2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Preview

Jeff Youngs | Oct 11, 2012
  • 4-passenger seating
  • Soft fabric top drops in about 10 seconds
  • Split-folding rear seat expands cargo capacity
  • Standard Automatic Rollover Support System
  • Standard head/thorax side-impact air bags
  • On sale in time for the holidays


The Volkswagen Beetle Convertible returns for the 2013 model year, offering 4-passenger seating and a new power-operated soft convertible top that drops and raises in just over 10 seconds, according to German automaker Volkswagen. VW provides unique safety features for this model, and will offer the convertible version with a choice of three powertrains. The new Beetle Convertible will debut at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show in November, and go on sale shortly thereafter.

Exterior Features

According to Volkswagen, the new 2013 Beetle Convertible's soft convertible top retains the Beetle Coupe's flatter roofline and upright windshield, and the company says the new third-generation Beetle Convertible's appearance is "more closely aligned with the first generation of Beetle convertibles."

When the Beetle Convertible goes on sale, it will be offered in 2.5L, TDI and Turbo trim levels. Standard equipment will include power heated side mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators, heated windshield washer nozzles, chrome trim along the running boards, and 17-inch aluminum wheels designed to look like the shiny hubcaps of first-generation Beetle models.

Interior Features

Volkswagen says the 2013 Beetle Convertible will feature the same interior as the Beetle Coupe, including its body-color dashboard and trim panels and Kaferfach glove box design.

Standard equipment is expected to include climate control, power windows, power door locks, remote keyless entry, trip computer, floor mats, cruise control, and a tilt/telescoping sport steering wheel wrapped in leather. Heated front seats, height-adjustable driver seat, easy-entry rear-seat access, and an 8-speaker audio system with Bluetooth connectivity and music streaming will also be standard.

The Beetle Convertible is designed to seat 4 passengers. To expand cargo capacity when there are just 2 passengers, the rear seat can be folded down.

Optional Features

Compared to the standard 2.5L trim and the TDI trim, the Beetle Turbo Convertible adds fog lights, red-painted brake calipers, and 18-inch aluminum wheels. Piano Black trim is included, along with sport-bolstered front seats, revised gauges with a lap/acceleration timer, and brushed aluminum pedals.

Available upgrades for the new 2013 Beetle Convertible include a touch-screen audio system with HD Radio, premium sound system, navigation system, bi-xenon headlights with LED running lights, and a variety of wheel designs, depending on the trim selected. Volkswagen dealers also plan to offer a variety of extra-cost accessories to personalize the Beetle Convertible.

Under the Hood

The Beetle 2.5L is equipped with a 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine driving the front wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission with a "Sport" mode.

The Beetle TDI offers a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, Clean Diesel 4-cylinder engine generating 140 horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque between 1,750 rpm and 2,500 rpm. A 6-speed manual gearbox is standard with this engine, and a 6-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) automated manual transmission is optional. Electric, rather than hydraulic, steering is also standard for the Beetle TDI.

The Beetle Turbo is equipped with a more powerful, turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, which creates 200 peak horsepower from 5,100 rpm to 6,000 rpm and 207 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,700 rpm to 5,000 rpm. A 6-speed manual gearbox drives the front wheels through a standard Cross-Differential System (XDS), and the Beetle Turbo is equipped with larger front brake discs and an independent rear suspension with a stabilizer bar.


Because the Volkswagen Beetle Convertible lacks a fixed roof structure, it is equipped with an Automatic Rollover Support System. When the air bags deploy, two rollover protection bars deploy from behind the rear seat and, in conjunction with strengthened windshield pillars, help to protect occupants in a rollover crash, Volkswagen says.

The Beetle Convertible's side-impact head/thorax air bags also help to compensate for the loss of side curtain air bags, at least when it comes to protecting the front-seat occupants. Additionally, the Beetle Convertible is equipped with traction control, stability control, and 4-wheel-disc anti-lock brakes with brake assist.


Bluetooth connectivity is standard on all 2013 Beetle Convertibles, providing hands-free calling and music streaming. Options include a touch-screen display audio system, navigation system, and keyless access with push-button ignition.
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