VWvortex creates a Super Beetle Project; other custom show car builds debut at SEMA 2012
Las Vegas – On the heels of a record year for Volkswagen of America, with sales through September up more than 37 percent year-to-date, the brand surges forward by highlighting the modern, iconic Beetle. Volkswagen’s extensive heritage and memorable products have left an indelible mark on America’s car culture, with customization being an integral part. To honor this rich tuner history, several suppliers and customizers used this opportunity to highlight the Beetle’s bold design by developing a fleet of highly tuned show cars for the 2012 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas.
The current-generation Beetle is the boldest ever and is an ideal platform for enthusiasts. In 2013, the Beetle celebrates its 75th anniversary and the brand is kicking things off early with the introduction of the VWvortex ultimate Super Beetle show car.
“Volkswagen has an extensive enthusiast following with products like the Beetle, GTI, Golf R and GLI acting as the platform for some of car culture’s most memorable aftermarket and show car creations,” said Tim Mahoney, Executive Vice President and Chief Product and Market Officer, Volkswagen of America. “As we approach the 75th anniversary of the brand’s most iconic product, it makes sense to honor the Beetle’s heritage together with suppliers and customization partners at the auto industry’s premier aftermarket show.”
Collaborating closely with performance specialist APR, the VWvortex team set out to transform a 2013 Beetle Turbo into the ultimate 500-horsepower all-wheel-drive hot rod show car. Under the hood, the VWvortex Super Beetle features a long list of enhancements including an APR Stage IV GTX Turbocharger System that boosts horsepower from 200 to more than 500.
To accommodate the significant increase in power, APR updated the fuel system and added a high-performance intercooler system, as well as a host of Stage IV components including; an ECU upgrade; high-flow cylinder head and intake manifold; high-strength coated pistons and wrist pins; high-strength connecting rods and bearings; an upgraded balancer shaft; and a balanced rotating assembly. An APR RSC Turboback Exhaust System was added to improve airflow while a DXD Racing Stage III clutch and Volkswagen Racing Short Shifter have been employed to help put all of the newfound power to the ground.
Speaking of the ground, the Super Beetle will sit closer to it with an H&R Adjustable Coilover Suspension setup enhanced with Volkswagen Racing StreetSport+ Camber Plates and H&R Sport Sway Bars. Additional chassis stiffening will come from APR upgraded front/rear motorsport bushings and APR lightweight/strengthened front uprights designed for the Audi TT RS. With more power comes the need to improve traction, so the APR team fitted the Super Beetle with a 4MOTION® all-wheel drive system from the limited-edition Golf R, complete with an upgraded Haldex all-wheel drive race controller. A Volkswagen Racing six-piston, two-piece big brake system was brought in from the UK to handle more rigorous stopping duties.
Not only will the Super Beetle be one of the most powerful Beetles around, it will also be one of the most eye-catching. ORACAL® Series 970RA Wrapping Cast, a lightweight paint alternative vinyl film will cover the exterior of the project car in a stunning Matte Azure Blue Metallic while 19-inch fifteen52 three-piece Split Formula TR wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires will replace the factory equipment. Fifteen52 also provided a pair of more aggressive Alpil replacement bumpers produced by Japanese aftermarket tuner Newing. Inside, the driver and front passenger are greeted by RECARO Sportster CS seats.
The VWvortex Super Beetle will be on display at the H&R Springs booth from October 30 to November 2. For more information on the build-up of the VWvortex Super Beetle visit http://superbeetle.vwvortex.com.
In addition to the VWvortex Super Beetle, the SEMA onslaught continues with four other tuned Beetle models and a high-performance Golf R project car.
Following is a brief overview of other Volkswagen vehicles on display at the 2012 SEMA Show:
european car Magazine “Beach Battle-Cruiser”
Centered on the concept of building a beach battle-cruiser, european car Magazine captured the essence of the classic Cal-look Bug in a modern Beetle for the SEMA Show. The surf-inspired Beetle show car was designed to offer the ultimate one-stop-shop for beachgoers, providing everything needed for a perfect day in the surf.
The beach Beetle features a larger Revo Technik turbocharger, software upgrade, and intake and exhaust system: all-in-all, they help to boost output to an estimated 400-horsepower. Revo Technik also added an upgraded suspension and brakes.
Exterior updates come in the form of a unique body kit designed by FMS Automotive—complete with a deployable shower system. Custom Fuchs Performance 19-inch wheels replace the factory pieces and are outfitted with Continental Extreme Contact DW tires. The interior receives new appointments from Katzkin Leathers featuring midnight black outers with military green suede inserts and top stitch for the seats.
The european car beach battle-cruiser Beetle show car will be on display at the FMS Automotive booth during the show.
Galpin Auto Sports (GAS) “Chopped Top” Beetle
The customization team at Galpin Auto Sports and Galpin Volkswagen in Southern California have taken a modern Beetle, incorporated a number of vintage features and created a vehicle that harkens back to chopped-top Beetle models of the past.
One of the most striking design elements of this show car is the custom chopped roof; lowered 5.5-inches at the A-pillar and 2.5-inches at the B-pillar for the ultimate raked look. An equaling striking paint scheme was utilized in Onyx Black with Candy Apple Red metal flake.
The chassis on the Beetle was lowered and stiffened with Neuspeed lowering and springs sway bars. Vintage Porsche style hand-made, three-piece 20-inch wheels replace the factory pieces. Continuing the vintage feel, the rear quarter windows were sealed with vintage style scoops while the headlights and taillights were tinted to reinforce its new bolder appearance.
Inside, GAS replaced the seats with vintage-style black leather surfaces with red contrast stitching, added a custom matching headliner and painted interior trim panels and the IP with the same Candy Apple Red metal flake found on the exterior.
The Galpin Auto Sports Beetle show car will be on display at the entrance of the Central Hall.
FMS Automotive 1956 and 2012 Beetle models
For the 2012 SEMA Show, FMS Automotive is paying homage to the timeless generations of the Volkswagen Beetle. With a 1956 and a 2012 Beetle, FMS Automotive will pay tribute to two definitive generations of the iconic Beetle.
The 1956 Beetle is a complete ground-up restoration, augmented with an upgraded performance powertrain, four wheel drilled disk brakes, full leather interior as well as modernized exterior styling through extensive body modifications and a contemporary paint scheme. The 2012 Beetle’s modern design and heritage are highlighted with a custom two-tone tribute paint design. The show car’s presence is enhanced with H&R springs, Rostra LED lights, and an in-house custom fabricated dual sport exhaust. Both the original and the tribute Beetles are shod with contemporary TSW wheels, wrapped in Nitto performance tires and highlighted in DuPont paint.
Both Beetle show cars will be on display at FMS Automotive’s SEMA Show booth #20241.
The Rotiform team sought to integrate Volkswagen’s heritage with its modern Beetle build, combining custom touches from the past through today. To start, an all-new rear axle was installed on this show car to accommodate an air suspension system from Air Lift. Once completed,” Rotiform concave wheels were installed and wrapped in Nitto performance tires. With this unique setup, the Rotiform team is able to “lay-frame” on its modern Beetle, similar to what tuners of the classic air-cooled models did decades before.
In addition to wheels and suspension, the Rotiform team shaved the engine bay for a smoother look and changed the entire vehicle’s color using 3M’s Matte Gray Aluminum vinyl wrap, harkening back to classically tuned Beetles. On the inside, the show car’s factory interior pieces were replaced with parts from other available trim levels to produce the desired classic Beetle theme.
H&R Golf R
Legendary suspension specialist H&R selected a Carbon Grey Metallic 2013 Volkswagen Golf R as the foundation for a SEMA show car. H&R started with what it knows best—the suspension, replacing the stock setup with its Street Performance Tuner Coil Over suspension featuring lightweight aluminum front struts and rear dampers and a ride height that’s 1.3 and 1.6 inches lower in the front and rear respectively. To improve rigidity, H&R added a thicker 26mm Sport Sway Bar in the rear.
Classic silver 19-inch BBS Super RS wheels—extremely popular with Volkswagen enthusiasts—replace the stock 18s and are wrapped in the new high-performance Pirelli P Zero Silver tires. Factory Golf R brakes have been modified with drilled and slotted Baer Decela Rotors while brakelines have been upgraded to the new Phantom series G-Stop kit from Goodridge, featuring special black poly-coated stainless steel.
On the outside, special European parts from ECS Tuning were added including original Golf R LED taillights with a rear foglight and factory rearview camera. Inside, WeatherTech® FloorLinerDigitalFit® floor liners protect the interior carpet while the factory head unit was replaced with the more advanced RNS 510 multimedia system featuring HD video with Travel Link, Live Traffic, and a 60GB hard drive.
The SEMA show takes place at the Las Vegas Convention Center Tuesday, October 30 through Friday, November 2.
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