A Bug’s life

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November 14

If getting noticed is your thing, nothing comes close to grabbing eyeballs as driving a yellow Beetle. Yes, supercars also do the same thing, at several crores, but most of the time, they leave people intimidated and in doubt. Show up in the Beetle and you get smiles everywhere. People see you as friendly and approachable. Even kids and old people are excited to see a Beetle pass. To many, this is the tortoise car and the bug car. To Ms.Simi of Thrissur, it was a surprise gift from her husband Dr. Tenison Chacko.

Now, Tommy, one of our regular readers and a car enthusiast, happens to be a relative of this Doctor. And he lets him occasionally borrow it. But the Beetle had a problem. As much as it was a hit with the fairer sex, in your own circle of car guys, you often got ridiculed for driving a girl’s car.

With permission from its owners, Tommy started doing it up to get a nod of approval from car enthusiasts. The tiny five spoke wheels were the first to go. A racier look was achieved with these Tenzo R 18 inchers. They are wide 9.5 J rims and fill up the curved arches very well. It also meant that the car had to be lowered to look right. A set of Vogtland springs were ordered and soon the Beetle was looking sporty enough. The stance was perfected even further with 8mm spacers at the front and 6mm at the rear. A thin lip was added to the front bumper to make it look even closer to the ground.

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Performance was also improved thanks to a remap from Pete’s. Now remaps on non turbo petrol engines don’t exactly get you sudden wheelspins and shave seconds off your 0-100 times. But it does improve throttle responses and make the engine feel punchier. On the Beetle, it was hard to tell the improvements because of the old school autobox and the big wheels, but it did feel stronger than the stock 2.0 petrol. Helping it sound better and feel faster is the K&N cold air intake. Braking has also been improved with Brembo slotted rotor and pads.

Inside, Tommy has gone for a new black leather upholstery from Vanquish and cleaned up everything. There are a few extra badges here and there and the stock head unit now feeds a Hertz amplifier and a JL Audio subwoofer.It is not an outright performance car or anything, but something that pulls your heart strings very strongly. Some call it the love bug.

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