Making its world debut in Shanghai, the 2014 Volkswagen iBeetle will become the automaker's first model to offer full integration of the Apple iPhone as part of its standard feature set. On sale here early next year, both the iBeetle Coupe and its Convertible sibling will feature a dash-mounted docking station to house the iPhone itself, as well as a custom app that permits access to a number of functions through either a direct or wireless connection.

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In addition to its ability to stream media using Spotify, the new iBeetle Apple app offers six other unique functions. The Expert function allows the iPhone to serve as a supplemental instrument that can serve as a G-meter, compass or chronometer as well keep tabs on engine oil and coolant temps. Trainer facilitates the calculation - and sharing via social networks - of time, distance and fuel-use data between two destination points. Reader provides audio delivery of messages from the iPhone as well as from social media sources. Postcard ships digital positioning info to others using a map motif while Photo sends images taken inside the vehicle to others. Accessible only when the iPhone is undocked, Milestones rewards users with custom stickers to acknowledge the successful completion of certain specified tasks.

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The new VW iBeetles will be cosmetically aligned with Apple's design sensibilities. Available in Candy White, Oryx White Mother of Pearl Effect, Black Monochrome, Deep Black Pearl Effect, Platinum Grey or Reflex Silver, the cars also will feature 18-inch "Disc" alloys painted Galvano Grey (with chrome wheel covers), Galvano Grey mirror housings and side trim panels, black door-sill plates with the "iBeetle" signature, "iBeetle" fender badges and a Chrome pack. Inside, Galvano Grey dominates the perimeter of the passenger cabin while the iBeetle's sport seats are trimmed in Vienna Black leather with light-colored Ceramique contrast stitching.

Pricing information on the 2014 Volkswagen iBeetle Coupe and iBeetle Convertible has not yet been released. There's also no word on whether or when this new iPhone integration might migrate over to other models in the automaker's U.S. lineup.


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