- - Thursday, June 23, 2011

Volkswagen will soon be launching the Vehicle Pre-Order (VPO) program, an easy-to-use online reservation process for consumers. The pre-order system is designed to allow consumers to be the first in line to reserve one of a limited quantity of certain Volkswagen cars, starting with the all-new 21st Century Beetle.

“With the introduction of Volkswagen’s Vehicle Pre-Order program, we are able to offer enthusiastic drivers an exclusive opportunity to connect with our vehicles,” said Jonathan Browning, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “Through this seamless ordering system, customers will be one step closer towards owning and enjoying a special launch edition of the 2012 Beetle.”

Through the 2012 Beetle VPO program, customers pay a $495 reservation fee that goes towards the final purchase of their 2012 Beetle Black Turbo launch edition model, with the promise of a “no hassle” refund policy. Volkswagen created the user-friendly online reservation process utilizing the leading e-commerce platform from Amazon.

The simple program involves the following steps: consumers access the pre-order site at www.VW.com/preorder and enter their zip code and review key program terms; select a dealer for retail delivery; enter and confirm billing information; and finally, receive a notice that their welcome kit is on its way.

The first model available for pre-order will be the turbocharged Beetle 2.0L TSI, in a limited run of 600 Black Turbo launch edition models. This sporty model has a starting MSRP of $24,950. The Black Turbo launch edition is fitted with Volkswagen’s DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission and the acclaimed 2.0-liter, in-line four-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft. of torque. In addition to the turbocharged performance features, the four-cylinder engine offers an EPA fuel economy rating of 30 mpg on the highway when outfitted with the automatic transmission.

Standard features include Bluetooth technology, iPod connectivity, three-color ambient lighting, larger brakes with red calipers, a “kaeferfach” additional glovebox that is similar to that of the original Beetle, sport cloth seating surfaces, 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, foglights, and alloy pedals.

It also includes an RCD 310 sound system with eight speakers. Customers will also be able to purchase the 2.5L model through dealerships this fall, at a starting MSRP of $18,995. The base 2.5L uses a 170-horsepower in-line five-cylinder engine with a five-speed manual transmission. It offers fuel economy that is improved by up to 10 percent over past 2.5L models, with an EPA fuel economy rating of 29 mpg highway and 22 mpg city for automatic models. In 2012, a TDI Clean Diesel model will become available, powered by Volkswagen’s highly efficient 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine that produces 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. The TDI is expected to be the most fuel-efficient Beetle ever.

The 2012 Beetle is 3.3 inches wider, 6.0 inches longer, and 0.5 inches lower, giving the car a more muscular appearance that has a broad appeal. The Beetle will be available in three trim lines, some of which include the transparent, panoramic tilt/slide glass sunroof that is 80 percent longer than on the previous model.

There are two optional audio systems: a premium VIII system featuring a CD changer, interface for SD card, and a touchscreen; and the Fender Premium Audio System with concert sound quality, designed exclusively for Volkswagen. The 2012 Beetle includes Volkswagen’s advanced Intelligent Crash Response System that shuts off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and switches on the hazard lights if the car is involved in some types of collision. The Beetle is also covered under the no-charge, 3-year/36,000-mile scheduled Carefree Maintenance Program.