LAUNCH OF THE BEETLE CABRIOLET
13 January 2017
Convertible version of iconic Beetle is set to impress
Text/Photos : Volkswagen Group Singapore
Singapore, 12 January 2017 – Volkswagen Singapore is expanding its line-up in the Category A COE segment with the Beetle Cabriolet.
This convertible version of the iconic Beetle stays true to the Volkswagen design DNA, with its clean lines and sporty style. The latest technology is integrated into the car, making it the most advanced Beetle of its time. Yet, there is a nod to tradition – certain stylistic elements such as the design of the instrument cluster and the glovebox on the front passenger’s dashboard hearken back to the days of the first air-cooled Beetle.
The design of the Beetle Cabriolet retains the distinctive charisma of the coupe, demonstrating the unmistakable and timeless character of the Beetle. In spite of all its modern features, the Beetle Cabriolet with its top up is reminiscent of the early period of the automobile when all cars had rag tops.
The weather-proof fabric of the roof is installed in multiple layers, and the entire roof system can be put down in a very compact space thanks to the K-fold feature. This allows for the boot volume (225 litres) to remain the same even when the soft top is closed. The top can be retracted in just 9.5 seconds, and this is an almost noiseless process thanks to an electric motor. Closing the top requires 11.0 seconds; the additional 1.5 seconds is necessary to allow the roof to be locked to the windscreen frame.
With a length of 4,278 mm, the Beetle Cabriolet is 152 mm longer than its coupe counterpart. It is also 84 mm wider (with a total width of 1,808 mm excluding the exterior mirrors). With a height of 1,473 mm, these proportions alone give the Beetle Cabriolet a distinctively sporty appearance.
The rear spoiler is homogeneously integrated as a standard feature, helping to maintain stability at high speeds and sharpens the aerodynamic profile of the convertible. The bottom surface of the rear spoiler is finished in black, while the top is painted to match the colour of the car.
The Beetle Cabriolet also comes with bi-xenon headlights. The modules are surrounded by 15 LEDs, which serve as daytime running lights and parking lights. In this case, LEDs are also used to illuminate the number plate.
The Beetle Cabriolet offers a great deal of space and comfort for four occupants. Both driver and passengers enjoy generous headroom even with the roof closed, thanks to the additional 12 mm in height compared to the previous generation. When not in use, the symmetrically divided rear seat backrest can be folded down thanks to the rollover protection system, allowing for the transport of long items.
Many details make the interior of the Beetle Cabriolet pleasantly unique. For instance, the relatively upright windscreen is reminiscent of classic sports cars. The instrument panel combines innovative technology and controls with an enamel-finished surface and glove compartment. In combination with the additional glovebox with a top-hinged lid integrated into the front trim on the passenger side, these features create a visual bridge back to the era of the first Beetle. The instrument cluster on top of the dashboard injects a modern flair to this timeless classic.
Next to the multi-function steering wheel, the Beetle Cabriolet not only has a small wheel for regulating the brightness of the instrument panel; it also has a second wheel with the scale markings “0”, “r”, “w” and “b”. This wheel allows selection of the colour for the ambient illumination in red, white or blue. Indirect illumination is provided on the top rail of the door, while direct illumination emanates from around the outer circumference of the door speakers in the form of a light ring.
This ambient lighting package comes with the Fender sound system, which is standard in the Beetle Cabriolet. The legendary American musical instrument and amplifier manufacturer worked in collaboration with Panasonic to create the Fender sound system exclusively for Volkswagen. The package consists of two tweeters each installed in the rear view mirror triangles and rear side panelling. Woofers are contained in the front doors; the woofers behind the rear side panelling have single vibration coils. In addition a subwoofer is installed in a closed bass box integrated into the boot. The heart of the sound system is the 10-channel amplifier with Class A/B output stages and 400 watts of output power.
Perfectly synced to this sound system is the latest generation of the Composition Media infotainment system. The 6.33-inch touchscreen display features proximity sensors – as soon as the driver’s or front passenger’s finger approaches the touchscreen, the infotainment system automatically switches from the display mode to a user control mode. The normal display mode is distinguished by a format reduced to the essentials. In the user control mode, on the other hand, the elements that can be activated via touchscreen are specially highlighted, which simplifies intuitive control. The system also allows for two mobile phones to be paired via Bluetooth, providing greater flexibility of use for both driver and passenger alike.
As with all open-top models from Volkswagen, the Beetle Cabriolet is equipped with a rollover protection system as a standard feature. The rollbar is integrated behind the rear backseat rests. If the vehicle exceeds a defined lateral acceleration or inclination threshold, the rollover protection shoots up behind the rear headrests in milliseconds. This mechanism is controlled by the central airbag actuating unit. The use of high tensile strength steel and aluminium hasmade it possible to reduce the weight by nearly 50 per cent in comparison to other solutions.
The rollover protection system is part of a comprehensive safety package, which ensures the highest level of passive safety for the convertible. Other specific modifications include a stable tubular member in the top edge of the door, reinforced A-pillars and particularly strong rocker panels. The A-pillars also consist of extremely stable, hot-shaped sheet metal. Together, these features serve to protect passenger in a head-on collision or when the car rolls.
The passive safety features are completed with reinforced B-pillars, front airbags, and side head-thorax airbags. In comparison to the coupe, the entire reinforcement and the rollover protection system results in 114 kilograms of additional weight for the convertible.A rear view camera with a field of view extending to 130Ohorizontally and 100Overticallymakes parking easier, and ensures that the surrounding is completely safe before the driver executes a reverse manoeuvre.
The suspension on the Beetle Cabriolet has also been redesigned. At the front, suspension struts are used with coil springs and telescopic shock absorbers. The rear suspension consists of a four-link axle for exceptionally good handling and comfort. The rear suspension was adapted from that on the Golf and is one of the most elaborate and safest designs of its type in the compact class. The electro-mechanical power steering is easy-moving and extremely precise.
Underneath the bonnet of the Beetle Cabrioletis a 1.2 TSI engine with anoutput rating of 105PS. This turbo-charged 1.2-litre four cylinder engine follows the downsizing principle in an extreme form, resulting in maximum power with low fuel consumption and emission values.
Its maximum torque output of 175 Nm is available from 1,500 –4,100rpm.A brisk performance is achieved via a quick-shifting 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG), with the car accelerating from0-100 km/h in 11.7 seconds anda top speed of 178km/h.It also has extremely low fuel consumption of 5.9L/100km in the combined driving cycle, with a CO2 emission value of 139 g/km.