Who knew the New Beetle would look so cool as a stepside ute?
Volkswagen has been making noise recently about selling a pickup in North America – and it very well might before long. But if you can't wait until it does, Smyth Performance could have just the thing for you.
The Massachusetts-based company majors in converting cars into utes – passenger cars with pickup beds in the back. It offers kits you can build yourself atop anything from a Dodge Charger to an Audi S4. And now it's come out with one for the VW New Beetle – the model that brought the classic back in retro style.
The DIY kit includes an aluminum bed to install where the rear end of the hatchback once was, with fiberglass bodywork to surround it – including fenders, tailgate, and a rear bulkhead to divide the two-passenger cabin from the super-short bed in the back (complete with rear window), and a fiberglass-sheathed aluminum-frame tailgate.
It costs $2,990, which of course doesn't include the donor car. But those aren't too hard to come by. The "New Beetle” is the model that preceded the current, soon-to-be-discontinued Beetle, and saw over half a million of them sold in the United States alone from 1998 until it was replaced in 2011.
Not into the cutesy retro design? Smyth offers similar conversions for the Dodge Charger, the Subaru Impreza, Audi A4/S4, and most central to its business, the VW Jetta and Golf. It's even offered a kit that'll turn a Mk4 Jetta into a mid-engined sports car.
The company is run by one Mark Smith, who also had a hand in starting Factory Five Racing (which offers its own range of kit cars) and Local Motors (the crowd-sourcing outfit behind the Rally Fighter). So you know the work's gone into the design and engineering. All that's left is for you to built it yourself.