[courtesy of: VWVORTEX.COM]

Almost 565,000 Beetle Convertibles have been built over the last 40 years – 234,000 of those were New Beetle Convertibles alone. Few automotive icons are as recognizable as the Beetle Convertible and this newest version is no exception. It still draws people to it wherever it goes with lots of people taking cell phone pics of their friends next to it and people approaching us with their Beetle stories. We spent the day driving the new Beetle Convertible around the Los Angeles and Malibu area and came away impressed.

Typically when you remove the roof from an automobile, you end up compromising the main structure of the car. This forces engineers to come up with creative solutions to try and bring the rigidity back into the chassis. Volkswagen used ultra-high-strength hot-formed steel in two key locations – the thicker A-pillars on either side of the windshield and in the B-pillars just to the rear of each door. Combined with other key high-strength steel cross members, cross plates and heel plates, this new Beetle Convertible is more than 20% stiffer than the old New Beetle Convertible. One of the first things every journalist looks for in a new convertible is how much vibration and flex occurs – usually manifesting itself in cowl shake near the A-pillars and in the steering column. Truthfully, some convertible models are downright terrible in this regard as adding things like hot-formed high-strength steel is both costly and time consuming during production. So this new Beetle Convertible is quite good when it comes to chassis flex (or the lack thereof) with hardly a vibration felt in the A-pillars or through the steering wheel. Is it as stiff as the hardtop coupe? No, but we’ve yet to drive any convertible that pulls that off and this Beetle Convertible ranks up there as one of the best.

You can read the full write-up here at VWVORTEX.COM