More than two years ago, an amazing rendering was created by digital artist Rob3rt Design, featuring a VW Bug modified in a way never seen before. Today, that rendering has become a real car, the only Volkswagen Beetle to have both a widebody kit in the style of RWB Porsches and the folding top of the last couple of 911 Targa generations.
The Beetle was so popular that five different German factories assembled it. However, it also has a home away from home, which is Brazil. The South American country produced some 3,350,000, and this weird little Bug still has a loyal following in the country, where it’s called the Fusca.
One such loyal fan is Henrique Carvalho, an expert fabricator and popular local YouTuber with half a million followers. He took one look at Rob3rt’s renderings and said “I’ve got to build that.” Unless we’re mistaken, he’s involved with the other RWB Beetle, which is a black coupe.
But why a RWB Beetle?
Until now, Beetles have been modified in a very specific way. I don’t want to say they are girly because that’s only a small portion of the builds. But you often see them lowered on nice wheels and the body is only slightly modified.
The world of custom Porsches, on the other hand, has unhinged RWB widebody kits. These are created by the legendary Japanese tuner Akira Nakai, probably the coolest person to ever take a saw to the fenders of a 993, which by the way is air-cooled like a Beetle.
The RWB style of tuning means large fender flares are bolted directly to the existing, rounded fenders of the Beetle. Henrique Carvalho also fabricated every other insane custom part dreamed up by Rob3rt, including new headlights, a chin splitter, winglets, and a massive ducktail spoiler at the back.
The project also has a chromatic theme, “Senna”, the hero of Brazil. Yellow and green are chosen, the colors of their flag. I don’t think there’s a classic race car with this livery, but one McLaren Senna has been done like this and could have served as inspiration.
Ironically, this no longer has an air-cooled engine. We haven’t been able to figure out what it is, but it appears that a modern 2.0-liter inline-4 was installed. That looks like a Golf engine from the early 2000s, a noticeable upgrade, just like the fully independent coilover suspension at all corners.
Beetle goes full Porsche with a Targa top
Throughout its life, the Beetle has been one of two things, a saloon (normal coupe) or a convertible. Meanwhile, Porsche has been making the 911 Targa since 1965. Its round metal hoop is beautiful in its simplicity.
Modern Targas were unimpressive until in 2014, during the Type 991 generation, Porsche brought back the hoop but made everything motorized. It’s complicated and heavy, but this design proved a hit with buyers and still sets the Targa apart from all other sports cars.
This Beetle build copies the 911 Targa. It not only looks the part but also includes a DIY folding mechanism that instantly demands your attention.
The connection between the Beetle and Porsche is palpable and has roots that go as deep as 92 years. in 1931, Ferdinand Porsche began the development of Type 12 cars for Zundapp, a major German motorcycle company. Various other prototypes and companies followed, but the Beetle only took off after the end of the war, transforming this into one of the most important cars of the century, up there with the Mini and Ford Model T.
The Beetle was supposed to be a simple car for the masses, the formula chosen being rear-engined and air-cooled. Of course, other companies tried it too, like Subaru and Fiat, but the Beetle outlasted everyone. The last Beetle was assembled in Mexico as late as July 2003.