Let the music play!
Legendary USA company Fender inspires Beetle designers and engineers Beetle Fender pays tribute to a legendary brand of guitars from the USA An electric guitar can be connected to subwoofer of the Fender sound system
Wolfsburg / Frankfurt Motor Show, September 2011. The Beetle is the first car in Europe that can be ordered with a sound system by the guitar and amplifier producer Fender. Now, at the IAA, Volkswagen is presenting a concept car that can be interpreted as a tribute to the legendary US company: the exclusive Beetle Fender with a customised look and features such as a sound system interface for connecting the electric guitar.
19-inch wheels and leather coated roof Outside, the Beetle Fender is painted in a high-gloss “Black”, while a fine red line frames the side windows; another line in this style is used on an electric guitar customised by Volkswagen Design – a Fender Telecaster.
Chrome and aluminium also influence the look of the Beetle Fender. Designed in chrome are the door mirror caps, door handles, the trim strip beneath the side windows, accents in the side sills, VW badge and the 2 tailpipes of the exhaust system arranged as they were earlier on the Beetle.
Produced from machine-polished aluminium are the caps and rings of a 19-inch version of the “Circle” alloy wheels. The basic structure of the wheel is in red. Track width extensions on the rear axle shift each of the wheels 10 mm outwards. Compared to the production version, the Beetle Fender’s ride height was lowered approximately 30 mm; this lets the wheel-tyre combination fill out the wheel housings more fully. Two other small but fine details: a guitar pick decal on the bonnet and the original Fender signature (in chrome) located beneath the VW badge on the bootlid.
Interior with dash pad in electric guitar style
The interior is also exceptionally well appointed. Eye-catching is the dash pad implemented in “Sunburst” – the two-tone wood design pattern of many Fender guitars. This instrument bar extending across the dashboard in front of the driver and passenger also creates a visual link to the world of rock music.
A high-end audio system sends music into the passenger compartment over a Fender sound system with an auxiliary tube amplifier. It has a prominent visual presence at the top of the dashboard. A cool solution: thanks to a special socket in the bootspace, an electric guitar can be plugged in; its sound plays over the subwoofer that is also integrated in the boot.
The Fender system is controlled from the control panel of the RNS 510 radio-navigation system (which comes with a touchscreen and integrated 30-GB hard drive). Like the rotary knob of the RNS 510, the controls for the climate control system (temperature, air conditioning function, rear window defrost and seat heating) were redesigned. The light-coloured metallic controls now look like those that have been used for decades on guitar and bass amplifiers; in the Beetle Fender the controls are executed in the high-end precision that is typical of Volkswagen.
A similarly designed metallic control is also used for mirror adjustment. Another feature uncompromisingly tailored to musicians: a pick holder to the right of the DSG gear shift lever. The holder comes with 3 picks on which the outline of the Beetle is imprinted. Moreover, the stretch band across the door storage bin features the Fender signature. Although the Beetle Fender is still a concept car, “Fender Sound” can be ordered in the Beetle.
Fender sound system with ambience lighting
Those who choose the sound system also get ambience lighting for the interior in 3 colours (red, white, blue). Along with indirect lighting in the door shoulder panels, there are also light rings around the loudspeaker boxes in the doors.
The sound system itself has 2 sets of tweeters – one set in the mirror triangles in front and one set mounted in the rear trim panels; they are equipped with neodymium magnets and fabric domes. In the front doors, there are woofers with dual voice coils, while the woofers located in the rear side trim each have a single voice coil. In addition, a subwoofer with a dual voice coil is integrated in an enclosed bass box in the Beetle’s boot. The centrepiece of the sound system is a 10-channel amplifier with Class A/B power amplifiers and 400 Watts of output power.