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.
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.
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.
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.