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Volkswagen Beetle Special-Edition Concept Cars: New York Auto Show

What Are They?

The New York Auto Show is serving as the launching pad for four different concept-car special editions of the Volkswagen Beetle, some — or all — of which could preview upcoming production models.

Most striking is the aptly named Pink Color Edition, which is — unsurprisingly — painted pink. But the pink paint doesn’t stop on the outside: There’s also a wide range of pink metallic in the Pink Color Edition’s interior, including the steering-wheel spokes, the floor-mat borders, the air-vent surrounds and even the interior stitching.

Next up is the Beetle Convertible Wave, which Volkswagen says is designed for the summer, “whether in the Hamptons or Santa Monica.” Painted in a bright shade called Habanero Orange Metallic, the Beetle Convertible Wave features 19-inch alloy wheels and chrome door mirrors on the outside, along with houndstooth seat inserts and a surfboard-inspired wood dashboard on the inside.

Then there’s the Beetle Convertible Denim, which, as you might expect, is painted in Stonewashed Blue Metallic, a color developed specifically for the concept car. It’s designed to mimic denim jeans, of course, though Volkswagen says a production model could have up to nine other colors available. Inside, there’s denim-style blue fabric everywhere: seating surfaces, rear-seat pockets and the front center armrest.

Rounding out the four concept cars is the Beetle R-Line Concept, which adds some additional performance to the mix. Powered by a 217-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, the Beetle R-Line touts a lower roofline and a longer hood for sportier lines, along with large front air vents and a rear diffuser. Inside, the R-Line offers sport bucket seats, yellow contrast stitching and a host of carbon-fiber trim.

Will They Ever Sell Them?

Unlike most concept cars, Volkswagen has specifically announced that these concepts could wind up on sale in the near future. In fact, the automaker isn’t shy about saying that it’ll be assessing public reaction to the designs at the New York Auto Show in order to gauge whether they’re suitable for production. If the reaction is positive, Volkswagen implies that some or all of the designs might make it to dealerships — just as the Beetle Dune, once a concept car, reportedly will next year.

Why It’s Important

Although the Volkswagen Beetle was once the hottest car on the market, sales have slowed in recent years as the novelty has worn off, even in spite of a full redesign for the 2012 model year. As a result, the special-edition concept cars shown in New York have two purposes: For one, they’ll give Volkswagen a good idea about what car shoppers want to see in the Beetle’s future. But they’ll also help spark new interest in the aging hatchback.

Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More

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