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VW confirms Beetle Convertible

Topless model: VW previewed the forthcoming Beetle Convertible with the E-Bugster Convertible at the Beijing motor show in April.

Beetle Convertible to go on sale in the United States by the end of this year

19 Jul 2012

VOLKSWAGEN has announced that the convertible version of the new-generation Beetle will be launched in the United States late this year as a 2013 model.

The soft-top – which has yet to be officially revealed – will also come to Australia, but probably not until late next year.

Only two weeks ago, Volkswagen Group Australia managing director Anke Koeckler said the long-awaited second-generation Beetle coupe range had been delayed until early 2013 after originally being scheduled for late this year due to a heavy launch schedule for the company.

And the Beetle Convertible will not be launched here until some time later so it does not draw attention away from the mainstream range.

Volkswagen of America says the Beetle Convertible will feature “a fast-acting top that preserves the sleek lines of the coupe”.

Although the German car-maker has yet to reveal the new soft-top version of the first all-new Beetle since 1998, it did provide a glimpse of how it may look with a concept car at the Auto China show in Beijing in April.

The E-Bugster Convertible concept was a topless version of the electric-powered E-Bugster speedster that was revealed at the Detroit motor show a few months earlier.

3 center imageIn the US, the ragtop will be launched with three engine choices, starting with a 2.5-litre five-cylinder developing 127kW of power and 240Nm of torque.

At the top of the range will be a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol that produces 149kW and 280Nm, while VW continues to push diesel in the US by offering a 103kW/320Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel with a six-speed manual gearbox.

The first-generation ‘New’ Beetle was launched in Australia in January 2000 and the Cabriolet version did not come here until mid-2003.

Despite experiencing a sales spike following the release of the Series II facelift in 2005 and the addition of a diesel, the retro Volkswagen never exceeded its first-year sales tally of 1328 units before being discontinued in 2011.

The new Beetle went on sale in overseas markets last year, and earlier this month Ms Koeckler revealed it would go on sale in Australia in the first quarter of 2013.

“Cars like the Up and the Beetle are emotional products, so it is better to start the year in 2013 talking about the emotion of the brand, and the Beetle is the perfect opportunity to do this,” she told us.

She also confirmed that the Beetle coupe will beat the cabriolet version to market, but would not say if we would get the diesel or a high-performance R version above the Turbo.

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