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The Volkswagen Beetle is an economy car no more.
German outfit Milivié Design is offering restored and modernized versions of the original VW Bug for $600,000, but there’s a reason for the hefty price tag.
The Milivié 1 starts with a Super Beetle donor car, but only a small portion of the chassis is retained.
Milivié replaces the entire body with a slicker-looking version that manages to stay more true to the original than VW’s own attempts at resurrecting the Beetle in recent years.
A ducktail spoiler adds some classic Porsche inspiration to the mix.
The interior gets a more dramatic refresh. It retains the Beetle’s Spartan aesthetic, but features a widescreen digital display in place of the iconic single round gauge.
Power comes from a new air-cooled engine that uses the original’s rear-mounted 2.3-liter block, but adds dual Weber carburetors and a stainless steel performance exhaust.
Its official horsepower has not yet been announced, but it drives the rear wheels through a four-speed automatic transmission shared with older Porsche 911 models.
A fully-independent suspension features a double-wishbone design and competition style shocks and springs, while a track-capable disc braking system indicates the car’s sporting intentions.
The Milivié 1’s climate control system combines a heat exchanger with an electronic heater with multiple zone controls that includes the front storage compartment.
The highest price ever paid for an authentic Beetle is the $128,700 that the 1963 “Herbie the Love Bug” movie car went for at an auction in 2018, but an unmodified 1960 example owned by Jerry Seinfeld was sold for $121,000 in 2016.
Reservations are currently being accepted, but the list is a short one. Milivié Design is limiting production to 22 cars in honor of the nearly 22 million Beetles that were sold during its six-decade run.