Volkswagen claims that its new vehicle, being showcased this week in Shanghai and set to debut in 2014, will be the first to feature a fully integrated iPhone.
Available as a coupe or as a convertible, the iBeetle was developed in partnership with Apple and as such draws on the US technology firm’s design ethos as much as its smartphone know-how.
As such, it can be ordered in shades of black, white or silver, boasts specially conceived “disc” alloy wheels and features an aluminium effect dashboard, where the iPhone will take pride of place in a specially designed docking cradle that holds the handset in landscape mode.
Once connected, the iPhone’s and the Beetle’s interfaces become one thanks to a specially developed Beetle app and the user can make calls, send emails and text messages and access navigation as well as supplement the stereo system via the iTunes music library.
The Beetle app puts Spotify front and center, allowing users not only to stream tracks but also to share recommendations with friends (hands-free, of course). But the app also offers a number of unique features such as ‘Expert,’ which turns the iPhone into part of the instrument panel, displaying g-force generated in corners, oil and coolant temperature, a stopwatch and a compass.
In ‘Trainer‘ mode, a driver can compare route history to see average journey times and fuel economy. It also connects with Facebook and Twitter to crowdsource advice and to share tips and tricks.
Using the ‘Postcard‘ setting within the Beetle app allows the driver to send his or her current location to friends on social media networks as a digital postcard complete with a map and a photo snapped by the iPhone of the view from the driver’s seat.
The iBeetle and iBeetle convertible go on sale in Spring 2014 but Volkswagen will start taking orders in October, when it is also expected to reveal pricing.