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Volkswagen iBeetle takes iPhone integration to another level

Mon, 22 Apr 2013

When we’re all walking round with Smartphones that possess the sort of computing power only a major desktop could offer just a few years ago, it makes sense for car makers to tap in to that power to control functionality and Infotainment in their cars.

Which is why Volkswagen has rolled out the iBeetle at this week’s Shanghai Motor Show with a level of integration with Smartphones from Apple, and that previews a roll-out of Apple integration from VW, offering far more functionality and control than we’ve seen before. Or at least that’s the VW claim.

But the truth is a little more prosaic.

What you actually get from WV in the iBeetle is something that looks like an after-market cradle for your iPhone that sits atop the dash – looking far from integrated – and an App that offers Spotify to stream music, display of stuff like coolant temperature and G-force (just what you need in a Beetle), a degree of integration with Facebook and Twitter and…not a lot more.

In truth, you can already get Apps that do what VW’s iBeetle App is promising, and an after-market dashboard dock for your iPhone is not exactly unattainable. So it seems a stretch to make a limited edition model out of the iBeetle, but that’s what VW has done.

The iBeetle comes with 18″ ‘Disc’ alloys (painted grey with chrome hubcabs), door mirrors and side panels in grey, iBeetle badges, and a Chrome PAck and can be had in Candy White, Oryx White Mother of Pearl Effect, Black Monochrome, Deep Black Pearl Effect, Platinum Grey or Reflex Silver. Inside sees the grey highlight theme continued and you get a customised gear knob and Vienna leather with contrast seams.

The iBeetle can be had as a coupe or cabriolet and the iPhone integration will be offered as an option on other Beetles after the iBeetle launches in early 2014.

But if VW want to roll iPhone integration out across their premium marques too, they’re going to have to make it offer something more than it does on the Beetle, and make it integrate in a less aftermarket way.

By Cars UK