VW Lets You Drive a Fender – Sort Of

VW and Fender Logos

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The VW Beetle Fender Edition

VW Beetle Fender Side View
Click To Enlarge

Cars and guitars – of course they go together.  I often refer to both cars and guitars as “beautiful machines” even though the term “machine” is arguable in the case of the guitar. Still, cars and guitars have a lot in common. They’re both sexy, functional, and have a whole bunch of thought and energy poured into their visual aesthetic and ergonomics, they both can represent grace and speed, and branding is very important for both guitars and cars.

So why not shove them together?

The experience of the new Volkswagen Beetle Fender edition is pretty much limited to the sound system, and some cool aesthetic trim pieces. The main item of interest of course is the sound system. The vehicle was first shown in 2011 at the Frankfurt International Auto Show, and the reception there was so overwhelming that the vehicle was put into production.

It doesn’t come with a silvery grill cloth on the front, but it does come with a lot of Fender vibe built in.

It’s the first car whose premise – from creation to the sales floor, is all about music – specifically rock and roll. Fender Style.

VW Beetle Fender Edition Interior View
Interior - Click to Enlarge

The Sound System

It’s a partnership between Fender, and Panasonic. Combined, the two companies have 132 years in the “sound” business, split almost equally. Fender is obviously known for their amplification prowess, and Panasonic knows car audio.

The system took three years to test and design in the sound lab, and features nine Panasonic designed speakers.  The system is said to have superior clarity – even at low volume levels.

They’ve taken care of the high volume levels as well – after all, this is a Fender car. The nine speakers are powered by a 400 Watt, 10 channel system. The speakers themselves are as follows:

Four Tweeters

Two “Fender Twins”

Two Rear Speakers

And a Fender “Bassman” Subwoofer.

VW Beetle Fender Edition Interior View
Interior View - Click to Enlarge

This sound system is also available in selected Volkswagen models for 2012, with the Jetta GLI being the first to rock out with Fender.

Looks And Design

The car is a looker too. The dash is a sunburst wood grain of course, with high contrast trim on the moldings and seats, and the outside is painted metallic black, and fitted with brushed chrome mirrors. Of course you also get the Fender logo inside, on the dash, and outside on the – well, the fenders.

What’s under the hood?

The Fender Beetle is powered by a 2.0 Liter turbocharged 4 cylinder engine, that pumps out 200 horsepower. Overall it seems like a great car – but I wonder how many guitarists we’ll see driving them around with their Strat buckled into the front seat.

I’ve driven Volkswagens for years and I think they are great cars – they’re very reliable and safe, and now it’s a Fender edition, so yeah, I guess I’d get one if I was in the market and the price was right.

Ok, so what’s next?

VW Beetle Fender
VW Fender on the fender - Click to Enlarge

What other car / guitar pairs would you think make sense? Does the Fender brand even really go with a VW? I mean they look good together but were you surprised when you first saw this? Would Ford have been a better choice? They both make Mustangs …

What would you pair a Gibson with? A Jaguar?  A Chevrolet? How about a Corvette Gibson?

How about Ibanez? Nissan?

Would you ever buy a Volkswagen guitar?


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Tim Monaghan

Tim has been playing guitar & bass since he was 12 years old and has been in Jazz, funk, rock & metal bands. Influences include Jeff Beck, Stanley Clarke, Doug Stegmeyer, Baden Powell, Steve Vai, and pretty much anyone else who has a unique style that expresses their individuality. One of Tim’s many hobbies is building, tweaking, and repairing basses and guitars.

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