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by Jay Traugott
Love the VW Beetle and your iPhone equally? The two have now been integrated into one high-tech piece of automotive gadgetry.
They’re both iconic names and now they’re being combined into something Volkswagen and Apple are hoping buyers will want. The two companies have joined forces to bring us the new iBeetle, the first time the iPhone’s interface has been directly integrated as a component in a car. Set to go on sale in 2014, the iBeetle Coupe and Convertible will feature a dashboard-mounted docking station where the iPhone 5 is easily integrated just by plugging it in.
Once the connection is established to the iBeetle’s data network, a menu appears with a number of functions, such as Spotify, Expert, Trainer, Reader, Photo, Post and Milestones. Spotify, for example, allows occupants to stream music from their playlists or radio stations directly to the iPhone which then relays it the car’s sound system and Trainer can be used to compare driving times, distances and fuel economy numbers for different routes. iTunes can also be accessed at any time and all regular iPhone functions such as navigation, hands-free phone are also on hand.
VW gave the iBeetle styling features such as 18" disc alloys painted in Galvano Grey with chrome wheel covers, unique side trim panels and door mirror housings, and black door sill plates with "iBeetle" engraved along with chrome badges. The interior’s been given a customized gear shift, black sport seats and Vienna leather seats.