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VW Launches 21st Century Beetle Pre-Order Program Using Amazon Technology

Limited Edition 2012 VW Beetle Black Turbo

Volkswagen is launching its new online pre-order program with an exclusive 2012 VW Beetle Black Turbo. Only 600 of these Beetles will be built, and they are only available via pre-order at www.VW.com/preorder. A reservation fee of $495 is required to hold your place in line, but VW has instituted a “no hassle” refund policy if you decide not to take delivery of the car.

Like nearly everything else you buy these days, Amazon has a hand in this pre-order system. Its e-commerce platform powers the VW pre-order site, which likely means few bugs and streamlined ordering process, since Amazon’s been around this block a few times. No word, though, on adding the 2012 Beetle Black Turbo launch edition to your wish list.

The Black Turbo launch edition has a dual-clutch transmission and a turbocharged engine with 200 hp. If you order it with the automatic transmission instead, the EPA has rated the Beetle at 30 mpg on the highway. It’s also got red brake calipers and a “turbo” graphic on the doors for a little flash, plus 18-inch wheels. The special edition will retail for $24,950.

This is the debut at the dealership for the new, more macho design for the Beetle. It’s wider by more than three inches, longer by six inches, and a half inch lower, for a more aggressive stance. But the Beetle isn’t reckless -- it’s got a new Intelligent Crash Response System that unlocks the doors, switches on the hazard lights, and turns off the fuel pump.

The 2012 Beetle with a slightly larger but non-turbo 2.5-liter engine will be at dealerships in autumn 2011 for a starting price of $18,995. A 2-liter turbocharged TDI Clean Diesel version will be available in 2012, but no price or EPA ratings have been announced.

We’ll be interested to see if more of the auto manufacturers leverage ecommerce technology, like Amazon, to support and improve direct programs with auto buyers.  And even though this VW Pre-Order program does not lock in the sale price of the Beetle Black turbo, it’s always a good thing when auto buyers can facilitate more of the auto buying experience online.  For more advice on new auto buying services you can use to help ensure your buying experience is smooth, check out our New Auto Buying section.