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MILLENNIUM CUP EDITION BEETLE - Breaking News

The following "latest findings" are based on a contribution of a real insider (VW Project Engineer - Bodywork), who has many years of experience with various car manufacturers such as Nissan & later VW. He posted the experience he gained over the years in a spanish VW Forum, to explain to " none professionals " why & how certain things work. First of all he reported about the development of cars in the VW group, production, defect removal, error feedback and then he also reported about various "funny incidents" and "SPECIAL PROJECTS"!

One of them was the development of the New Beetle, the inevitably associated with the creation of the New Beetle RSI and the CUP BEETLE for the racetrack (marketing reasons for better sales of the standard New Beetle which sold very badly in Europe) and finally an RSI owner of the ruling family in Dubai, who ordered for his family & their members a birthday gift for 6 million dollars from Volkswagen!

 

The " CUP MILLENNIUM BEETLE " - 80 units of a personalized edition for his family!

 

Following the translated report from the spanish forum - translation errors reserved !!

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MILLENNIUM CUP EDITION BEETLE - FORUM REPORT

The start of a very long report.... the complete report as PDF as download!

 

"Listen please: I have been browsing this forum for about two months (if the devil has nothing to do, he kills flies with his tail). I am a full member of the forum for two weeks by now and currently I'm doing it again, and see that although you all have (or want to have, or are in the process of having) a VW, and although many of you have technical knowledge, some of you have a somewhat strange idea of how VW does things. That's probably why some threads about certain problems of the brand, the engineer who designed the part, and the mother who gave birth to it, probably fell off a donkey. 

Well... I'm actually an F&E engineer at VW, spezialiced for chassis. I think if I explained to you a little bit about how things work VW Internally, you would have a very different perspective on your car, on us and on VW as well.

Look out! I am not saying that your opinion would not be better! But I'm sure it would be different. 

 

... then a lot of detailed information from planning, production, up to the problem feedback and correction of the same comes from the field followed. For us of interrest , the final part with the special models & the history of the development of the New Beetle RSI and the " CUP MILLENNIUM EDITION " ( Dubai Beetle ) will follow ....

 

"I do not know if you have ever heard of the VW New Beetle RSi ? ... some info's here.

The thing is, I can tell you one or two things first hand about how this model was made.

 

Look, they had just launched the NB (the New Beetle) and the marketing department felt they needed something spectacular to support sales in Europe. They certainly needed that! Not because they were losing money, but because the factory produced the car for $14,000 and VW sold it in the US for 25,000 and the buyers took it from them. But in Europe, with the adjusted prices, they sold even worse than a record from Yola Berrocal.

 

We had already finished a " simple " version (which means in Spanish that less than the essentials were used - and we removed everything to lower the price, like sunglasses holder, seat or steering wheel heating, active inside mirror, computer ... Even the one-touch window regulator! - and it still didn't look good financially. 

So the idea was to launch a limited series of the New Beetle ( NB ) to create a Clio Cup style advertising trophy with a sporty and macho look and a powerful engine.

Oops, we rubbed our hands: You are not pleased to get such projects very often! 

Later you could see that they changed their minds a lot and decided that it should not only be a sporty car, but even a luxury car, because they wanted to give it to personalities and celebrities, including our king. Therefore the Limited Series was changed to Numbered Series. No matter what it costs, they said !

This is our thing, we said !  We will use the most powerful engine that can be built into the Golf (because the New Beetle, according to some people, is a Golf in disguise), and we will use the 4Motion, and the people will go crazy! Hahahahaha... 

But we couldn't start to design a new floor, so the only option was to use the Golf Syncro floor. But the Golf Syncro floor is higher, and this car should be lower! 

Ah... and this floor was even wider... What started as a modification project became a complete redesign of a car that we had to produce within a year! To make it wider, we changed the front and rear windows, the roof. At the end only the doors and some other parts of the standard New Beetle still remained.

 

Widened fenders to cover the wheels. XXL side skirts to cover the height of the floor and new bumper covers down to the floor. But with the dynamic intakes (the air intakes in the fenders) the designers insisted on using a grill that was as open as possible, and when you bent down, the whole " cake " naturally revealed that the car was hollow from below. Solution? Put a cover behind it, so when you look through the grills, you see everything black in black. An epidemic of aluminum parts inside and that was it! 

And the car was presented. And we were on TV. And we were celebrating a lot. It was a project that I loved very much, even though I gave my life for fourteen hours a day, six days a week for four months and slaved away, but still enjoyed the work.

There are not many projects of this kind in my career. 

And then they gave a car ( RSI ) to the Emir of Dubai. And this guy said he wants more ...many more! But that the car is too uncomfortable and too powerful. And if one of my children is drinking milk? ....and if one of my wives loses her child because of the vibrations in the car? No - I want them to look just like the RSI, but with a more sensible engine and a more comfortable suspension. And not a 4x4, because Dubai is just asphalt. Let's say with the 1.8T engine and everyone will love it! I will give one to each of my kids on my birthday, so I need EIGHTY of them. Don't spare any expenses! 

When we heard the news at the Technical Center, we thought to be dreaming. But when the Director of Research and Development called us, we saw that he was serious. Come on - let's put the fenders, side skirts and everything else on the standard New Beetle.

Ooops... a nightmare! Because now the floor of the standard New Beetle was too LOW! So we had to raise the suspension and make other brackets. All necessary parts were reworked piece by piece and the pilot plant of the New Beetle RSI was put back into operation. We made the eighty cars, put them into containers and brought them to the United Arab Emirates. And for six million dollars the 80 children / relatives of the Emir of Dubai ( ... I will have to be an Emir one day ) got a real VW in a small series.

Based on the 6 Million US$ paid, the cost of such a CUP MILLENNIUM BEETLE those days was 75.000,- US$ ==> corresponding to 150.000,- DM in the year 2000 !!! ... the selling price for the RSI BEETLE that year was 139.000,- DM those days!