Last week, we brought you some Brenda Priddy-commissioned renderings of what the 2012 Volkswagen New Beetle might look like, based on styling cues shown on recent VW concept cars and inside info Brenda Priddy & Co. has picked up along the way. By far the most interesting (to us, at least) was the Speedster rendering, which suggests a (presumably) low-priced sports car for everyman; a Boxster for those of us without the budget, so to speak. It certainly looked good (what fantasy rendering doesn't, after all?), and you don't have to go too far back in history to see that the VW people have been kicking around a speedster-ish design idea for a while.
In 2005 at the Detroit Auto Show, Volkswagen introduced the Ragster concept. Essentially, it was a New Beetle Speedster that used fixed side roof rails (sort of like the Citroen C3 Pluriel), between which a sliding soft top rolled fore and aft. The windshield was shortened, giving the whole car a slick chopped-top look, further accentuated by twin racing stripes and big 19" wheels. It was (and remains) one of the cooler VW concepts of recent years, particularly because it seems so eminently doable. With the rumor that a Speedster is under consideration for the next New Beetle refresh, we couldn't help but think of the Ragster and wonder if the idea just hasn't stopped nagging at somebody in the VW nerve center for the last few years.