2012 Volkswagen Beetle Black Turbo Launch Edition
The upcoming 2012 Volkswagen Beetle is being billed as a substantial departure from the cutesy car it replaces. And if you've been waiting for your chance to put your name down for one of the first examples to hit the road, here it is.

Called the Black Turbo Launch Edition, this limited-run Volkswagen will represent the first 600 examples of the new Beetle to hit American dealerships. Packing a 200-horsepower 2.0-liter TSI inline-four with dual-clutch transmission, the launch edition is distinguished by such touches as 18-inch alloys packing upsized brakes with red calipers, a rear spoiler, foglights, and includes an interior bundled with tri-color ambient lighting, Bluetooth and iPod connection, eight-speaker sound system, an extra glovebox, aluminum-alloy pedals and sport seats upholstered in cloth. (Although VW hadn't released specific images of the Beetle Black Turbo Launch Edition as we went to press, it should look like the one pictured above.)

The special Beetle is the first model to use Volkswagen's new Vehicle Pre-Order (VPO) program, available for pre-order online now for a $495 refundable reservation fee that will be applied to the purchase price of $24,950, plus a $770 destination charge. Details are in the press release after the jump.

UPDATE: The nearly-identical new image we've added above is the official shot of the Black Turbo Launch Edition. Follow the link to the pre-order site for more.

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VOLKSWAGEN LAUNCHES VEHICLE PRE-ORDER PROGRAM WITH SPECIAL EDITION 2012 BEETLE
- Early bird pre-order program offers online reservations for passionate consumers -


- 2012 Black Turbo Launch Edition Beetle is Only Available Vehicle Through VPO Program
- Easy Ordering Process
- Pre-order Customers Have Early Access to Great Financing
- $495 Reservation Fee Goes Toward Final Purchase, with "No Hassle" Refund Policy
- A First for the Automotive Industry, the Amazon E-Commerce Platform is Used by VWoA to Administer the Program.

Herndon, VA – Volkswagen of America, Inc. today announced the launch of 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.

About Volkswagen of America, Inc.

Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Eos, Golf, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan, Touareg and Routan through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers. All 2011 Volkswagen models come standard-equipped with Electronic Stability Control. This is important because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has called ESC the most effective new vehicle safety technology since the safety belt. Visit Volkswagen of America online at www.vw.com or media.vw.com to learn more.