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.
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
2013 Volkswagen iBeetle
Horsepower @ RPM:197
Torque @ RPM:180 (Est.)
0-60 time:7 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:120 mph (Est.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.