Drive Type: Manual
Model: Beetle - Classic
Exterior Color: Red
Interior Color: Black
Clarklake, Michigan, United States
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.
Do you recall the failed efforts by Porsche to take over Volkswagen? According to a Bloomberg report, former Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking (above) and ex-CFO Holger Haerter have finally been charged with market manipulation over the exercising of options as part of the German sportscar manufacturer's ill-fated attempt to take over the much larger VW. That failed bid eventually resulted in the reverse coming true - VW swallowing Porsche.
The charges leveled by Stuttgart prosecutors come after a three-year investigation centered around allegations that Porsche execs made a concerted effort to increase the company's share in VW to 75 percent in preparation for a hostile takeover. Porsche had previously told its investors on at least five occasions that it had no intention to buy VW.
Portions of the investigation have subsided, according to prosecutors, citing an inability to prove certain improprieties with a "necessary degree of certainty." The number of charges is down to 5 from a previous 14 counts regarding "information-based market manipulation."
Volkswagen has been responsible for its fair share of witty, clever commercials. "Tiny Vader" might be the most popular, but somehow, we think this newest spot will find a big audience. VW delivers not so much a cover, but a reimagining, of 1980s Norwegian pop band A-ha's famous music video for "Take On Me."
The original opens with an animated motorcycle race, which is revealed to be part of a comic book. VW's version replaces the motorcycle with a Passat, which strikes us as an oddly sober choice when there are cars like the GTI and Beetle in VW's portfolio. But never mind that - take a look down below for the entire 46-second spot. For reference, we've also included the original music video. And if you aren't a fan of the musical stylings of A-ha, just think, VW's choice of 1980s music could have been much worse.