personal touch, which will certainly make it even more attractive.