Volkswagen introduced at the 2012 LA Auto Show, the Beetle Convertible R-Line and Exclusive models. What’s very important is that these models will not be available in the United States but seeing them here might be a sign that Volkswagen is testing people’s reaction! For those who don’t know, the R-Line vehicles have the looks of the Volkswagen R models, but unfortunately the performance hardware is not available.
In the meantime, the Exclusive models focus on unique and more luxurious styling and trim. The new 2013 Beetle Convertible Exclusive is based on the European-market "Design" and "Sport" trim lines. As a result, the exterior design is marked out by polished black 18-inch "Twister" aluminium-alloy wheels, but as an option the German manufacturer offers the 19-inch "Tornado" aluminium-alloy wheels in white or black.
There are three different colors available for the Nappa leather seating surfaces: Pepper Beige, Amber Brown and Black. Moreover, the Exclusive models offer as standard: dashboard trim in “Black Uni” finish, Stainless-steel kickplates with "Volkswagen Exclusive" lettering, three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel gearshift knob, handbrake lever, and center armrest, front sport seats, front and rear textile floormats and leather look door trim.
Pricing starts at €26,775 for the Beetle Convertible Exclusive Design (1.2-liter TSI, 103 hp) and at €30,500 for the Beetle Convertible Exclusive Sport (158 hp). Regarding the Beetle Convertible R-Line, this model shares the same trim enhancements with the R-Line coupe.
This means that the vehicle comes with 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, seats can be ordered in black "Vienna" leather.
Compared to the previous generation, the new Beetle Cabriolet comes in proportions that are seen as more dynamic. Indeed, the roof is flatter and the look is wider and longer. While it is larger as well, it has become even more magnificent. There is no question that when it comes to vehicles, performance and fuel economy would be the top consideration.
However, for a convertible, there is another important quality that needs to be looked into. This is the length of time needed to bring down the top. For the Beetle Cabriolet, that time is 9.5 seconds. This is due to an electric motor which not only gives it that quick process but provides a noiseless one as well. The top can even be brought down even when moving at a maximum speed of 50 km/h.
Once retracted, the soft top is stored in a compact manner at the back of the rear seat. Further, it does so without impeding the view to the back. In closing the soft top, total time is 11 seconds. If you’re wondering about the extra 1.5 seconds, this is because the electric drive still needs to lock the top to the windscreen frame, though it does this automatically.
Owners are guaranteed to have a vehicle that has a long service life once they are delivered. In a way, it is like saying that even new models can be treated as collector’s items. No surprises here as this has always been the norm when it comes to convertibles of this series.
The first models are still kept by new owners which later became classics and today are considered as vintage. Used cars are no problem as well. It is estimated that around 565,000 convertibles have gone this way and the brand believes that this will be the way of the future.