While at the Volkswagen Accessory tech facility in Virginia recently on other matters, our staff had a chance to play with the new factory heritage style wheel design that is offered standard on the 2012 Beetle.
During some down time, we had a chance to sit down and get up close with a set of Beetle factory Heritage wheels. When we did, we realized that right out of the box (or factory if you like), 2012 Beetle owners may have a set of modular wheels that are as customizable as the old MOMO I.D.E.A.’s from the 90’s. Stay with me on this.
Made to look like a vintage steel wheel from the original Type 1, though crafted from alloy, this new 17” x 7” (small on paper but looking meaty shod with a 215/55R17 tire) setup offers the sort of modular customization that one might expect, including Volkswagen roundel-emblazoned mooneye hubcaps and chrome trim rings from the factory. However, anyone faintly familiar with the VAG parts bin or OE+ movement, will quickly recognize that you can easily configure these wheels differently or mix and match other center caps and lug covers.
For now, the wheel is available in both black and white, and we found a specimen of each in the Volkswagen garage. With a box of various caps, lug covers, etc. around, we began to play with the various setups and snapped photos of each configuration we were able to devise so that those interested in this new factory rim setup might have some material with which to render their own car with these modern “steelies”.
We hear Volkswagen envisioned a multi-configuration model for the Beetle whereby owners might change their wheels week-to-week in order to keep their car looking fresh. No doubt many Beetle customers will take them up on the idea, though we’re guessing an enthusiast scene in love with steelies and the multi-configuration idea might consider fitment on other cars as well.
Worth noting, the box of caps and parts that we pulled some of these parts from also included nearly every other cap and lug cover currently offered by VW and dating back to the black plastic roundels of the Mk1 and Mk2 cars. While Touareg hardware is too big, most of these older center caps are too small. Some, like those of the Mk4, seem to fit but would likely pop out with only slight jarring.
Enjoy the photos and please post renders you might create to our forums. We’d love to see them. More angles and higher resolution can be found via our photo gallery link below.