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Front: all-new Volkswagen Beetle convertible (2013)
Rear: left to right: Volkswagen Käfer Cabriolet (1952), Volkswagen Karmann "Jolly" (1960), Volkswagen Käfer Cabriolet (1980), Volkswagen Käfer 1303 Cabrio (1979) (copyright image)

All-new Volkswagen Beetle convertible (2013)
(70s Edition shown) (copyright image)

2013 Volkswagen Beetle GSR (front) and
a 1973 “Yellow/Black Racer" based on the Beetle 1303 S. (copyright image)

2013 Volkswagen Beetle GSR (front) and
a 1973 “Yellow/Black Racer" based on the Beetle 1303 S.

These Beetles won't come to Australia

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15th April, 2013

The all-new Volkswagen Beetle convertible was released in Europe in late February 2013, following its debut in late November 2012 at the Los Angeles Motor Show in USA.

However, with the new Beetle sedan now available in Australia, Volkswagen Group Australia spokesman, Karl Gehling, has confirmed the company has no plans to bring the new convertible to the local market.

Another Volkswagen Beetle not making it to local shores is the Beetle GSR. This limited edition sporty looking Beetle is going global but, on this occasion, global means not Australia.

Volkswagen Beetle convertible

The new Beetle Convertible has an updated, fresh design and wealth of trim options. The open-top four-seater is now available across Europe, but it isn't coming to Australia in this new iteration.

This new-generation model, with traces of the legendary original Beetle Convertible, is available with a range of engines covering a power output range of 77 kW (105 PS) to 147 kW (200 PS). The electrically powered soft top is easily opened within just 9.5 seconds. In terms of safety, the Beetle Convertible is exemplary: fitted as standard is a roll-over protection system behind the rear seat head restraints that shoots up within milliseconds of the car beginning to lean at a dangerous angle.

Five equipment versions are available for the new Beetle Convertible: ‘Beetle’, ‘Design’, ‘Design Exclusive’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Sport Exclusive’. On top of this come three limited edition models: ‘50s Edition’, ‘60s Edition’ and ‘70s Edition’. Each of these reflects and gives a modern interpretation to style elements from the respective decade. This broad range is supplemented by twelve paint colours and two soft top colours, eleven different interior fabric and leather trims, twelve wheel designs and numerous technical and styling options.

The stylish “50s Edition”, the cool “60s Edition” and the elegant “70s Edition.” Each of the three editions reflects the style of a decade – in tribute to the legendary Beetle Cabriolet. The “50s Edition”, for example, offers such features as 17-inch “Circle Black” alloy wheels, chrome door mirrors, a black soft top and “Monochrome Black” paint. The “60s Edition” model was inspired by the style of the 1960s with high-end sport seats in black-blue “Vienna” leather and either “Denim Blue” or “Candy White” body colour in combination with a black soft top. The “70s Edition” aims for elegance – with “Toffee Brown Metallic” or “Platinum Grey Metallic” exterior colours that harmonise well with the beige-coloured soft top and leather sport seats.

Volkswagen Beetle GSR

Volkswagen launches a Beetle designed solely with dynamics in mind: the new GSR. The exclusive, powerful 155 kW (210 PS) model made its debut at the Chicago Motor Show earlier this year. Its a limited edition model: just 3,500 cars; worldwide. GSR – a quaint abbreviation with a legendary predecessor: the “Yellow/Black Racer" based on the Beetle 1303 S. And only 3,500 cars of the earlier model were made as well. Some 40 years ago, the sportiest series production Beetle of all time made its debut. Its yellow/black body made it instantly recognisable. In 2013, Volkswagen is writing a further chapter in the history of the iconic car with the new Beetle GSR. Just like its predecessor, the current version is also being launched as a two-colour model. The new model will be released later this year, but not in Australia.

With respect to the look of the Beetle GSR, Volkswagen has systematically re-interpreted the concept of the 1970s GSR for the modern era. Just like the GSR from days gone by, the body of the new version is yellow. The bonnet and the boot lid of the 1973 Beetle were painted in matt black, as were the bumpers. Black trim strips underneath the side windows and black/yellow side stripes above the doorsills rounded off the look. Now, yellow and black are the link between old and new – the bonnet and the boot lid of the new Beetle GSR are black once again, however the roof and the exterior mirror trims are also black on the new model. Black/yellow stripes with “GSR” lettering ensure a unique silhouette above the side sills. Yellow painted bumpers in new R-Line design and a yellow/black rear spoiler complete the GSR look. As opposed to the older Beetle, the Beetle GSR can also be ordered in “Platinum Grey / Black” as an alternative.

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The 15-inch steel wheels (with 175 size tyres) which were commonly used 40 years ago, even for sporty cars, and the “Tornado” 19-inch alloy wheels (painted black) with 235/40 tyres on the Beetle GSR are worlds apart.

The black/yellow interior of the GSR from days gone by featured a leather sports steering wheel and sports seats for an extra-dynamic Beetle performance.

Four decades later, it is the ergonomically sophisticated, R-Line racing track sports seats (with fabric covers and contrasting yellow stitching; US version in black leather), a high-grip leather sports steering wheel (again with contrasting yellow stitching) with R-Line logo and a limited edition badge with the special edition number (1 to 3,500) which give the GSR its special character. The car also boasts an R-Line dash pad (designer panel for the dashboard), GSR gear stick, leather handbrake lever and black floor mats with contrasting yellow embroidery.

Some 40 years ago, the yellow/black Beetle needed precisely 50 PS to turn the world of compact cars on its head. But this world has long been turning much faster. The new Beetle GSR with its 210 PS engine needs just 7.3 seconds to accelerate to 100 km/h (0-60 mph in 6.6 s). It has a top speed of 229 km/h (130 mph). The torque characteristic of the Beetle GSR is even more impressive than the pure road performance. From as low as 1,700 rpm, the turbo engine achieves its maximum torque of 280 Nm; the value remains at this high level up to 5,200 rpm. However, despite this, the car can record an average consumption of 7.3 l/100 km. As an option, the new Beetle GSR can also be ordered an automatic 6-speed, dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) as an alternative to the 6-speed manual gearbox.

The combination of performance, design, equipment and the limited number of cars will ensure that the Beetle GSR will quickly become a collector’s item. The same was also true of the Beetle 1303 S – today it is one of the most expensive and most sought-after 1970s versions of what was then the most successful car in the world. It will therefore be interesting to see what the Beetle GSR will be valued at in the year 2053!



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