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This week, its a ride in what could be the coolest VW bug ever built, the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo S Convertible. Okay, maybe the second coolest bug if you count Herbie the Love Bug, but Herbie never hustled down the street this fast!

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From the outside, the Beetle convertible with its bulked up fenders and low slung top, evoke memories of Porsches long faded into the Wolfsburg history books. The softer curves have been thrown away in favor of a car that VW thinks will attract more young male buyers. Chucking the bud vase and adding a turbo can do that kind of thing.

Inside, the interior seats are well crafted and comfortable, surfaces are soft to the touch. The dash evokes memories of the original Beetle with a center gauge set  but also has a second set of gauges mounted on the center top on Turbo

The bud vase is gone...replaced by a macho gauge set!

The bud vase is gone…replaced by a macho gauge set!

The back seat is really no more than a package shelf or a place to put the big suitcase you will not be able to fit in the small trunk. The good thing is you are going to want to have that suitcase as you will want to be driving the beetle. A lot! Putting the top up and down is a breeze and can be done at low speeds.If you turn the Fender sound system down which might be tough on a sunny day, the VW is surprisingly quiet with the top up or at least it is until you jump on the gas pedal and kick in the turbo.

That’s when the 210 horses and 207 pound feet of 4 cylinder torque kick in and propel you firmly planted from 0 to 60 in a tad under 8 seconds. The Beetle convertible is surprisingly rigid during all of this body twisting acceleration. The DSG dual clutch transmission seems to lag a bit in getting you going but once you start rolling the shifts are clean and crisp. Horsepower is up by 10 and the engine is lighter by a few hundred pounds. VW says the weight reduction will increase gas mileage.

On the road the Beetle handles quite nicely even while being a little light in the steering with the electric power steering unit dampening the road feel. Cornering and handling is superb with more athleticism and less softness built into the car. For a drop-top it felt solid on the road going exactly where you pointed it and stopping confidently.

Lot's of style and  great handling ability on the road. Photos courtesy VW of America

Lot’s of style and great handling ability on the road. Photos courtesy VW of America

The 2013 Beetle Turbo 2.0T w DSG transmission and Nav system I tested stickered at $32,295. Gas mileage figures sit at about 21 city and 27 highway and it has not yet been safety rated by the NHTSA although previous editions score high marks in tests. VW consistently ranks near or at the top of customer satisfaction surveys. While there are several safety systems in the Beetle Convertible the most impressive is the rollbars behind the back seats that deploy in a rollover. A little more security with the top down!

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The VW Turbo Beetle convertible would have to be on anyone’s top 10 list of cruising/lets go have some fun cars. Underneath it is solid with the  GTI underpinnings, outside it emanates style while also being a more chiseled version of this iconic car.  inside it is classy and well done as long as you don’t have to sit in the back seat for too long. Go ahead grab a couple of plastic daisies put them on one and head off to San Francisco…just be sure to wear some flowers in your hair!

To listen to my review click here…


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Get more reviews, news about cars and the people who drive them, interviews and tips on how to get more out of your driving experience all on Drivetime with Vinnie Richichi and Rob Pratte Saturday mornings 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA. Also listen to Vinnie on The Vinnie and Cook Show Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sportsradio 93-7 The Fan.