Summer may be over but that hasn’t stopped Volkswagen dropping a new Beetle convertible – the third such model since the iconic cabriolet first appeared back in 1949.
Fans of the original four-seater cabriolet will be chuffed to know that Volkswagen has enhanced the 2002 Beetle Cabriolet shape with a number of changes nodding to the original design, including a flatter roofline and a more upright windshield. The resulting look and stance is much more masculine but still as bug-eyed and lovable as the original.
The Beetle Cabriolet’s allure was always its soft-top roof and that remains in place. The mechanism is snappy, taking just 10 seconds to open or close and it’ll even function while the car is in motion so you needn’t pull over or hold up traffic because the heavens have opened.
Like all good, modern drop tops, the latest Beetle cab has an active rollover protection system Should you crash and flip the thing, the car’s airbag triggers two extendable metal rings hidden behind the rear bench seat, minimising the likelihood of fleshy human heads being crushed against the tarmac.
Unlike the second generation Beetle Cabriolet’s interior, which was pretty drab, the new Cabriolet has a funky two-tone dashboard, plenty of chrome, circular instrument clusters on the dashboard and a more modern in-car entertainment system.
When the new Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet goes on sale in the UK in spring, there will be seven engines to choose from. The economical, entry-level choice is the 1.2TSI 105PS unit, which will also come in BlueMotion guise at launch. There’s also 1.4-litre and 2.0-litre petrols, which pump out 160PS and 200PS, respectively. Diesel fans can choose from a 1.6-litre TDI (105PS), also available in BlueMotion form, and a 2.0-litre TDI (140PS) lump.
There’s no word yet on pricing or exact specifications, but we know Volkswagen will be showing off the 2013 Beetle Cabriolet at the Los Angeles Motor Show towards the end of November. Until then, let us know whether the new design does the original Beetle Cabriolet proud.