Volkswagen made a long overdue update to its Beetle model last year, flattening the roof and modernizing the cabin electronics. This year, Volkswagen opens the top, unveiling a convertible version of this iconic car, the Beetle Cabriolet, at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show.
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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The power-operated cloth top manages to maintain the roofline of the hard top version, giving the car a 1950s look.
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Unlike the original Beetle, the newer generation has its engine in front. Similar to the hard top, the new Cabriolet comes with three engine choices. The base engine is a 2.5-liter five cylinder mated to a 6-speed automatic. A 2-liter four cylinder, with direct injection and a turbocharger, is also available in gasoline or diesel, both of which can be had with Volkswagen's six-speed dual clutch automated manual transmission.
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The Beetle Cabriolet retains the two-door style of the standard Beetle, but access to the rear seats becomes easier with a Dukes of Hazzard-style jump. Volkswagen hints at running boards on the side of the car, another nod to the original.
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Volkswagen includes a small spoiler at the top of the rear hatch.
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The cloth top, which can fold up in 9.5 seconds according to Volkswagen, is seen here with its cover snapped into place, neatening the look.
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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
Lazier owners will leave the top uncovered when it is down, ready for action but not as stylish.
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Although it might fit five in a pinch, the rear seat gets a little narrow for three across.
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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
One retro accent carried over from the hard top is the metallic dashboard, here seen in body color. The optional navigation unit in the Beetle Cabriolet will be Volkswagen's flash-memory-based RNS 315 head unit. It handles basic navigation well but does not include traffic data. Volkswagen also will offer a Fender edition, featuring the Fender audio system.
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