I am able to write through clenched teeth about a great many topics. But there's one thing that I cannot sit idly by -- the Volkswagen #PinkBeetle. Oh, yes, that hashtag is there on purpose. And you know what? I can't. I just...I can't. Not this time. This is what happens when you let the marketing team take over product planning.
The car itself is fine, because it's a modern Volkswagen and they're all pretty grand machines. This one isn't different underneath, packing the same 170-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine as the base Beetle. I don't even mind the Fresh Fuschia Metallic paint, as it's a breath of fresh air from a traditionally conservative automaker. Hell, I even dig the pinked-up take on the GTI's ubiquitous plaid seats.
I have no gripes about the standard 6.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A standard backup camera, heated seats, keyless access and LED lighting? Sure. Those are all great and wonderful things. In fact, the only equipment niggle I have relates to the lack of a manual transmission.
The real problem with this car, the one that I absolutely cannot stand, is the name. #PinkBeetle. Why in the hot, holy hell does a car need a hashtag in its name? Have you seen the ledgers of folks using hashtags without a thick dose of irony? That market can't afford new cars -- unless, of course, they're working in marketing for a major automaker. Hell, half of this car's intended market isn't even old enough to drive yet.
My favorite line from Volkswagen's press release is thus: "[#PinkBeetle] is poised to become an immediate automotive trending topic." Oh, I'm absolutely sure it will, Volkswagen, just not in the way you're hoping. I can withstand a fair amount of crap -- I waited tables for years -- but this, this is a bridge too far.