VW Reveals Updated Beetle at Beetle Sunshine Tour

We’ve known in the US what would be coming to the Beetle lineup in 2017 for some time now, but the European market has been waiting patiently to find out what they would get. Volkswagen had the perfect opportunity to launch the lightly updated 2017 Beetle at the 12th annual Beetle Sunshine Tour in Travemünde, Germany.

The Beetle Sunshine Tour bills itself as the largest privately organized Beetle show in the world and this year more than 600 Beetles (old, new, and new-new) showed up. It was the new-new-newest Beetle, the 2017 model, that was Saturday’s main event, though and was introduced by German tuner Sidney Hoffman and rap-star MC Fitti.

The 2017 European model comes with a revised bumper, new fabrics, and new colors: White Silver Metallic and Bottle Green Metallic. Along with the cross model changes, there are also some specific, trim level changes.

Like us, the Europeans now get an R-Line trim, rather than the “Sport” trim they had before. Joining it are the Design, Denim, Karmann, and Allstar trims.

Karmann trim is an homage to the coachbuilder that made the convertible Type 1 and the Karmann Ghia. It comes with 18-inch “Disc” wheels, a sioux brown  hood, alcantara seats, and “Karmann” lettering here and there. The Allstar pack, meanwhile, was originally designed for Euro 2016 and is coming back this year.

In America, we instead get the Classic, the Dune, the R-Line, the Denim, and, of course, the #PinkBeetle.

To be frank, the changes are fairly modest, but look good. The idea, though, is to give Beetle buyers more options to make their cars more unique, which is one of the reasons why the new car was presented at the Beetle Sunshine Tour, where personalization is the name of the game.

Volkswagen invited VWVortex to the Beetle Sunshine Tour this year, and let a handful of journalists drive the four hours from Wolfsburg to Travemünde in classic VWs.

Over the coming days, you can expect to read more about the Beetle Sunshine Tour, the museums at Wolfsburg, and drives in the Beetle GSR, RSI, Jeans, and more.

For those European readers who want to find out more about the changes coming to their 2017 Beetle, you can read the full press release below:

Key facts – the news on the Beetle in bullet points:

  1. Model year 2017 with remodelled bumpers and new fabrics.
    2. First Beetle to feature Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Traffic Alert.
    3. New ‘R-Line’ version replaces the ‘Sport’ specification.
    4. New Denim special edition as convertible with jeans-look soft top.
    5. Flared wheel arches for R-Line, Denim (2.0 TSI) and Dune.
    6. New Exclusive R-Line trim level combines elegance and dynamic handling.
    7. New colours: White Silver Metallic and Bottle Green Metallic.
    8. New design and styling packs for maximum individuality.
    9. App Connect integrates Apple and Google into the infotainment system.
    10. Turbo engines with power output ranging from 105 to 220 PS.

Positioning and summary

Wolfsburg / Travemünde, August 2016. The original Beetle, alias New Beetle, alias current Beetle is one of the world’s best known, most loved and most individual cars. Now, the latest version of the original Volkswagen is being launched: the model year 2017 Beetle and Beetle Cabriolet. Volkswagen has refined the lifestyle icon’s design, engineering and technology. The updated Beetle is being presented to the international media where for more than a decade the largest European gathering of fans of this Volkswagen has taken place – in Travemünde, as part of the Beetle Sunshine Tour 2016. New colours outside and inside, new versions, an even more varied array of personalisation options, infotainment systems geared to modern-day smartphones and apps and the sound on board again fine-tuned by legendary US amplifier manufacturer Fender – as coupé und convertible, this is how the Beetle is launching itself into the latest phase of its history, stretching now  over more than 70 years.

An icon all over the world. The Beetle is seen as a statement of individuality. It is particularly popular in North America, China and Europe, as well as in India and the Far East. The USA is traditionally a Beetle stronghold, especially on the East and West Coast. In Europe, of course, the Beetle has been part of the motoring scene for ages. The people of both continents effectively grew up with the original Beetle as a constant motoring companion, then enjoyed the New Beetle and transferred this passion on to the Beetle. It is noteworthy, meanwhile, that the Beetle is also successful in China, where the original Beetle was never sold and where the historical basis for a comeback as a lifestyle icon was therefore actually absent. The Beetle’s design, however, appears to transcend space and time.

Updated names. The Beetle – the coupé and convertible – is now available in three equipment lines: Beetle, Design and R-Line (replacing Sport). There is also the stand-alone Dune version. For the Design and R-Line specifications Volkswagen is also offering eight new design and styling packs that enable these two versions to be further personalised. Appearing as extensively refined models are the Beetle Exclusive Design and the newly fine-tuned Beetle Exclusive R-Line. On top of that there are three special edition models: the Beetle Denim, the Beetle Allstar (in each case as coupé and convertible) and the Beetle Cabriolet Karmann. Depending on version there is a practically limitless spectrum of options available for further personalisation. Features that often cost little additional money and in some cases none at all. Like the Design version’s dashpad, available in seven different colours. For a modest budget the look can be additionally refined with double or rally stripes, nickname decals and the Wolfsburg coat of arms.

New on the exterior. Identifying features of the new version of the Beetle include a redesigned front bumper. The central air inlet has been made larger and framing it now in the vehicle body colour are bars that strive outwards in an A-shape, making the Beetle appear wider and sturdier. On both the left and right outer edges of the bumper a black trim element emphasises the width. Its design looks like a continuation of the air inlet and depending on the vehicle specification frames functions including fog lights with integrated cornering light, the front indicators and the ParkAssist sensors. Meanwhile, the Design versions shine with a chrome crossbar, which runs across the bumper’s full width.

All-round width extensions. Customers opting for the new R-Line version, the new Denim (as 2.0 TSI) or the Dune, also being launched this summer, will acquire a Beetle that additionally has a further narrow air inlet between number plate and bonnet. In all three cases the Beetle is furthermore equipped with a new trim element in elegant black (gloss on the R-Line and Denim, matt on the Dune) that runs all around the car. It frames, among other features, the central air inlet and – acting as body-wideners – the wheel arches and side sills. Also black on these versions is the central and lower part of the rear bumper, diffuser included, which has been remodelled in line with the front of the car. The exterior modifications are rounded off by two new colours, White Silver Metallic and Bottle Green Metallic (there are twelve paint colours in all), the newly colour-coordinated 18-inch Ravenna Adamantium alloy wheels and, depending on version, smoked LED rear lights. The Beetle convertible’s soft top is being offered from now on in four rather than two colours: Black and Nutria Beige for the permanent range, blue Jeans Look for the Denim limited edition model and Sioux Brown for the special Karmann edition.

New safety features. An added safety feature is provided by the Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert, new in the Beetle. During the journey, the Blind Spot Monitor warns the driver of any vehicle in the blind spot. When the car is reversing out of a parking space, the system also detects any vehicle approaching from the side behind the Beetle and again warns the driver. If a collision is imminent, the Rear Traffic Alert system automatically activates an emergency braking function. In combination with the cruise control system, Driver Alert has also been added as a new feature.

New in the interior. The Beetle’s interior has always been a pleasantly fresh alternative to the establishment. The painted dashpad and upper door panel, the glove compartment in original Beetle style, the optional additional instruments above the instrument panel and the ambient lighting – it all elevates this lifestyle model above many other cars of it class, without giving it any sense of being aloof. Volkswagen has consciously not altered the interior contours, but has significantly changed the colours, materials and technical features. Matching the trim, the centre console is now painted, as is the bottom steering wheel spoke. The rings around the air vents and the trim of the door puller (on the front-seat passenger side) can optionally also be painted. New dashpad designs, new seat fabrics and colours, new instrument dials and even brighter, adjustable ambient lighting complete the modifications in the interior.

Five efficient engines. Available for the Beetle and Beetle Cabriolet are three TSI (petrol direct injection) and two TDI engines. Efficient four-cylinder engines that all feature added power thanks to turbocharging. The TSI engines have output ratings of 77 kW / 105 PS, 110 kW / 150 PS and 162 kW / 220 PS, while the TDI engines develop 81 kW / 110 PS and again 110 kW / 150 PS. All five engine variants can optionally be ordered with an automatic dual-clutch gearbox. The top of the range 220 PS engine is available in the Beetle / Beetle Cabriolet R-Line, Dune, Exclusive R-Line and Denim.

Communicative infotainment. All Beetles are equipped as standard with the Composition Colour radio system and eight loudspeakers. The higher-specification Composition Media system is available as an option. Its features include a 6.3-inch touchscreen, telephone interface and an MP3 playlist display showing title and cover. The Discover Media system includes all of these features plus a navigation function and Car-Net ‘Guide & Inform’ online services. All three systems belong to our latest generation of the modular infotainment matrix (MIB II). They are especially well connected via App-Connect – as in this case MirrorLink, CarPlay (Apple) and Android Auto (Google) are part of the system software. Specially attuned to the two top systems is a sound system from US amplifier manufacturer Fender. It features subwoofer, 400 watts of music power and an iPod/iPhone interface.

Beetle, Design and R-Line – the equipment lines

Beetle – the start-up of the product line. For the Beetle there is no base version in the classic sense. The ‘Beetle’ version is more a kind of start-up, cleverly conceived and tailored to the budget of people who are still just starting out. The seat fabrics have been redesigned in the ‘Web’ pattern (colour: Titanium Black). The dashpad is painted in classy black. There is, of course, a complete package of safety features, including in the case of the convertible a rollover protection system. Ten key details of the standard specification in summary:

Composition Colour radio with eight loudspeakers

Stop/Start system with brake energy recuperation

Safety system including front airbags, combined head and side airbags, ESC, Isofix and the Post-Collision Braking System

Hill Hold Assist

Active rollover protection system (convertible)

Electrically operated fabric hood (convertible)

Dashpad painted in black

Steering wheel with black decorative trim

Split fold-down rear seatbacks

Shift gate and cup holder with chrome rims

Design – as individual as a loft apartment. The Design version is an individualised and refined version of the Beetle. As their budget is bigger, it also offers owners further options to shape their environment. Here too the ‘Color & Trim’ design team has redesigned the seats, naming the pattern after the way it looks: ‘Pepita’. It is available in three base colours: Titanium Black, Nutria Beige and Titanium Black / Nutria Beige. Individualised still further with features such as the body-coloured dashpad, centre console painted in Platinum Grey, extra glove compartment in original Beetle style and standard-specification 16-inch alloy wheels, this Beetle goes perfectly with any loft apartment in Berlin, Boston, Beijing or anywhere else in the world. Ten key equipment details in summary:

16-inch ‘Whirl’ alloy wheels

Black air inlet grille with chrome strips

Body-coloured side guards with chrome trim strip

Storage pockets on backs of front seats

Body-coloured dashpad

Comfort seats in the front

Glove compartment in original Beetle style

Centre console painted in Platinum Grey Metallic

Body-coloured elements, including steering wheel trim and upper door panels

Fog lights with cornering light

R-Line – the high-end version. R-Line traditionally stands at Volkswagen for a particularly sporty specification. In the case of the Beetle, the R-Line version is in future replacing the Sport line. Characteristic interior features of the Beetle R-Line and Beetle Cabriolet R-Line include details such as sports seats in the new ‘Check’ pattern with diagonally stitched upholstery. It too is available in the three base colours of Titanium Black, Nutria Beige and Titanium Black / Nutria Beige. Details such as red-painted brake callipers, a chrome-plated tailpipe (two in the case of the 162-kW version), 17-inch alloy wheels, stainless steel pedals and all-round body-widening trim position the R-Line as the high-end top version of the three equipment lines. Ten key standard-specification details in summary:

17-inch ‘Spin’ alloy wheels

All-round body-widening trim

Chrome-plated tailpipe (on the 162 kW on left and right)

Wing mirror covers painted black, brake callipers red

Black side guards with chrome trim strip

Ambient lighting (monotone)

Dark Grid dashpad, Platinum Grey Metallic centre console

Pedals in brushed stainless steel

Steering wheel and gear lever knob in leather

Air conditioning

Eight trim packs – as you like it

Design, R-Line Interior and Style packs – individualised. Each Beetle is an automotive statement from its owner. After many years of service, original Beetle, New Beetle and Beetle have therefore long since become not just ordinary used cars, but in many cases collectors’ items. Classic car events such as the German Techno Classica (there are more collectors of original Beetles in Germany than of any other car) and events such as the Beetle Sunshine Tour underline this. Beetle models have forever been individualised to strengthen the statement still further and make it into a personal one. Volkswagen has therefore put together eight different trim packs for the latest Beetle that enable owners to refine their Design or R-Line models:

Black Style, Turbo Black and Silver Black design packs. With Rotor Black 17-inch alloy wheels and details such as wing mirror covers and side guards also in black, the Black Style design pack has been specially tailored to the Design equipment line. Meanwhile the Turbo Black design pack has been developed by Volkswagen specifically for the R-Line models. It includes black wing mirror covers, body-coloured side guards, the word ‘Turbo’ also in black on the doors and 19-inch Tornado alloy wheels (black with machine-polished surfaces). Customers who would prefer the wing mirror covers and ‘Turbo’ lettering in silver can opt for the otherwise identical Turbo Silver pack.

R-Line Interior pack. An interior pack enables R-Line coupé and convertible models to be refined in even more exclusive style. Pack features include middle seat panels in the Kyalami fabric design, inner seat bolsters in microfiber (San Remo), an R-Line multifunction sports steering wheel in leather, handbrake lever grip and gear lever knob in leather, door tread plates in aluminium with R-Line logo and the classic extra instruments on the instrument panel (charge pressure, oil temperature and chronometer). As an option, the pack can also be combined with the Vienna leather trim.

Color4Me style packs in four colours. The four Color4Me style packs have been exclusively created for the Design models (excluding Exclusive Design). The four pack colours are Habanero Orange, Pure White, Sandstorm Yellow and Tornado Red. In each case the dashpad is in Platinum Grey or Dark Grid. Respectively painted, meanwhile, in one of the aforementioned colours are the trim elements around the air vents, the decorative trim in the steering wheel and door pullers, the upper door panels and the centre console.

Dune – the stand-alone crossover model

Dune – the all-terrain Beetle. The Beetle Dune is a stand-alone line within the model range. Identifying features of the crossover model include its increased ground clearance, broader track width, black flared wheel arches and side sill extensions, 18-inch alloy wheels, exclusive bumpers with diffusers for front and rear, covered side sills and ‘Dune’ lettering in the area of the silhouette. A crossover of the modern era: inspired by the dune buggies of the ’60s and ’70s; front-powered, raised and efficient. Reflected in the Beetle Dune and Beetle Dune Cabriolet is the freedom to travel in a more individual way than the mainstream. Especially when the Dune has been ordered in the colour created specifically for it: Sandstorm Yellow Metallic. Ten dominant standard-specification details in summary:

18-inch ‘Canyon’ alloy wheels

‘Dune’ lettering low down on the doors

Chassis raised by ca. 10 mm

Rear LED lights

Bumpers in sporty design, sills and wheel housing extensions in black

Dashpad in Sandstorm Yellow

Steering wheel, gear lever knob and handbrake lever in leather with coloured decorative stitching

Sports seats in the front (heated)

Air conditioning

Automatic anti-dazzle rear-view mirror, rain sensor, cruise control

Exclusive Design and Exclusive R-Line – style icons

Exclusive Design – stylishly elegant. The Beetle Exclusive Design provides a degree of individualisation straight from the factory that breaks down the boundaries between compact and premium class. These style icons’ standard-specification two-tone leather seats, for example, have an embossed diamond pattern otherwise more familiar in the Bentley segment.

Exclusive R-Line – stylishly dynamic. Volkswagen is now taking the degree of individualisation one level higher still, as available for the first time as an alternative to the Exclusive Design version there is now an Exclusive R-Line version. The Beetle Exclusive R-Line brings together elegance and dynamic performance by combining the R-Line specification with the Exclusive version’s very extensive individualisation. Ten key features of the Exclusive versions:

18-inch ‘Twister’ alloy wheels, black

Sports seats in the front; middle seat panels and bolsters in ‘Nappa’ leather (Cool Leather)

Seats in ‘Amber Brown / Titanium Black / Amber Brown’, ‘Pepper Beige / Titanium Black / Light Beige’ or ‘Black / Titanium Black / Art Grey’.

Steering wheel, gear lever knob and handbrake lever in leather with coloured decorative stitching

Door tread plates in stainless steel with the wording ‘Volkswagen Exclusive’

Dashpad in ‘Black’

Centre console in ‘Black’

R-Line: chrome-plated tailpipe (on the 162 kW on left and right)

R-Line: wing mirror covers painted black, brake callipers red

R-Line: black side guards with chrome trim strip

Denim, Karmann and Allstar – the special edition models

Denim – the rock & roll model. The new Beetle Denim Cabriolet marks the debut of this product line’s first open-top version with an optional blue soft top in the jeans look. Also new to the product line: the Stonewashed Blue Metallic paintwork, appropriate for both convertible and coupé alike. The Denim’s colour is also the dominant feature of the interior, with redesigned seats and matching dashpad in ‘Blue Brushed’. Denim is the clothing of freedom, the material of rock & roll. The Jeans Bug, which took jeans/denim as its central theme, made its debut way back in the mid-seventies. Further special ‘Jeans’ models of the world’s most successful car ever then followed in the ’80s and ’90s. The ten key ‘Denim’ details of the comprehensive standard specification:

17-inch ‘Circle Dark Graphite’ alloy wheels

Chrome-plated tailpipe (left and right on the 162-kW version)

Brake callipers painted red (162-kW version)

Dashpad in ‘Blue Brushed’

Door tread plates in ‘Dark Graphite’

Seat middle panels in fabric, ‘Denim’ pattern

Sports seats in the front, heated

Automatic climate control (Climatronic)

Discover Media radio-navigation system

Car-Net ‘Guide & Inform’

Karmann – an homage to the convertible specialists. Karmann made motoring history – as one of the world’s best convertible specialists. It was for precisely this reason that the Beetle Cabriolet was produced at Karmann. As an homage to the German carmaker, Volkswagen has brought out the Beetle Cabriolet Karmann. A special edition model. Always with a soft top in Sioux Brown. Matching it: the seats in alcantara/fabric – with middle panels in titanium black alcantara and fabric side bolsters in Sioux Brown. Ten key details:

18-inch ‘Disc’ alloy wheels

Hood and hood cover in ‘Sioux Brown’

Alcantara leather seats in ‘Titanium Black / Sioux Brown’

Wing mirror covers in ‘Galvano Grey’

Dashpad in ‘Metal Brush’

Door tread plates with ‘Karmann’ lettering

Leather steering wheel with decorative stitching in ‘Art Grey’

Centre armrest in the front with decorative stitching in ‘Art Grey’

Gear lever knob and handbrake lever in leather, decorative stitching in ‘Art Grey’

Pedals in aluminium look

Allstar – always focussed on the next game. For the Euro 2016 football tournament Volkswagen created the special edition ‘Allstar’ model. It has stunning standard features and generally comes with a five-year guarantee – thus way beyond the European Championship finals of 2020. Two highlights of the special range are the Beetle Allstar and the Beetle Cabriolet Allstar. Both have seats in the style of the Exclusive models. Here, however, the diamond-embossed titanium black middle panels are flanked by side bolsters in the ‘Marrakesh’ colour. Coordinated with that: the dashpad in ‘Metal Brush’. The standard specification includes, as in the Denim, the Discover Media radio-navigation system. Ten key standard details of the special ‘Allstar’ range:

17-inch ‘Linas’ alloy wheels

Tinted rear windows (up to 65 per cent)

Dashpad in ‘Metal Brush’

Door tread plates with ‘Allstar’ lettering

Leather multifunction steering wheel

Pedals in brushed stainless steel

‘Climatronic’ automatic climate control

Discover Media radio-navigation system, including Car-Net ‘Guide & Inform’

Rear View reversing camera and ParkPilot

Cruise control with Driver Alert