2014 Volkswagen Beetle Gets Premium Package

Volkswagen Beetle – that small curvy car now received Premium package for 2014 model plate in US. The more Premium-ness will be offered on coupe and convertible trims. Under the hoods it will be the1.8T or TDI Clean Diesel engine.

The pricing for 2014 Beetle Coupe with Premium Package will come for $27,355 with the 1.8T engine, and $29,355 with the TDI. And for those who want to feel the gush of wind in their hair, a 2014 Beetle Coupe Convertible with Premium Package is slotted at $30,755 (1.8T) and $32,755 (TDI). All prices exclude destination and handling ($820) charges.

Mentioned below are the bells and whistles that this 2014 Beetle will get under the hat of Premium:

  • Bi-Xenon automatic headlights (auto feature is new to Beetle)
  • Sport suspension (1.8T)
  • Grey door sills and mirror caps
  • R-Line bumpers with foglights
  • 18” Disc wheels in Galvano Grey (TDI)
  • 19” Torando wheels in White (1.8T)
  • Climatronic Automatic Climate Control (new to Beetle)
  • RNS 510 with navigation and satellite radio (new to Beetle)
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers (new to Beetle)
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Unique seating surfaces with leather inserts
  • Fender Sound System
  • iPhone 5 cradle (new to Beetle)
  • Contrast stitching
  • Three exterior color options: Oryx White, Platinum Gray, Deep Black

2014 Volkswagen Beetle

2014 Volkswagen Beetle interiors

Volkswagen iBeetle revealed at Shanghai motor show

The Volkswagen iBeetle will become the primary VW Group product to completely assimilate with the much coveted Apple iPhone 5.

The latest model got introduced at the Shanghai motor show.

The iBeetle version will boast the novel iPhone interface, in addition to 18in alloy wheels, leather seats, iBeetle badging in addition to a chrome package when it hit markets by early 2014.

Volkswagen’s iPhone incorporation permits the unit to be ‘snapped’ within the dashboard and all iPhone tasks can be utilized.

Volkswagen iBeetle

A Volkswagen application program is also under process.

The ‘Volkswagen Car Net The Beetle’ software permits the vehicle to make use of the phone’s data link, allowing users stream music from Spotify, enjoy pal’s Facebook or Twitter messages, or transfer pics to the social networking sites.

Volkswagen iBeetle Interior

Data and tips exhibited regarding driving times and effectiveness can also be posted to the social networking sites.

The iPhone addition is standard on the latest Beetle version, and will be provided as an alternative on other vehicles.

Life Size scrap model of Volkswagen Beetle on display at the Kala Ghoda Festival

From the beginning of history, there has been a certain few incidents, accidents, inventions and moments of pure genius that has led to the shaping of our future. Certain products, commodities, theories or discoveries have changed our planet, the way we live and how we see ourselves as a society and as beings. From the Guttenberg printing press to the Microchip to the development of the power grid, each new marvel has allowed us to take giant strides into the future. The Wright Brothers, to the concord incident to the massive Boeing 747 in today’s world. The same goes for the locomotive industry and also the car making world.

The car industry was initially dedicated to making products only for the elite and the higher strata of society. Then the genius of the Ford T model revolutionized the car industry bringing in affordable cars to the Americans. But then came the giant stride years hence, made by the German company Volkswagen. The car makers brought out from its factory belt something that has remained on as an icon, a cult model for our modern society. If you still haven’t guessed, we are talking of the Volkswagen Beetle.

Life Size scrap model of Volkswagen Beetle on display at the Kala Ghoda Festival

The Beetle has its name enlisted in many a record list. The Volkswagen Beetle has been under production since 1931 and had been churning out of the factory line till as late as 2003. No other car comes even close to this astounding tally. The Volkswagen (which literally means the people’s car) Beetle was the car that took the European car industry by storm.

And as a ‘thank you’ note some of India’s creative geniuses have dedicated a scrap model of the Volkswagen Beetle for show at the Kala Ghoda Festival. The festival is going to be from the 4th of February to the 12th of the same month. The model is decked with 2805 pieces of scrap making it an awe inspiring piece of art. This life size model has been created down to the last detail, a beautiful copy of the Beetle.

The scraps have been collected by the designers from an amassed pile gathered by the Think Blue clean up drive undertaken by Volkswagen. The designers while dedicating this artwork to the revolutionary idea, that was the Beetle, infused the idea and the brand philosophy of Think Blue in building the model. All components, scraps and junk that were collected by the Think Blue program were to create awareness towards building a sustainable environment.

Life Size scrap model of Volkswagen Beetle on display at the Kala Ghoda Festival
The list of items used in the making of such a design is endless. Amongst them the most frequently used are the spark plugs and cold drink caps, whose numbers run up to 800. Others include about 200 bottle caps, 60 mother boards and a whole lot of other fried and non functioning gadgets, the likes of key boards, hard disks, mother boards, CDs and DVDs, cassettes and speakers. Even items such as beer cans, barbecue sticks and pens have gone in into the making of the magnificent design.

Fiat 500 versus Volkswagen Beetle – war of the cutie pies

India as of now was an emerging market as far as the automobile scene was considered however after the recent influx of ultra luxury cars, some costing more than Rs 20 crores, suddenly the Indian market is on a boom. Not only are Indian millionaires on a spending spree but they are also going in for more exclusive models, something which isn’t taken  by the others of their ilk. All the more customers seem to be plonking in right for the high end sports cars. Well, today I have got two cars pitted against each other, not sports cars but hatchbacks. Though both have never being compared against each other in the Indian market, across the globe, they are competitors. So why not in India? Because neither of the cars have sold in great numbers here and neither have the respective manufacturers attempted to publicize them. The reason being that these are brought down to India in the Completely Built Unit or CBU form and then sold. They are just there for a brand boosting exercise. But both the cars, the Fiat 500 in India in a red color and Volkswagen Beetle in India in yellow color is a sight which no one would want to miss. Almost both fall in the same price bracket. I would stress on the word ALMOST.

Looks

Fiat 500 – In the looks department, it’s a personal choice but then I feel that the Fiat 500 looks more cute and at the same time in an Abarth trim ferocious. Check out the short snout and those round head lamps. Those and the parking lamps just below do make an aesthetic design. One thing is for sure that both the cars haven’t deviated much from their original designs and we are talking something which was conceptualized in the mid 40s. The chrome bar at the front along with the wide air dams and those small fog lamps make for quite a style statement. I have heard that the longer it is, the more desirable it is. Hmmm… coming back to the topic and that is this car measures only 3.25 meters and is very desirable. The 16 inch Spyder alloys look perfect on this car however there is an option for Yamaha like tuning fork alloys. The rear features tail lamps enclosed in chrome. There is a chrome bar even at the rear to liven up things. A single chrome tipped tail pipe peeps out from the lower bumper.

Volkswagen Beetle – The Volkswagen Beetle in India has got a curvaceous snout and it has also got oval head lamps. The Beetle has evolved over the years so much so that even though the form is recognizable mainly due to the headlamps, the rest of the body of the car doesn’t quite agree. The 15 inch tyres don’t quite look modern and I initially had reservations if they were actually alloys but then the egg shell curvature blending smoothly into the small boot looks perfect for a retro car. The rear end features a wider windscreen and has got an all integrated oval LED tail lights with reflectors and a mesh in the rear which projects the image that this car is rear engined, which it is not. Typical German,  the tail pipe missing from view. The stop lamp is mounted on the boot lid though.

Out of the two, it’s a tough fight as to who wins the beauty contest. Tough one and with certain permutation combinations, it would be the Fiat 500 which seems to have stuck a bit more to its primary roots rather than the Beetle and hence wins this round.

Interiors

Fiat 500 – The Fiat 500 in India by being virtue of a CBU gets exactly the same features as its Italian counterparts. However still some features like the navigation system have been deleted. Well, who needs navigation systems here in India? Mixture of gray and white adorns the entire cabin. The white plastic used however tends to soil easily and would be a pain to clean. Even the fonts for the buttons are in white so this is something which takes some time getting used to. Build quality is typical Fiat minus the quirky plastics. Infact the dashboard plastics feel better than they are even in the Fiat Linea. The speedometer is a big unit however like the white fonts, it is bit difficult to read while on the move. The seats are comfortable but then if you are 6 feet plus, then it is better that you avoid this car. The standard music player has got an aux input to it. Rear seat space is better left for kids and by that, I mean it. Boot space with the non splitting seats stands at 185 liters.

Volkswagen Beetle – The Volkswagen Beetle is one familiar car. After all, you get that typical German feel once you enter the cabin. However the build quality isn’t in the same league as the Fiat and infact feels a notch down. The Beetle I had for this comparison was an old one and hence the build quality was notably down. I had checked out the new lot Beetle at the Surat Show and found out that build quality was typical Volkswagen and all the panels seem well put together. Seems like the earlier models had a problem of lower build quality. Thankfully the flower vase has been removed from the dashboard design. Feature list is thankfully not pathetic with cruise control, climate control with dual zone properties, keyless entry as also the parking sensors. The meter dials look wonderful while easing into the driver’s seat is a bit more easier than in the 500. Moreover, the Volkswagen Beetle has got a very much usable rear seat. Our photographer could easily manage to find room at the rear and he tips the scales at 74 kgs and measures 5foot 7 from head to toe. Boot space is also slightly more than the Fiat at 213 liters.

The Volkswagen Beetle wins this bout due to the fact that it has got more space and features than the 500 though, the interiors are hard wearing, they seem to lack the build quality feel of the 500. Check out new lot of Beetles though and they would have better build quality.

Handling and ride quality

Fiat 500 – The Fiat 500 rides on harder springs and Fiat have done precious little to fine tune this car for the Indian market. Ride quality is similar to BMW cars and though I might be exaggerating here, it is not at all comfortable. Just ignore long distance runs on this car is what I would suggest. All this stiff ride quality however does mean that the Fiat 500 is an enthusiastic handler. It takes to corners like a dog takes to a bone. However there is a limit to what you can do with a tall hatchback. Push her hard around a corner and she rolls a fair bit but a quick steering input wouldn’t faze her much. The steering is light but noticeably weightens up once the speeds rise. The turning circle in typical Fiat fashion is a bit more than what can be expected out of a small car. NVH levels from the multijet are kept at a fair clip however pushing it hard does reveal its roots –diesel.

Volkswagen Beetle – The Volkswagen Beetle in India has a far better ride than the Fiat 500. If the Fiat 500 felt like a stone, the Beetle is soft Basalt. Typical of small wheelbase cars, even this one feels nimble around town but on the highway, its stance gets a bit ruffled. The steering wheel feels disinterested in the proceedings and is lifeless. Handling is okay but not as good as the Fiat 500. NVH levels, even though this car is a petrol, is a bit on the higher side as compared with the Fiat 500. Take a corner at a fair clip of pace and the Beetle protests.

Tough one – ride quality or handling. I will take ride quality any day and so it would be the Volkswagen.

Engine, performance and fuel efficiency

Fiat 500 – Fiat have launched the 500 in India with a single engine option and that is the universally used 1.3 liter multijet. This engine is in the same tune as it is in other small hatchbacks. It makes 75 Bhp of power with 145 Nm of torque coming in as low as 1500 rpm. Transmission duties are handled by a 5 speed manual gearbox. The car felt anything but sluggish and turbo lag was almost non existent. The 500 completes the 0-100 lap timing in only under 12.4 seconds. This car however chickens out at 154 kmph top speed. Discs in the front and drums at the rear ensure that this car stops well within the safety limit. Moreover, it also has got electronic aids intervening in the form of ABS and EBD. Safety also is taken care by twin airbags, seat belts, FPS and also a steering column which is collapsible. Fuel efficiency though not in the same league as other applications of the multijet, is fairly good at an overall 16.2 kmpl.

Volkswagen Beetle – Volkswagen have offered the Beetle here with only a 2.0 liter petrol engine. Nah, there is no TSI or TFSI matron running inside the engine. This engine makes 115 Bhp of power and 172 Nm of torque. It is aligned to a 6 speed automatic box. The Beetle’s engine doesn’t seem too eager to rev and even the gearbox was a bit of a dampener with its reluctance to downshift when wanted. However when the car was timed for the 0-100 drag, it turned out to be faster than the 500 with times of 11.5 seconds. The top speed that I could manage to drag it to was also higher than the 500 at 177 kmph. The engine however sounds very unrefined by then. But then Volkswagen have given the Beetle better equipment levels and those include the likes of all wheel disc brakes, stability control, EBD and ABS. Needless to say, stopping times were better than those of the 500. Safety aspect has been covered in the form of 4 air bags, collapsible steering wheel and seat belts with pretensioners. However fuel efficiency is lower than that of the 500 at an overall 11.7 kmpl.

The Fiat 500 wins this round.

Verdict

Even though they might have a price difference, both the cars have been brought into India for the sole purpose of brand building exercise. Many would argue that neither Fiat nor Volkswagen need any introduction in India but then take into factor the brand bashing which both have received in India and noticeably for their aftersales. Fiat have handed over their aftersales reign to Tata Motors and somehow the sales and service part seems to be going on smoothly. For Volkswagen, there has been a widespread criticism regarding their aftersales and day by day, its increasing. For the pros and cons, both the cars seem evenly matched. While the 500 gives thrills with its handling capabilities, the Beetle gives a good ride quality. While the build quality of the Beetle may be questionable, the boot space in the 500 is on the lower side. While the Fiat with its lower capacity diesel engine manages to thrill, the Volkswagen’s engine can hold onto higher speeds easily. Frankly speaking, I wouldn’t want to buy any of these. However for all its convenience, it would be the Volkswagen Beetle in India which comes out the winner. But convenience is at a price and the Volkswagen Beetle price in India is Rs 25 lakhs. This is the on-road price in Mumbai. The Fiat 500 price in India for the top end model is Rs 16.4 lakhs, on road, Mumbai. A difference of almost Rs 10 lakhs. Take your pick from amongst these two. Volkswagen have revealed teasers of a new Beetle which might make it to the Indian shores and would stress more on the comfort factor.

Volkswagen Beetle in India- truly an icon

')">I used to remember playing Car Town game as a kid and as a teenager. There were many cars in it which won my admiration and some of the races for me as well but then one amongst them stood out. It was the Volkswagen Beetle. I was really amused with its design and form, more so with the name which was associated with a bug. Well now is my chance to really drive the bug. It so happened that recently in Thane, I happened to see the Volkswagen Beetle and it was stuck in a traffic jam. However the car itself was the reason for the traffic jam as many of those didn’t realize that we actually now get a Volkswagen Beetle in India off the shelf. This made my grey cells work overtime and I realized that I have never actually driven one. If its in India, then it has got to be reviewed by us. After approximately 3 days, the iconic yellow color Volkswagen Beetle was there in our office parking lot. So out foraying in the urban road within the small bug buzzing along. Check on Road Price

Looks

To say the least, this car hasn’t evolved over the times. It has got that typical swooping bonnet with a curvaceous bonnet lid. The circular head lamps do seem from a past era and this adds to the charm of the car. So retro yet modern looking. The Veedub logo sits right atop the bonnet. The turn indicators are housed just below the head lamps.The air dams are split by enclosures for fog lamps.

The outside rear view mirrors have small turn indicators embedded in them as well. The puncture resistant 195/65 R15 “Houston” alloy wheels of this car give it a planted feel and enhance the wheelbase of 2,502mm. Its ground clearance however is a cause of worry as it only stands at 120mm and there are chances that it would scrape at most of our speed breakers, if not driven carefully.

This two door model looks the same classy and elegant thing that it even resembles the front look. If it weren’t for the somewhat huge glass area at the rear, one would definitely be mistaken as to which is the front and which is the rear. The tail lamps are also circular units and have the reverse lamps enrolled into them. The rear bumper features fog lamps.

Interiors

This is one small car and unlike the other hatch backs, doesn’t pretend to shower you with lots of space. Squeezing my 6 foot 4 inches frame into this small car was sort of hectic for me. The worst thing was to fiddle with the tilt and telescopic steering wheel and struggle to find myself a comfortable driving position. Very uncomfortable and I would suggest you to stay away from this car if you are even a millimeter taller than 6 foot. With a 6 footer in the front, forget about rear seat passengers and if they happen to be from the Snow White and 7 Dwarfs family, then they would be happy at the rear.

If you are a single young man with a high disposable income, you would be fine with the sunflower vase sitting in the dashboard. The interior quality however seems somewhat down from what we expect from Volkswagen. They don’t seem as solidly built. The Volkswagen Beetle in India that I had with me as a test mule had clocked more than 10,000 kms and it was already showing signs of wear. The dashboard seemed to have some inconsistent panel gaps and there was some rattle noise coming in from somewhere at the back. There are many features offered in this car though. Some of them are keyless entry, dual zone climate control AC, heated front seats, cruise control,  2 DIN music system with aux and USB input and rear parking sensors(totally unnecessary since this car is quite small after all).

The AC blower speed was upto the mark and very noiseless in its operation even at the highest setting. There are many storage spaces however the boot is seriously laughable at only 214 liters. Access to the rear seats is by flipping up down the front seats, very ungainly especially if you are doing this in front of a crowd(which would certainly be there since you are driving a Volkswagen Beetle).

Handling and ride quality

The Volkswagen Beetle in India is one of the last generation of Beetles which have been sold world over and for 2011, a new model is rumored to be on the anvil. This particular last generation has been developed on the MK4 platform which was earlier used by the Volkswagen Golf/Jetta. This is a front wheel drive car and yes, it doesn’t need 4 wheel drive even as an option. The car did feel surefooted enough. The turning radius of the car is only 5.3 meters and it does make for a nimble handler. Don’t expect it to corner like its on rails but then it would handle most of the everyday handling chores.

The ride in the meanwhile can be described as choppy. The Beetle rides on Independent McPherson struts and coil springs combination. This means that at low speeds, typical of German cars, the ride is a bit harsh however once the speeds climb up, the car gains a sort of stability. It is very stable even in triple digit speeds. Engine noise and wind noise is also very nicely muted.

Engine, performance and fuel efficiency

The Volkswagen Beetle in India is offered with only one engine option. It makes do with the 1984cc , 4 Cylinder petrol engine pumping out 116 Ps @ 5400 rpm whereas the torque output is 172 Nm @ 3200 rpm. The transmission offered is the 6 speed triptronic gearbox. The electrically assisted power steering is a delight to use but then doesn’t weigh up sufficiently once the speeds rise.

The gearbox however feels a bit lazy and the engine also seems to be very happy going in an unhurried manner. I would have been more than happy if Volkswagen could have provided this car with a TSI engine as it is offered in Europe. Sometimes the down shifts in the 6 speed auto would take some time and overtaking ventures would have to be carefully planned and executed.

Putting performance into words, the car goes from 0-100 kmph in only 11.2 seconds and goes on to cover a top speed of 178 kmph. For such a small car, Volkswagen India have kitted it well. It offers all wheel disc brakes along with ABS, EBD and stability control. To add to the safety quotient, the car is offered with 4 air bags, seat belt pretensioners, collapsible steering wheel, side impact bars, crumple zones, seat belt reminder, door ajar warning and child locks. Safety in a small car couldn’t get better than this, would it?

Ohh, I forgot that I am writing this article for the common man who would eventually ask what is the mileage of a Buggati Veyron. Just for the records, don’t expect the Volkswagen Beetle in India to be like a Suzuki Swift in terms of fuel efficiency. It does 9.2 kmpl in the city whereas on the highway, the figure rises to 13.4 kmpl. The reason is its weight of 1356 kgs coupled with the auto transmission. Didn’t I tell you that this car badly begs for a TSI engine?

Verdict

The Volkswagen Beetle in India isn’t marketed as a car for the masses which is actually its status in homeland Germany. It is introduced in India with the view that it would promote the Veedub badge, more so like a brand building exercise. It is a sturdy car though quality of the materials over time may be doubtful, features list is long, has a small foot print and then the Volkswagen badge(it is desirable for some, not for me). But then desirability comes at a price, doesn’t it? The Volkswagen Beetle price in India is Rs 21,34,385 (ex- show room, Delhi). There is only one fully kitted variant available and this car comes as a CBU, hence there is no question of asking if it’s the base variant or the high end one. Volkswagen India have no plan of manufacturing this car in India as of now and hence the high price would continue till god knows when.

Technical specifications of  the Volkswagen Beetle in India

Engine details: 1984 cc 4- cylinder petrol
Maximum Power: 116 PS @ 5400 rpm
Maximum Torque: 172 Nm @ 3200 rpm
Valves Per Cylinder: 4
Transmission details: 6 Speed automatic
Front Suspension: Independent McPherson struts
Rear Suspension: coil springs
Steering Type: Electric Power assisted with tilt and telescope
Turning Radius: 5.3 m
Front Brake Type: Ventilated discs
Rear Brake Type: Solid Discs
Top Speed: 178 kmph
Mileage-City (kmpl): 9.2
Mileage-Highway (kmpl): 13.4
Fuel Tank Capacity (litres): 57
Emission Norm Compliance: BSIV
Tyre Size: 195/65 R15
Alloy Wheel Size: 15 inch
Seating Capacity: 4
No of Doors: 2
Boot space: 214 liters