Posted Nov 28th 2012 1:30PM
With the second-generation modern-era Beetle, Volkswagen set out to redefine its iconic model, not just with a new shape, but also with a plan to reach a new, more balanced buying demographic. According to the German automaker, the new generation has done just that, with the 2012 model selling to male buyers to the tune of 40 per cent – 50 per cent with the more powerful Turbo model. The previous-generation New Beetle finished out its long run with just 28-per cent male ownership.
VW has just introduced its 2013 Beetle Convertible here at the LA Auto Show, and while it looks to be an excellent new addition to the family, we're not sure how well it will fare at further balancing the model's gender scales. No matter, we say – sales are sales.
In addition to rolling out the new droptop Beetle, VW has released pricing, which starts from CAD$28,775 for the price-leader 2.5-litre five-cylinder automatic model with 170 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. You can step up to the 2.0-litre Turbo (200 hp, 207 lb-ft) with a manual transmission (a dual-clutch gearbox is optional). Or for a little more cash you can go the iconoclast's way and specify TDI diesel motivation (140 hp, 236 lb-ft). Pricing before a la carte options can get higher for the 2.0T with optional Fender sound and navigation packages. Canadian pricing on all trim levels is not available yet.
For comparison's sake, a standard 2013 Beetle hatchback – "Coupe" in VW parlance – starts at US$19,795. However, that model comes standard with a six-speed manual that isn't offered on the 2.5L Convertible – the better comparison starts with the US$20,895 2.5 automatic. (Canadian pricing is not yet available)
Regardless of which flavour Convertible is chosen, buyers will receive well-equipped models that include a standard one-touch power top, pyrotechnic rollover bars, heated V-Tex leatherette seats, alloy wheels, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity.
In an unusual move, VW has also chosen to launch new R-Line and Exclusive line model Beetle Convertibles in LA. We say "unusual" because while the racier looking R-Line and more upscale-looking Exclusive might in fact go some way toward courting the stronger male demographic the company is seeking, VW isn't going to sell them here – they're European models. If the 2013 Convertible model takes off when it goes on sale in December, however, VW admits it may take a second look at expanding the Beetle's range even further...
Related Gallery2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible: LA 2012
VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE CONVERTIBLE R-LINE® AND "EXCLUSIVE" MODELS DEBUT AT THE LOS ANGELES AUTO SHOW
Europe-only models from Volkswagen R GmbH focus on styling and interior enhancements
Herndon, VA – Volkswagen R GmbH is responsible not only for the sportiest R models in the
Volkswagen lineup, but also for the R-Line and "Exclusive" lines. R-Line vehicles have the
aggressive styling of the Volkswagen R models, but not the performance hardware. With Exclusive
vehicles, the focus is on unique and more luxurious styling and trim.
The Beetle Convertible Exclusive is based on the European-market "Design" and "Sport" trim lines.
The exterior is marked out by polished black 18-inch "Twister" aluminium-alloy wheels. As an
option, 19-inch "Tornado" aluminium-alloy wheels are also available in white and black. Inside,
there are three different colors for the Nappa leather seating surfaces-Pepper Beige, Amber
Brown, and Black-which are stitched in a unique diamond pattern.
In addition, the following features are standard with the new Exclusive equipment line:
Dashboard trim in "Black Uni" finish
Stainless-steel kickplates with "Volkswagen Exclusive" lettering
Leather three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel, gearshift knob, handbrake lever, and
center armrest, with colored stitching that matches the seats
Front sport seats
Front and rear textile floormats with colored edging
"Leather look" door trim
The pricing for the vehicles, which won't be available in the U.S., is:
Beetle Convertible Exclusive Design from € 26,775 (1.2-liter TSI®, 103 hp)
Beetle Convertible Exclusive Sport from € 30,500 (1.4-liter TSI, 158 hp)
The Beetle Convertible R-Line shares its trim enhancements with the R-Line coupe. On European models, this includes: more aggressive front and rear bumper designs; R-Line logos beneath the A-pillars; 18-inch "Twister" aluminum-alloy wheels with the option of 19-inch "Tornado" wheels; sport seats with "Kyalami" cloth seating surfaces; front head restraints with R-Line badges; leather-trimmed sport steering wheel, gearshift knob, and handbrake lever with "Art Grey" decorative seams; and "Dark Vanadium" dashboard trim. As an option, the seats may be ordered in black "Vienna" leather.
Although there are no immediate plans to sell the Convertible R-Line in the U.S., the Los
Angeles Auto Show provides an opportunity to gauge consumer feedback for a future offering.
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.