If you’ve been waiting since 1997 to get your hands on a special kind of Volkswagen (New) Beetle, your long wait is over.
For 2015, buyers can sign on the dotted line for a VW Beetle Classic – a value-oriented model that offers upgraded standard equipment and retro styling cues at a price that undercuts that of the base model.
Volkswagen of America announced on Sept. 23 the immediate release of these limited-edition models, which they say come in at $1,500 lower than a base Beetle with automatic.
Powered by a 1.8-litre turbo four (the same as the base model), the Beetle Classic’s most noticeable styling departure is its attractive retro wheels, which feature a chrome centre cap, blacked-out spokes and a chrome outer ring. It’s a style I’ve always liked, but I’d never imagined what they’d do for the looks of a Beetle until now.
Besides the new rims (and a decklid spoiler that I find totally out of place on a ‘Classic’ model), the car comes equipped with classy leather-wrapped handbrake lever and shift knob, as well as two-tone leatherette upholstery. A Sirius XM satellite radio and navigation system are also standard, as is a 6-speed automatic transmission.
For a vehicle whose name and historical lineage predates World War Two, it’s weird that an automatic transmission would come standard on this model. However, if you can’t drive a stick but just LOVE Beetles, this is your chance to get what you want while saving money at the same time.
The Classic still has a lower starting price than a base Beetle equipped with a manual transmission.
Volkswagen Beetle sales are not a huge part of the company’s revenue stream, but they do seem to stay consistent over time. The Classic is clearly a way for VW to craft some renewed attention for the model and possibly achieve a sales bump as well.
Being a limited-edition model, buyers can choose from three basic paint colours – black, silver and white – when they slap down their $20,195 (U.S.) for their new retro ride.
Too bad about the spoiler and tranny, though.