The first pictures of Volkswagen’s New Beetle Convertible, which will make its world debut at the Detroit Motor Show in January, have been revealed. Despite its clear visual link with the original Beetle Convertible – one of the world’s best-selling open top cars – the new model is a thoroughly modern four-seater vehicle with a host of advanced safety and technological features.
On sale in the UK in Spring next year, the New Beetle Convertible will be one of the safest cars in its class. High torsional rigidity and a rollover protection system that deploys automatically in an accident, ensure that occupant safety is not compromised by wind-in-the-hair motoring. Further safety highlights include energy-absorbing side panels designed especially for the Convertible, front and side airbags, ABS and ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme).
The New Beetle Convertible has a clean appearance when in open-air mode, highlighted by chrome strips that trace the unbroken line from windscreen pillar to lowered hood. This is made possible by the automatically deploying rollover protection bar being integrated neatly behind the rear seats.
The hood is designed for comfort and practicality, with a cloth-lined three layered construction, heated rear glass window and an electrohydraulic system, which takes just 13 seconds to open or close the convertible roof.
Three petrol engine options will be available from launch: a 1.4-litre 75 bhp, 1.6-litre 102 bhp and 2.0-litre 115 bhp, the latter being offered with a new six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. The proven TDI PD 100 bhp diesel engine will be offered later.
Specification and pricing details for the New Beetle Convertible will be announced closer to the UK on-sale date.Published 13 September 2002