Volkswagen has announced pricing details for its funky, music-inspired Beetle Fender Edition.
Musicians and fans of music have long known Fender as one of the foremost producers of guitars and amplifiers, with an incredibly diverse range of musicians from Jimi Hendrix to Brad Paisley using Fender gear over the years. Fender recently expanded into the car audio business by teaming up with Panasonic to produce sound systems for Volkswagen, and at last year's Frankfurt show VW created a concept Beetle as a tribute to the iconic company that is now entering into production.
The entry-level version equipped with a 170-horsepower 2.5L I-5 and a five-speed manual starts at $25,235, while upgrading to the 200-horsepower turbocharged 2.0L I-4 with a six-speed stick ups the MSRP to $28,925. Those prices represent increases of $2,145 and $1,735, respectively, over the equivalent non-Fender Edition bugs. A six-speed automatic can be spec'd with the I-5 for an additional $1,100, while a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox for the turbo costs $1,070.
Naturally, a 10-speaker, 400-watt Fender audio system comes standard on the special edition Beetle. Complementing that tunes package is a "sunburst"-themed dashboard applique, which replicates - in plastic - the look of Fender's guitars. Outside, Beetle Fender Editions are swathed in Deep Black Metallic with chrome exterior mirrors, 18-inch "Disc" alloy wheels and, of course, Fender logos. Beetle Fender Editions equipped VW's boosted four-cylinder also receive special fabric seat inserts.
Unfortunately, some of the concept car's unique touches didn't make production. The vintage amp-style head-unit and dashtop tube amp have been ditched and the trunk-mounted subwoofer with an integrated guitar jack didn't make the cut. A different Fender Bassman subwoofer is included, but musicians will need to plug in through the aux-in port (necessitating an adaptor) or via Bluetooth with smartphone apps.
The Beetle Fender Edition is starting to arrive in dealerships now and should be available nationwide later this month.
Live concept car photos by Mark Elias