The Volkswagen Beetle is a genuine motoring icon. It's one of a handful of cars that, in the 20th Century, brought motoring to the masses as more than 20 million examples of the original Beetle were sold around the world. And when it was reborn in 1998 as the New Beetle, a further million sales brought the Beetle's distinctive character to a new generation.
In 2011 the ‘New’ moniker was dropped and the Beetle comprehensively redesigned. Its new shape was lower and wider, with a longer bonnet, and the Beetle’s more sporting and masculine stance captured the world’s imagination all over again. Now, this latest iteration of perhaps the best loved Volkswagen is being refreshed, with changes that include a more sculptured body and a fresh interior design. The styling enhancements and new options further enrich the appeal and value that is inherent in Volkswagen’s Beetle range, which is available in coupe and cabriolet forms and, with the new Beetle Dune, as a crossover. The styling changes comprise sharpened lines for the front bumpers, while larger openings around the indicator and fog light surrounds give extra depth to the car’s appearance. Meanwhile, the new Beetle R-Line trim has a more sporty bumper design unique to that model. It features extra air intake openings along the upper edge of the bumper. On the inside, the Volkswagen Beetle’s distinctive cabin has brighter instrument panel lighting and new dials and dash styling for the Design and R-Line models. New upholstery materials bring further styling options.
In the new range the Beetle R-Line replaces the previous Sport trim level. The R-Line will be available with Volkswagen’s powerful 2.0-litre TDI 150 PS diesel engine and a choice of either six-speed manual or six-speed DSG transmission.The new Beetle R-Line also boasts sports suspension, 18-inch ‘Twister’ alloy wheels, and the unique new R-Line bumper. It is also available with a new alloy wheel design, the 18-inch ‘Ashmie Adamantium’, at no extra cost. Whichever wheels are chosen, the sporty finish of the Beetle R-Line is enhanced further with a body-coloured rear diffuser and chromed twin exhausts. And the R-Line’s exterior styling is developed with gloss black door mirrors and door protectors. Of course an R-Line specification Beetle wouldn’t be complete without a rear tailgate spoiler.Clearly Volkswagen’s designers have worked diligently to enhance the external look of the modern Beetle but, inside the car, the traditional Volkswagen driver-focused design remains. In the R-Line this starts with ‘Sports’ instrument dials, while the pedals are trimmed in aluminium and the scuff plates feature the distinctive R-Line logo.
The quality of the interior is evidenced by the leather-trimmed three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, which has an R-Line badge insert and coloured stitching too. The seats are finished in ‘Kyalami’ cloth and the R-Line badge is resplendent in the headrests. Height and lumbar adjustment add to the comfort of the seats. Finally, 2Zone climate control with automatic air recirculation, ambient lighting, front and rear parking sensors and cruise control increase the technology that is standard on the Beetle R-Line. In addition to the debut of the R-Line trim, a new option pack is available for the Beetle Design. The Black Style Pack includes 17-inch ‘Rotor’ black alloy wheels and a black painted roof. The air intake grille is also coloured black, as are the outside decorative trim stripes. The protective side moulding is painted black and has a chromed strip, while the wing mirror housing is painted black. All of this extra equipment costs just £625¹. The Beetle of course has a wide array of personalisation options to match the individual customer’s choice. Outside, two new pearlescent-effect colours are available: ‘Bottle Green’ and ‘White Silver’. The interior colours can also be changed, with the dash centre console and steering wheel inserts of the Design trim now being offered in a choice of Sandstorm Yellow, Tornado Red, Habanero Orange or Pure White for £125.
Interior lighting colour, too, can be changed depending on customer preference, when the ‘Fender’ premium sound pack is purchased (£545). It also includes eight-speakers and a subwoofer. The body style of the Volkswagen Beetle is particularly receptive to changes in the wheel design. For the daring, there is now even the option of fitting 17-inch ‘Orbit’ wheels in red: a £100 option on the Beetle Design.
Recently the Beetle range was extended to include the rugged Beetle Dune, too. This charismatic new Volkswagen harks back to the famous Beetle dune buggies that roamed the West Coast of America in the 1960s and 1970s, and Dune models also benefit from the upgrades.
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