The Frankfurt Auto show, which ran from September 15 through 25, featured a number of concept cars offered by European manufacturers. Los Angeles car buyers with an eye to the future should be able to find their dream machine among the lineup. I am presenting a sampling, ranging from A (Audi) to V (Volvo).
In 1933, Adolph Hitler approached Ferdinand Porsche to develop an inexpensive vehicle to put more German’s on wheels; thus the Volkswagen Beetle was born. Volkswagen is German for “people’s car.” The VW Beetle R Concept could be dubbed a Rennwagen (German for racecar); it is by no means a people’s putt-putt vehicle. Under the hood (the trunk in the original Beetle) is a turbocharged 2.0 liter power plant, similar to that of the Golf R and Scirocco R. VW has not announced specs as yet; however, the Golf R is rated at 270 HP while the Scirocco R struggles along with just 261 HP.
Externally, the Beetle R Concept is more testosterone-charged than the standard Beetle, which has been newly redesigned into a lower and wider profile. The Beetle R Concept’s fenders are widened by 15 mm (about a half inch); new 20-inch “Talladega” wheels roll under the fenders. Although, the wheels feature the same triple five-spoke design as found on the Golf R and Scirocco R, the concept’s rims are an inch bigger than either those of either vehicle. To improve more cooling and better aerodynamics, the front and rear bumpers have been widened and redesigned. The front incorporates bigger intakes to feed the engines cooling system and intercooler. The grille and front splitter have a high-gloss black finish with chrome highlights. In addition, the hood is vented to keep air flowing over the vehicle rather than under. The rear bumper hangs over the four exhaust tips (dual tips on each side); in addition it incorporates a diffuser to help keep the back firmly on the road. Complementing the diffuser is a black-trimmed rear spoiler.
The interior is a mix of Beetle and R appointments sported by its two cousins. Black leather bucket seats are embossed with the R logo and finished off with blue piping. The dash is highlighted with the same high-gloss black trim found, which is found on the outside of the vehicle. The instrument cluster has been reworked for a sportier look. Similar to that of the Porsche, the tach is mounted in the center, which also gives the little speedster a sportier look.
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