More stories related to 2005 NAIAS DETROIT – Volkswagen AG unveils at the Detroit Auto Show here an unexpectedly American take on its now-familiar New Beetle: the Ragster concept, merging what the company says is classic convertible and speedster styling.

For the Ragster, Volkswagen takes the already existing New Beetle convertible and cuts the A-pillar by 3.5 ins. (9 cm), invoking the “speedster” look of a lowered roofline, while all other exterior dimensions remain the same as a standard New Beetle.

VW Ragster concept

The U-shaped ragtop frame provides a unique appearance as well as an anchor to secure the top to the windshield header. The top is electrically operated, and a potential production version would include a removable rear window and flat-folding rear seats, creating a load area akin to a pickup truck.

VW says the 2+2 Ragster’s fenders, bumpers, taillights and headlights are new, while racing bucket seats, a new steering wheel and center console highlight interior changes.

VW says only that the New Beetle Ragster concept car “theoretically has the potential for serial production.”

bvisnic@primediabusiness.com