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SEMA 2012 Brings Custom VW Beetles - Web Exclusive

Old bugs and New Beetle turbos arrive in Vegas.

Ezekiel Wheeler
Nov 6, 2012
Epcp 1211 03+sema 2012 custom vw beetle+european beetle Photo 1/8   |   SEMA 2012 Brings Custom VW Beetles - Web Exclusive

What do five new beetles, one Golf R and one ’56 bug have in common? They all stole the show during this years Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas, NV.

VWVortex Super Beetle

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Taking home the coveted GranTourismo Award for Best European Import was the VWVortex Super Beetle – an all-wheel-drive 500hp Beetle. Sheer insanity is what got the press and attendees salivating over the car the entire week of SEMA (including us). The drivetrain conversion came from a sacrificed Golf R, while the APR tuning gurus messaged the engine heavily. Part of that enhancement included a Stage IV GTX turbocharger system that helped propel the stock 200hp motor to its teeth gritting 500. As with most power upgrades every aspect in ensuring that power is consistent need to be addressed. So APR upgraded the fuel system, added a high-performance intercooler, as well as the complete Stage IV GTX upgrade system complete with ECU, high-flow cylinder head and intake manifold, high-strength coated internals and finally a DXD Racing Stage III clutch. Needless to say every aspect of the car was looked over and received a beyond-factory upgrade.

Ensuring a proper race/show look the car was finished in matte metallic blue with gunmetal anodized 19” three-piece 1552 Formula TR wheels. Which are framed nicely thanks to the Japanese imported Alpil body kit – inspired by the Porsche 911 GT3. Inside a set of Recaro Sportster CS seats were installed to make sure you keep your butt planted during high-speed cornering.

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European Car Magazine “Beach Battle-Cruiser”

Bringing is years of experience of the European tuning market, european car Magazine constructed their 400hp “Beach Battle-Cruiser” Beetle. Equipped with everything you need to enjoy a day at the beach and still give the Ferrari boys a run for their money on the open roads. To make sure the Beetle could take the fight to the high-horsepower cars of the road, REVO Technik upgraded the turbo system, suspension and brakes. Topped off by a set of 19”x8.5” Fuchs Performance wheels finished with black faces and matching exterior green windows all wrapped in Continental Extreme Contact DW tires. The team at FMS Automotive completed the one-off body kit as well as the hidden deployable on-site shower system. Inside a complete Katzkin Leather upgrade kit was installed. Midnight Black with military green suede inserts and topstitching bring a new level of class and attitude to the car.

Galpin Auto Sports (GAS) “Chopped Top” Beetle

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Chopping a top on any car is a large enough task for even the best in the industry. Now tell them to do it in 2.5 weeks and to make sure its SEMA Show ready and you now have a project that is nearly impossible. But the crew at GAS was up for the task and they delivered one hell of a car. With a 5.5” A-pillar chop and a 2.5” B-pillar chop, accompanied by a 4.5” roof extension, one-off rear window scoop, and modified trunk and windshield. The metal work is mental alone but coating it in black and candy red shows the confidence the GAS crew had when the finished their Chopped Beetle. Complete with a set of one-off Forgiato Three-piece Vintage Porsche inspired wheels sit nicely under the cars 2” drop.

FMS Automotive 1956 and 2012 Beetle Tributes

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Starting with the 1956 Beetle, the car is a complete ground-up restoration. An upgraded performance powertrain, four wheel drilled disk brakes, full leather interior as well as modernized exterior styling through extensive body modifications set off by a metallic brown and matte black paint scheme. Not to mention the modern 17” TSW Wheels. Their 2012 Beetle is a modern interpretation of the performance heritage VW has had over the years through various models. GTI inspired graphics are adorned on the car which sits on 19” TSW wheels wrapped in Nitto tires, which sit nicely under the fenders thanks to a set of H&R springs.

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Rotiform Beetle

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Known as a significant influence in the stance movement, Rotiform wanted to make sure the world knew it was still true to its euro-tuning roots. They took delivery of their New Beetle and made sure people knew with out a doubt it was theirs. Laying frame is key to the stance movement, so a new rear end was installed to ensure the Air Lift suspension systems was performing at its absolute lowest. Under the hood the the entire engine bay was shaved for the ultimate clean custom look then painted black to showcase the cars engine. Rotiform also took the time to debut a set of their new split-forged three-piece NUE wheels finished in matte anodized red with a polished lip.

H&R Golf R

Epcp 1211 08+sema 2012 custom vw beetle+hr springs Photo 8/8   |   SEMA 2012 Brings Custom VW Beetles - Web Exclusive

Suspension specialists H&R Springs chose a Carbon Grey 2013 VW Golf R and fitted a set of their new Street Performance Tuner Coilovers. The new kit features lightweight aluminum front struts and rear dampners with a ride height that’s 1.3” (f) and 1.6” (r) lower than stock. Improving overall rigidity, a 26mm rear sway bar was fitted. Finally the car was fitted with a set of BBS SuperRS 19” wheels wrapped in Pirelli PZero Silver tires. Brakes were also upgraded to Baer Decela Rotors along with the Phantom series G-Stop brake line kit.


Bellingham, WA 98226
Galpin Auto Sports
Van Nuys, CA 91406
FMS Automotive
Cerritos, CA 90703
Rotiform wheels
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
By Ezekiel Wheeler
271 Articles



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