CAR MAKER Volkswagen has announced the iBeetle, the firm's first car to feature Apple's iPhone as an integrated component via a "specially developed" app and docking station.
Set to be shown off at the Shanghai Auto Show in China this week, the iBeetle motorcar offers what the firm says are "two different ways to acquire the innovative interface between iPhone and Beetle" - as an app or as a standard feature of the car.
Working with the iPhone 5, there's a docking station located centrally on the dashboard of the iBeetle, with the iPhone snapping in to integrate with the car's diagnostics, entertainment services and general operation.
Volkswagen said that all iPhone functions are available in the car once docked and can be used to navigate, make calls hands-free and listen to music, for example.
Working alongside the docking station is a Beetle app, which can also be connected to the car wirelessly, allowing the car to access different app functions such as Spotify for music streaming while cruising about town.
Other features include "Expert", which refers to a G-Meter for measuring the car's lateral acceleration, oil and coolant temperature gauges for the engine, a chronometer, and a compass, as well as a "Trainer" feature, which can be used to compare driving times, distances, and fuel economy values for different routes between any two destinations.
Volkswagen promises it'll be fun too, as the app will also read out your social networking messages, post photos online and play through iTunes playlists, which we are guessing will be all powered through Apple's not so great voice recognition service, Siri.
Both a coupe and a convertible model of the iBeetle will feature the iPhone integration when it is launched at the beginning of 2014, Volkswagen said.
The iBeetle will come with other customised features such as 18in alloy wheels, door mirror housings and side trim panels, black door sill plates with the "iBeetle" signature, all finished "in a nod to the iPhone's color scheme" available in "Candy White", "Oryx White Mother of Pearl Effect", "Black Monochrome", "Deep Black Pearl Effect", "Platinum Grey", or "Reflex Silver". µ
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