Uitenhage - The Volkswagen Beetle remains one of the world’s iconic shapes, right up there with the Coke bottle and the Barbie doll, whether in its original air-cooled format or the later, front-engined version.
Now VWSA has released a South Africa-only, limited edition Beetle R-Line with distinctive styling tweaks and a raft of special features - but it's still very recognisably a Beetle. Exclusivity will also be part of the deal; just 50 will be made.
The ‘custom’ look starts with a new front bumper moulding that has a bigger central intake, framed by body-colour bars and black trim elements on the outer edges, as well as an additional intake slot between the number plate and the bonnet.
There’s also an extra black plastic trim that runs all the way around the car, emphasising the wheel arches and side sills, and a new lower rear bumper, also in black plastic, that includes a diffuser element.
The Beetle R-Line runs on special colour-coordinated 18 inch rims, and is available in your choice of white, red or a special, very pale metallic silver, exclusive to this model, with a gloss black roof or panoramic sunroof as options.
Inside, you get a black painted dashpad and door panels, R-Line sports front seats trimmed in ‘Kyalami’ fabric upholstery with grey microfibre side bolsters, a leather steering wheel with gloss black inserts, three extra gauges (boost pressure, oil temperature and stopwatch) above the instrument panel, dual-zone climate control, brushed stainless-steel pedals, rear parking sensors and even a glove compartment in original Beetle style.
Standard kit includes an eight-speaker Composition Media audio system with 16.5cm touchscreen, Bluetooth, USB port and Apple CarPlay compatibility; the optional 400 watt Fender soundpack adds a subwoofer, as well as ambient lighting around the speakers, door panels and the LEDs on the loudspeaker rings.
The Beetle R-Line has a 1.4 TSI turbopetrol four rated at 110kW and 250Nm from 1500-3500rpm; DSG transmission is standard.
R-Line 1.4 TSI 110kW DSG R 419 500
That includes a three-year or 120 000km warranty, and a five-year or 90 000km service plan.