When the New Beetle was launched at the Detroit auto show in 1998, it was an instant hit, and became an important steppingstone for rebuilding VW’s tattered reputation in the U.S. market. A convertible was added a few years later, and the cute little retro car—conceived in VW’s California studio in the mid-’90s—soldiered on until 2010. The New Beetle’s replacement finally arrived the next year, looking sportier, angrier—OK, slightly more perturbed—and kind of Porsche-like from some angles. Now, on a speedier timeline, Volkswagen has revealed the topless version of its newest bug.
Like its predecessor, the Beetle convertible is equipped with a fabric roof, and this one can be raised or lowered in around 10 seconds. The new roof does away with the need for a tonneau cover; when lowered, it looks more like a tiny spoiler rather than the previous car’s vision-obstructing haystack. A subtle curve to the raised top still provides an aesthetic connection to the much-loved and iconic classic Beetle convertible.
That was then
This is now