VWvortex Super Beetle

VW unveils ultra-performance 500 hp VWvortex Super Beetle

Volkswagen is celebrating 75 years of the Beetle by taking a 2013 Beetle Turbo and turning it into the ultra-high-performance VWvortex Super Beetle.

Volkswagen is celebrating 75 years of the Beetle in 2013 and the German automaker is starting the celebration early at the 2012 SEMA Show. The Beetle has always been the perfect platform for customization here in the U.S and a popular car for tuners for decades. To honor this rich history, Volkswagen has partnered with a number of suppliers and customizers to show what the Beetle is capable of in a highly customized form. VW has brought a fleet of highly tuned Beetle show cars to celebrate the three-quarter century mark.

The most customized Beetle of the show will be the VWvortex Super Beetle. How do you build the ultimate performance Beetle? The head of Product Planning at Volkswagen of America, Rainer Michael and the Chief Product and Marketing Officer Tim Mahoney met with the VWvortex team and asked them what they would do if they could build the ultimate Beetle. You do what any performance enthusiast would do. You take the stock 200 horsepower engine and put 500 horsepower into it. And with all that power, you take the all-wheel-drive system from the Golf R and transplant it into the Beetle to keep all four wheels firmly planted to the ground. And that’s just the beginning.

Creating the ultimate Super Beetle


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I wonder about product dilution these days. I've always liked the original Beetle as much as the guy next door but felt it was a stretch when it came back later still called a Beetle but in a front wheel drive platform. Now a 500hp Beetle? Seems automakers are diluting their platforms by making those iconic cars do more than the market segment they once appealed to. I wonder what they want to achieve, short of the financial obvious by using cars that inspire generation in as many versions as possible. I guess I miss the days when a Beetle was a Beetle and not a suped up car that has more and more hints of a Porsche... but then again, I still drive a 1974 Alfa Romeo because I can recognize it in a parking lot :)
I agree--and a lot of iconic car makers are diluting themselves these days. The VW Beetle is supposed to be a very basic, inexpensive, and efficient form of transportation. It's supposed to be a $12000 car that has no frills, a cute design, and innovative functionality. Instead a basic Beetle runs nearly $20K, and it isn't the best choice for anything. It's not the best car for the money, it isn't inexpensive, it isn't particularly super-efficient, and the inside of the car is anything but basic. MINI and Porsche are doing the same thing. MINI keeps making its cars bigger and bigger (they're going to have to call themselves MAXI soon), and Porsche keeps expanding into family sedans, SUV's, and wagons instead of sports cars. When you start losing your focus, you start missing your goals, and this is very evident in VW.
I agree, I think the Mini has lost focus. The newer 4WD, four door would be better called a Maxi. It's big. Unfortunately, the Beetle is no longer a Beetle, or what made it so unique. I assume VW is counting on people not remembering what the Beetle stood for :) I think VW wants to make sure it doesn't lose it market share lead but we know how that ends up in the end with GM and Toyota's examples. I certainly don't represent the majority of car buyers, but I prefer smaller makers that pour their heart and souls into their unique cars.