Volkswagen has introduced a new version of the Beetle that "integrates" the iPhone into the vehicle. However, that integration amounts to little more than an iPhone dock on the dash, a Beetle app, and iBeetle badging on the car.
Autoblog is unimpressed with the iBeetle, hoping for more from a car that VW says is "one of the first cars in the world to have a genuine integrative interface for the iPhone that was coordinated with Apple".
This is the kind of kit we expect to see as a bullet point on an option sheet, but instead, VW has made this dock+app an entire model by including special "Disc" wheels and iPhone-matching color schemes. The iBeetle will land on dealer lots in the US in 2014, but you can probably make something similar yourself today with an aftermarket dock and an iTunes gift card's worth of third-party apps.
The app does offer some unique features because it talks to the car while docked, getting information such as oil and coolant temperatures, a G-meter, and more. The iBeetle app allows users to send map-based postcards and to measure driving times and fuel economy to determine the best route to a destination.
The iBeetle will be available at the beginning of 2014 with preorders beginning in October.