Volkswagen will introduce its all-new 2013 Beetle Convertible to the American market in December with three special launch editions that are meant to evoke the decades of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, a period in postwar America that, not incidentally, saw a level of growth of the Volkswagen brand that the company surely now hopes to repeat. “We wanted to do something at launch to help communicate that the convertible is back,” Andres Valbuena, Beetle project manager, tells Automobile Magazine. “These special editions are meant to make the connection to the original air-cooled days.”
Only 800 total vehicles will be sold here, apportioned thus:
• ’50s Edition: 450 vehicles, black pearl exterior over beige leather sport seats, 2.5L five-cylinder engine, six-speed automatic; $26,095;
• ’60s Edition: 250 vehicles, Denim Blue (light blue) exterior over two-tone leather sport seats, 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder; DSG transmission; $32,395
• ’70s Edition: 100 vehicles, Toffee Brown exterior over tan interior; 2.5L five-cylinder engine; six-speed automatic; $28,595
Each car has numerical badges on its front fenders indicating the decades that they are meant to evoke, which is a good thing, because just glancing at the cars would not communicate that they are anything special. Attractive as all three color combinations are, the cars don’t have any interior or exterior finishes or special designs that bring any misty, water-colored memories to your mind. At least the ’50s Edition has Heritage wheels that definitely look old school. We also applaud any use of Toffee Brown as an exterior car color and note that the ’60s Edition is the only way you can get a Denim Blue Beetle convertible with the turbo engine; otherwise, Denim Blue is available only with the 2.5L and the TDI.