2015 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Wave Concept
Amidst rumors that it may axe the Beetle as part of its plan to reduce manufacturing costs, Volkswagen brought a quartet of concept cars to the 2015 New York Auto Show, one of which was the Convertible Wave. Described as a vehicle "designed to enjoy the summer, whether in the Hamptons or in Santa Monica," the Wave Concept is as production ready as they get, sporting special color, a couple of bespoke exterior features and an interior inspired by surfing.
The Germans didn’t say whether the Beetle Wave will become a production car or remain just a study, but they did point out that "vehicles like the Beetle Dune that was shown at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in 2014 demonstrate how Volkswagen can create production models from such concepts very rapidly." Could the Wave Concept spawn a limited-edition Beetle? Guess we’ll just have to wait to find out.
Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Wave Concept.
2015 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Wave Concept
0-60 time:9 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:125 mph (Est.)
What makes the Wave Concept special on the outside is the spicy Habanero Orange Metallic paint. The hue, however, isn’t exclusive to this convertible, as Volkswagen launched it on the Golf Sportsvan Concept in 2013. The color reminds me a bit of the Burnt Orange worn by the Mopars of the early 1970s, and that’s really cool.
Complementing the special color is a set of Tornado, 19-inch wheels and chrome door mirror caps. The drop-top is also equipped with the sportier bumpers of the R-Line model. The combination is not exactly exotic, but it does has a classy, Californian feel.
The interior of the Wave Concept is standard Beetle business save for two new features. First, the seating inserts come in a classic houndstooth, a duotone textile pattern characterized by broken checks or abstract four-pointed shapes, that Volkswagen says it "harkens back to the high-end fashion and vehicles of the 1950s and 1960s."
Unfortunately, I can’t confirm if that’s true or not since Volkswagen didn’t release official photos of the cabin. The second unique feature is a wood dashpad designed in the style of a traditional surfboard. Yup, it’s got Santa Monica Beach written all over it.
There’s no mention of the Convertible Wave Concept’s drivetrain, but given the R-Line bumpers and the larger wheels, I’m tempted to hope Volkswagen put the R-Line’s turbocharged engine between the front wheels. The 2.0-liter, four-cylinder unit cranks out 210 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque and mates to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
Of course, a potential production version could also get the smaller 1.8-liter turbo with 170 horses, or the 2.0-liter diesel rated at 150 horsepower. This convertible is all about the looks anyway.
If the R-Line details are any indication, a production version of the Wave Concept should fetch at least $25,450. The bespoke interior and the likely limited-edition status could, however, bump the sticker into the $30,000 range.
This 500 might not be the kind of vehicle you’d find at the beach, but it does come with a number of extra features, such as the larger air intakes in the front bumper, the rear diffuser, the "GQ 500" badge on the B-pillars, and five-spoke, 16-inch wheels.
The stylish interior features Nero leather and Alcantara, contrast stitching, and satin chrome accents. Power is provided by the familiar 1.4-liter Multi-Air engine that puts down 160 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. Find out more about it in our detailed review here.
Before you say anything, there are two good reason why I picked the regular model and not some fancy special edition. Mini has yet to unveil the convertible version of its new Cooper, which means there are no special or limited editions to talk about. Also, the Cooper is among the most customizable cars on the market today, so you don’t really need a special edition to go crazy inside and out.
The British drop-top will hit dealerships with front and rear fascias identical to the hardtop model and the same three- and four-cylinder engines under the hood, including the 2.0-liter turbo with 192 horsepower and 206 pound-feet of torque. Expect pricing to start from around $26,000 and go well into $30,000 territory with all the options. Find out more about it here.
The Beetle Convertible Wave is only a concept car as of April 2015, but it’s the kind of concept that can be put on the assembly line without any modifications whatsoever. The conundrum here is whether the surfing-inspired interior and the bespoke paint of the Wave Concept would make sense on car that’s been struggling sales-wise for quite some time.