Posted on 06-11-2012
Filed Under (Industry News) by Chloe Davies

The VW Beetle celebrates its 75th anniversary this year and, since it’s always been a favorite of tuners and customisers in the US, Volkswagen of America have paid tribute to this heritage with not one but six Beetle show cars for the 2012 Specialty Equipment Market Association show, opening today (30 November) in Las Vegas.

It may look the least radical on the outside, but the VW Vortex Super Beetle, engineered in collaboration with performance specialists APR, is one of the hairiest ever built, with an APR Stage IV GTX Turbocharger more than doubling the output of its two-litre TFSI engine from 150 to 370kW.

That includes an upgraded fuel system a new, high-performance intercooler system and an RSC Turboback exhaust system, as well as an ECU upgrade, high-flow cylinder head and intake manifold, high-strength coated pistons, gudgeon pins, con rods and bearings and an upgraded balancer shaft.


A DXD Racing Stage III clutch and VW Racing short-throw shifter take the power to a 4Motion all-wheel drive system borrowed from the limited-edition Golf R, complete with an upgraded Haldex viscous centre coupling.

The Super Beetle sits low to the road on an adjustable coilover suspension setup with VW Racing camber plates and upgraded anti-roll bars, stiffer front and rear suspension bushings and special lightweight, strengthened front uprights designed for the Audi TT RS.

A VW Racing six-piston, two-piece big brake system was brought in from the UK to handle stopping duties, behind 19” Split Formula TR rims wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sports.

The outside of the Super Beetle is standard, aside from a more sportier Alpil bumpers from Japanese aftermarket tuner Newing and a vinyl film wrap – rather than a point job – in matte bluer metallic, while the interior features a pair of Recaro Sportster CS seats.


European Car magazine’s California-style show car has everything you need for a day in the surf, starting with a larger Revo Technik turbocharger, software upgrade, and intake and exhaust system, boosting power to about 300kW, as well as upgraded suspension and brakes.

The car has a one-off body kit designed by FMS Automotive – complete with a retractable shower! – and runs on Fuchs Performance 19” rims wrapped shod with Continental Extreme Contact DW tires.

The interior is trimmed with midnight black outer panels and military green suede inserts with top-stitching by Katzkin Leathers.


Galpin Auto Sports in southern California took a new Beetle, incorporated a number of vintage features and created a vehicle that recalls the chopped-top Beetle models of the past.

The show car has a custom chopped roof, slammed 140mm at the A pillar and 65mm at the B-pillar for a strong raked look. The chassis has been lowered and stiffened with Neuspeed springs and anti-roll bars, and 20” hand-made, vintage Porsche-style, three-piece rims replace the standard hoops.

The rear quarter windows are sealed with vintage-style scoops while the headlights and tail lights are dark-tinted to match the black paint with candy-apple red metal flake.

The seats have been trimmed in vintage-style black leather with red contrast stitching, under a specially-made matching headliner, with interior trim panels in the same candy apple red metal flake found on the exterior.


With a 1956 and a 2012 Beetle, FMS Automotive will pay tribute to two definitive generations of the Beetle.

The 1956 Beetle is a complete ground-up restoration, with an upgraded engine and drive-train, drilled disc brakes all round, full leather interior as well as an extensive body kit and contemporary paint scheme.

The new Beetle gets a special two-tone paint design, H&R springs, Rostra LED lights, and an specially made dual sport exhaust.

Both FMS Beetles run contemporary TSW wheels with Nitto performance tyres.


The Rotiform team added a vintage Beetle look to its modern Beetle build, starting with an all-new rear axle with Air Lift air suspension, concave rims and Nitto performance tyres, so that they could “lay-frame” the Beetle as builders of custom air-cooled versions did decades ago.

The engine bay was shaved for a smoother look and the car was wrapped in 3M’s matte grey aluminium vinyl wrap, while the show car’s factory interior trims were replaced with parts from other trim levels to produce a classic Beetle theme.

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