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VW New BEETLE Convertible – Blush Edition If I could sum up the VW New Beetle convertible in one word, it would have to be: Surprising! Probably the biggest surprise with the New-Beetle was the fact I actually got it. I went to Volkswagen to pick up a Tiguan, but they handed me the keys to the Beetle. Apparently, there were no more Tiguan’s at the moment, so the natural replacement would be… a New Beetle Convertible! I was disappointed, but I knew my wife would be thrilled because she’s been bugging me for a couple of years now to get one for a test drive. Oh well, I grabbed the key and went looking for my ride. What color would it be? Burnt Orange? Perhaps Lime Green – or what about that weird white color I’ve seen? Nope – plain boring silver – with a burgundy top. Ugh. I hate silver almost as much as gold. Nothing I can do about it now…
If I could sum up the VW New Beetle convertible in one word, it would have to be: Surprising! When I looked at something and considered it odd… it made sense later. When I thought I wasn’t going to like something… it surprised me and I changed my mind. When I saw all the standard features on the car and then looked at the price… I was surprised yet again.
Nostalgia is running rampant in the 21st century, and clever car manufacturers are cashing in. The New Beetle is the 4th “Retro” vehicle I’ve had the opportunity of Road Testing this past year (the others being Dodge Charger, Chrysler PT Cruiser and Ford Mustang). Each car/manufacturer/designer has been unique in their representation of the roots of the particular vehicle they’ve set out to reproduce, and Volkswagen’s New Beetle is no different. Although it’s more modern looking than the original, it has plenty of original Beetle charm and a few new interesting quirks thrown into the mix.
The Volkswagen GTI is the original “Pocket Rocket” from the early 1980’s. Although many enthusiasts would lament that subsequent GTI’s never quite lived up to the original, VW have sought to redress the balance with their latest version. Based on the 5th generation Golf (now called Rabbit again in North America), the new GTI is stuffed with safety features as well as numerous luxury features. Last year’s GTI had a 1.8 litre 4-cylinder engine pumping out 180 horsepower and 173 lb/ft torque. The all-new 2007 GTI is endowed with a turbocharged 2.0 litre 200 horsepower engine and 207 lb/ft of torque at a very low 1,800 rpm, plus it gets 6 forward gears instead of 5. Also this year there is an available 5-door version in addition to the traditional 3-door variety.
It’s been a number of years since I last drove a Volkswagen. I’ve always liked them but never really had the urge to put my hands in my pocket and pay for one. I always found another car to lust after with my own money. I know several people that actually own one or more, and they are very passionate about their love of the brand/car. They usually don’t settle for one – there’s usually another one to replace the last and it happens perpetually. For the sake of journalism, I had to find out what the big deal was/is with Volkswagen. Why this cult-like mentality?