Drive Type: Manual
Model: Beetle - Classic
Exterior Color: Red
Interior Color: Black
Clarklake, Michigan, United States
It was just nine months ago that Strategic Vision announced its 2011 Total Value Awards, but you don't have to wait until next year for the 2012 awards. The Volkswagen Group keeps its lead as the number one brand, with seven products taking top category spots: Golf, Jetta Wagon, CC, Eos and Audi A3 Wagon, Q5 and Q7. Strategic Vision says "true innovation" - "rich and impactful, intuitive, motivational, in-depth and is able to trigger description by the user in great specificity" - is the open secret of the brands with the strongest showings. Results are culled from 77,153 owners covering more than 350 new cars bought between September of 2011 and 2012 ranked in the Total Value Index (TVI).
Other notable winners are Hyundai-Kia following VW in the brand category and having the Hyundai Elantra and Kia Sorento among category winners, the BMW Z4 taking the premium roadster category and the highest overall score of any vehicle, the Chevrolet Volt continuing to gather silverware in the Special Category, nabbing the second-highest score of all and representative of "nearly perfect innovation," and Chrysler and Dodge being most improved.
Check out the press release below for your day's dose of jargon and all the winners.
Back in 2008, Porsche got the bright idea that it could take over Volkswagen in the midst of the worst economic slump since the Great Depression. Ignoring that this was a catastrophic move for the Stuttgart sports car manufacturer that that eventually resulted in it nearly going bankrupt and eventually being taken over by the same company it sought to control, the aftermath has left Porsche Chairman Wolfgang Porsche and board member Ferdinand Piëch in the crosshairs of seven hedge funds that lost out during the takeover and are now seeking €1.8 billion - $2.43 billion US - in damages from the two execs, according to the BBC.
See, investors bet on Volkswagen's share price going down, partially because Porsche said it wasn't going to attempt a takeover. But Porsche was attempting to take over VW, having bought up nearly 75-percent of VW's publicly traded shares. When word broke that Porsche owned nearly three-quarters of VW (which indicated an imminent takeover attempt), rather than go down like the hedge funds bet it would, VW's share price skyrocketed to over 1,000 euros per share, according to Reuters.
Naturally, when you bet that a company's share price is going to drop and it in turn (temporarily) becomes the world's most valuable company, you lose a lot of money, unless you're able to buy up shares before prices jump too much. This led to a squeeze on the stock, which the hedge funds accuse Porsche and Piëch (who are both members of the Porsche family and supervisory board) of organizing.
Volkswagen's R lineup currently consists of the Golf R in North America, and the too-cool-for-school Scirocco R in Europe. It hasn't exactly been a secret as to which VW would next get the R treatment; the German manufacturer reportedly confirmed that a hotter Beetle would be coming to the US. That announcement, in August 2011, was followed up by a production-ready Beetle R Concept at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.
After some wait, we're finally seeing spy shots of the Beetle R in Germany. The mule shown in the images here is wearing the R-Line bodykit, which adds sportier front and rear fascias, side skirts, dual exhausts and a not-so-subtle spoiler. Topped off with Volkswagen's traditional, five-spoke R wheels, we'd be just fine with the Beetle R coming to market as is.
Our spy photographer, though, seems to think that the production R will get even sportier sheetmetal, which we take to mean the more assertive look shown on the Frankfurt show car. Larger intakes on the front fascia, a bigger rear spoiler and vertical vents on the rear bumper could all be upcoming. Whether a production model will include the concept's polished wheels (R cars haven't traditionally embraced that look), vented hood and the quad-tipped exhausts remains to be seen.