By on September 12, 2012

Wolfsburg is working hard on making the (new) Beetle’s image a bit manlier. It hopes to get support for this endeavor from two R-Line packages that are based on the top “Sport” version: an exterior package and an interior package.

Says the press release: “The exterior package may be ordered separately, while the interior package is always offered as an extension of the R-Line exterior details.” You figure it out.

The exterior package comes with 18 inch alloys (19 inch optional) and some bumper and side panel mods.  The interior package comes with sport seats “upholstered with an active-breathing fabric in “Kyalami” design” ( you figure it out again) and some badges.

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39 Comments on “R-Rated Beetle For Testosterone Enhancement...”


  • avatar

    What are their plans for addressing reliability?

    • 0 avatar
      NMGOM

      Yeah. And what are their plans for restoring the engine to the back, making it RWD again, and creating a real driver’s car? If you really want manly, that would be manly — in one fell swoop! Or do we always have to resort to expensive Porsche’s to get decent performance?

      Now that Porsche is part of VW, and was wringing its hands over whether to introduce a lower cost, “entry” version of the Cayman/Boxster, would not a hopped up RWD Beetle do just that very easily? And Porsche’s expertise could even be used to do it.

      ————

      • 0 avatar
        tatracitroensaab

        The Beetle is a “mainstream” vehicle. Front engine, FWD is the most space efficient and most convenient option for most people. There is no way in hell they would sell a RR layout Beetle except to the dozen enthuasiasts who would actually pay for one. It would also probably be cost ineffective to make a special edition RR Beetle :(

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Superfluous cosmetic upgrades? If any of the Big 3 did this, there would be howls of protest on TTAC. Also, cue up the “this is a Chick car” comments.

    • 0 avatar
      p___mill

      My wife still irrationally loves her 2001 beetle. She says the new new beetle styling ruined the car. I think they are alienating their core demographic by trying to make the car more masculine. There was already the option of the GTI for customers wanting a “male” volkswagen hatchback.

      • 0 avatar
        hreardon

        I’m on the other side of that argument. To my eye the NEW new Beetle is a major step forward and a much better looking car than the outgoing bubble. I think the new one will have significantly more appeal.

      • 0 avatar
        Signal11

        Agreed with hreardon on all counts. The latest Beetle is a car I wouldn’t feel embarrassed to drive.

      • 0 avatar
        FuzzyPlushroom

        Meanwhile, there /are/ those of us out there who liked the styling of the original New Beetle, like this one for different reasons, but thought the ’06 restyle of the original was hideous.

        Perhaps we’re few and far between, or just bitter over the temporary discontinuation of the TDI and Turbo models, but still…

        The original had sleeper value; being a ‘chick car’ made the Turbos even more of a surprise, in manual form, particularly when chipped. Meanwhile, the new car has a certain retro chic that the old car halfway managed. It’s still cute enough for the triple-white-Cabrio crowd, I think, just not quite so over-bubbly.

        I’m a fan of extremes, though. My former daily driver beside my mother’s car (’01 1.8t): http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5109/5625917218_148f2d5876_b.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        LeeK

        I agree with your wife. The restyle of the Beetle didn’t particularly endear the vehicle to either sex. What is wrong with being a car favored by female drivers? Fifty percent of the market is female. If the car sells in sufficient quantities, what is the harm? Volkswagen has other more butch alternatives in its line up if the prospective buyer thinks the Beetle is too girly. By making the Beetle more aggressive, I believe that VW will see less overall units moved, as female customers no longer think it’s cute and male customers won’t be interested anyway. Performance enthusiasts will be more drawn to the GTI, GLI, or Golf R.

        My unscientific view of the world doesn’t result in many of the Beetle being seen on the road. Even during a week spent in Germany recently, I only saw a grand total of one, near Stuttgart. Are these cars selling at all, or is it still too early?

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      I don’t think that there would be uproars over a styling pack.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Rumor on the street is that they’re replacing the flower and vase with a skull & crossbones vessel that holds a full & freshly cut, blooming flower (with toxic berries) of nightshade [Solanum Nigrum], and that when you push the button that starts the Beetle, the audio theme from Angry Birds plays for 5 seconds before the starter engages.

    There’s also an optional exterior trim package that has Calvin & Hobbes read mud guards and window decals whereby Calvin is depicted pissing on a Ford F-250.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTheDriver

      And I would buy that trim package! Actually no I wouldn’t. Only because I simply wouldn’t buy this car. Which is unfortunate because I am a Beetle fan. I just don’t see how this car is still a “Beetle”. Vdub has taken the beetle out of the Beetle. Other than some slight roundy-ness to the front and rear it’s really no longer a Beetle in any way shape or form. There is practically nothing left of the quirkiness that defines the Beetle. Both inside and out this is a perfectly normal car. And therin lies the problem.

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    I can’t decide what is more boring and repetitious and utterly worthless– debating VW’s reliability, or the gender identity of the Beetle. But nothing is more inevitable here, when a VW or Beetle story is presented. It’s just an option package, not a sex-change operation. And it’s just a machine, not a sex partner or a mate.

    Did anyone ever call the original Beetle a “Chick Car”? No, it was an odd car, a tiny car, an anti-car, a Hippie Car. But when did we develop this fascination with automotive gender? It must have been after the 1960s, when pickups were still sold in aqua & teal colors.

    I’m not still driving a New Beetle because I’m metrosexual, homosexual or asexual. It’s because it’s a roomy coupe for two, with headroom and visibility galore. And if I’m disinterested in today’s newer Beetle, it’s because every example I’ve seen at the dealer has an interior, including the headliner, that’s black as the basement of a troubled teenaged headbanger’s soul. You can spoil a good car by trying to make it something it never will be, and that’s what’s happening to this one.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Marketing is an inherently evil thing as used against the sheeple herds.

      Many will curse me, but I’m on the logical and moral high ground here, so I’m out of range.

      Preach it, Brother Carlin:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFCMhSzeGuA

    • 0 avatar
      skotastic

      You keep trying to convince yourself that your Beetle isn’t a check car anyway you like!

      Like it or not, some cars appeal more to women, others to men, and then many others can go either way.

      For many reasons, the New Beetle, like the old VW Cabrio, are almost exclusively purchased and driven by women – but hey, its a free country so drive what you like!

    • 0 avatar
      FuzzyPlushroom

      Some of the special edition New Beetles (early-2000s special-colour models, such as the Mojave Beige and Vortex Blue, plus Turbo S models) were sold with all-black interiors, which I personally prefer to the rental-car grey or old-man-flesh beige lower portions…

      http://images.gtcarlot.com/pictures/16765722.jpg
      http://www.billswebspace.com/interior1_002.jpg

      …but your mileage may vary.

      I haven’t gotten a good luck at the new Beetle’s interior, though, so I can’t comment on how it’s changed.

      • 0 avatar
        Wheatridger

        For the Beetles I’ve seen, it’s dark and a dungeon and dank as a well. That’s depressing to me. The black-on-black Mustang I rented last month made me feel like a needed a hard hat and a miner’s lamp inside. Black ceilings make the roof feel lower. You want that? You’ll get that in plenty of modern cars.

  • avatar
    challenger2012

    No matter how much you polish a turd, it’s still a turd. All the cosmetic changes have done is change a chick car into a manlier chick car i.e. lesbian. Any man that buys this car deserves all the laughs and stares that come his way. I do like the optional purse – satchel (European Man Purse) holder. It completes the new manly image of the car.

    • 0 avatar
      skotastic

      It’s funny – if you do own a 2012 Challenger, for every 1 New Beetle owner you laugh at, there’s 10 others laughing at you for driving one of the biggest douchebag cars available today!

      • 0 avatar
        challenger2012

        Skotasic I didn’t mean to get your panties in a knot, you can just hide them in your purse, I mean satchel. I have had many people look at my car, no one ever laughed. I have had kids give me the thumbs up as I drive by, hotel clerks come out and ask for a ride when I check in, life guards at my pool compliment me about the car when I arrive at my complex pool, a man on a Harley Davidson MC pull in after me at a Taco Bell and tell me how good looking the car is, a man tell me when I was getting my easy tag how good looking the car was, college girls in a SUV pull up next to me and compliment me on the car, my dental hygienist compliment me as I was driving out past the office, a salesman who wants me to drive for lunch for he like to be in my car, a man in a Dodge pick-up tell me what a great car and color it is. No one ever laughed at my car. But then again I don’t carry a satchel.

      • 0 avatar
        skotastic

        Your best retort is that some guy at a Taco Bell told you that you have an awesome car?

        Cool story. I rest my case…

      • 0 avatar
        FuzzyPlushroom

        The best defense against laughter, in my experience, is keeping up with ‘em from a stoplight. When I started driving, I loved borrowing my mother’s New Beetle – the space-shuttle driving position helped, but the solid handling, five-speed, and (more than anything) the hilarious torque of the 1.8t sold me. I had that car 20, 30 MPH over the limit without realising it a few times, since my daily driver at the time was an automatic Volvo 240… the Beetle surprised a fair few folks, while the Volvo never did, unless I had a mile’s head start.

    • 0 avatar
      BMWnut

      A testosterone laden version of a girlie car is just wrong. How any marketer can think there is a market niche (or is that niche market) for a transgender mongrel like this is beyond me.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Without wading into the “chick car” debate, somehow New Beetle 2.0 seems more attractive to me than version 1.0. With the exception of the spoiler (which looks dumb and tacked on) the wheels look nice . . . and better seats are always welcome!

    Reliability — or lack thereof — of VW products is pretty well indicated by CR’s “frequency of repair” scores and Mr. Karesh’s website. Anecdotes, of course, can go either way.

    And, as on who’s old enough to remember (and have driven) the original Beetle, I can testify that it was not a “chick car” nor, with the exception of the microbus/transporter, was it a “hippie car.” The VW Beetle filled a vacant product niche very well: it was a reliable urban commuter car that didn’t use much gas and didn’t cost much to operate. It also was assembled to a much higher standard than the Detroit product of that era.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      I LOVE the spoiler, the entire rear end is a homage to classic Porsche lines, now if they would only move the engine back there too…

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        Agreed. I really like the new treatment of the new diggs. I liked the 1.0 version as well, but will admit that I recoiled in shameful reticence when I was about to slide in for a test drive and saw the sappy daisy protruding from the flower vase on the dash. Didn’t even put butt cheek to seat before rushing the sales guy over to the Golfs and even found myself asking him, “So, how bout them Broncos this year, eh?”

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    Only if a Meyers Manx fiberglass body kit is made available. And an extractor exhaust, EMPI wheels, big bore kit, maybe a Baja kit for a cheap makeover. Then and only then would I even think about it, and I’d have to be under 30, dirt poor and purchased it as a beater for under a grand.

    Otherwise…not happening. Manly car for a gelding maybe.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I have to admit I really like how this new version looks, much, much better proportioned than the previous one and more faithful to the shape of the original.

    Also good enough to affix a giant wind-up key on the trunk…

    The only thing I would change is replacing the bud vase with a beer can holder, like the plastic 25¢ ones you used to buy at K-Mart and would hang on the door panels so you could enjoy a cold one on the way home from work like I used to do with our old Plymouth Reliant.

    I sometimes miss the 1980′s…Busch never tasted so good!

  • avatar
    99_XC600

    Instead of developing the “R” package. They should address the ongoing issue with the windows either rolling down on their own in the middle of the night during rain storms or the inability to roll them back due to a failure in the pinch control software.

  • avatar
    redliner

    This whole attempt at “man-ification” of the Beetle comes off more bull dike than actual man, which, now that i think about it, may not be bad. I mean have you seen some of these women… more manly than Chuck Norris.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Holy mackerel! I just looked at the photos again, the LED daytime lights look just like either make-up or fake eye lashes.

      Steven Tyler would be right at home, wouldn’t he?

      Me? I’ll stay far, far away…

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Big fan of the new beetle, particularly the fender version and the available moon hubcaps. However, on these models, those LED lights got to go, they give off too much of the “eyebrow” vibe that people used to do to their beetles

  • avatar

    Regardless, I salute VAG for bringing TDI 6-speed MT to US. Thanks again.

  • avatar
    jellybean

    Wading back into the ‘chick car’ issue for a moment. I like the look of the newer beetle. But if VW wants it to be manly, then they shouldn’t offer it in ‘Denim’ blue, which frankly looks like baby blue. And they still offer it in cutesie yellow.

    There are lots of cars I like, but would not be seen in. What we drive makes a personal statement about us, even though the average dullard doesn’t know a Pontiac from a Acura. That’s why I drive an red Achieva coupe. Nobody know what to make of it. Zing.

  • avatar
    Marko

    I assume this is the Turbo Beetle, right? How much does the “R-Line” treatment cost?

  • avatar

    I’ve always liked the Beetle, and have never thought of it as feminine, not even the 1998-2010 “New Beetle.” I guess maybe I’ve never had any doubts about my own masculinity..?

    • 0 avatar
      Banger

      ^This.

      I liked the “New” Beetle when it came out in ’98 (I was in middle school, okay?) and though I came to see it more as a “chick car,” as you all call it, later on, I still liked that it was different from the vast majority of cars on the market at the time, just like the original Beetle.

      The (don’t call it “New”) new Beetle shape appeals to me more. It really works well in black or white. In brighter shades such as the yellow and that horrible “denim” blue, not so much. I think VW holds onto these shades because they’re traditional Bug colors dating back to the iconic Beetle colors of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. Otherwise, we’d see a selection of muted colors, a dark blue and/or dark green, and the aforementioned black and white, as is VW’s normal M.O. I still like it and wouldn’t be ashamed to drive it.

      That said, I love driving my wife’s Nissan Cube. I’d buy one for myself if we had the money. I’m secure enough in my own masculinity to feel perfectly fine driving a small Ford Ranger pickup truck, which I would probably keep as a hauling mule in the event our finances ever allowed me to pick up a manual transmission Cube for commuting duty. My friends who drive $50,000 diesel crew cab pickups with empty beds all week get to enjoy the insurance, payment, and fuel bill that comes with their “manliness.”

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        (I was in middle school, okay?)

        Sigh, I was just about to get my college diploma for my undergrad work.

        On an unrelated note doesn’t the Beetle look like a storm troopers helmet in white against that evil background? :P


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