The Beetle Convertible has been an instant success for Volkswagen since it went on sale in December 2012 as a 2013 model. The sportiest and most dynamic version of the iconic softtop seen so far has quickly become one of the best-selling convertibles in the U.S.
For 2014, the Beetle range receives a number of enhancements. The base Beetle’s 2.5-liter engine was phased out and replaced during the Model Year by a new, locally sourced, turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, designated EA888 Gen 3. This produces 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque and offers highly competitive fuel economy. Electro-mechanical power steering replaces the 2.5’s hydraulic setup.
The Beetle Turbo lineup is renamed as the R-Line for 2014, adding aggressively styled bumpers front and rear as well as R-Line exterior badging and R-Line door sill kickplates. The top R-Line Convertible with Sound with Navigation also features unique 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, Bi-Xenon headlights with LED DRLs, and leather seating surfaces; black interiors also get an R-Line badge on the steering wheel and a “metallic finish” dash pad. All Beetle R-Line models are fitted with the latest Gen 3 2.0-liter version of the EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which makes 210 hp.
Lastly, Volkswagen introduced its VW Car-Net connected services on the Beetle lineup. VW Car-Net—which has a six-month no-charge trial period—offers a wealth of security and convenience features, including Automatic Crash Notification, roadside assistance, and stolen vehicle location assistance. In addition, VW Car-Net adds: remote vehicle access; boundary and speed alerts; a vehicle health report; and an enhanced POI service on vehicles equipped with a navigation system. Most of the features can be administered through a handy smartphone app for iPhone and Android devices.
The third-generation Beetle Convertible is not a straight copy of the original, but a reinterpretation and development of it. Klaus Bischoff, Head Designer, Volkswagen Brand says: “Retro is not our thing: we are always looking forward. Volkswagen has reinterpreted the Beetle Convertible’s timeless design with a sportier and more dynamic silhouette, just as it did with the Beetle Coupe. “
The Beetle Convertible retains the bold, purposeful stance of the Coupe, thanks to wider tracks and a longer wheelbase than the previous New Beetle Convertible. Compared with the 2006 version of the older car, the latest Beetle Convertible is 3.3 inches wider at 71.2 inches; 1.1 inches lower at 58.0 inches tall; and 6.0 inches longer at 168.4 inches overall.