Volkswagen unveils the 21-century Beetle

19 Apr 2011

Volkswagen has this week debuted its third-generation Beetle in New York, Shanghai and Berlin simultaneously. With the Beetle having undergone many reinventions over the years – from the hippy ‘people’s car’ to the cute, soft features of the 1998 version – it seems that the Beetle has come of age with the car modelling a sportier, more streamlined look, coupled with a cleaner engine.

At the New York launch yesterday, The Black Eyed Peas entertained people viewing the new Beetle.

According to Volkswagen, the new Beetle has been designed around the original Beetle, rather than the rekindled Beetle that came out in 1998.

“The Beetle is now characterised by a clean, self-confident and dominant sportiness. The car not only has a lower profile; it is also substantially wider, the front hood is longer, the front windshield is shifted further back and has a much steeper incline. All of this creates a new dynamism,” explains Klaus Bischoff. Volkswagen’s brand design chief.

The new Beetle comes in at 71.2 inches wide (3.3 inches wider), 58.5 inches tall (.5 inches lower) and 168.4 inches long (6 inches longer). It will also be available in two lines – Sport and Design.

In terms of its engine and transmission, the new ‘Bug’ will be available in three engine options: the 2.5L gasoline five-cylinder, the 2.0L TDI Clean Diesel and the 2.0L TSI turbocharged gasoline engine.

The company says the 2012 Beetle 2.0L TDI Clean Diesel is the most fuel-efficient Beetle ever. In addition, it says fuel economy values are also improved up to 10pc over prior 2.5L five-cylinder engine models.

VW Beetle

New VW Beetle’s interior

Key customised features of the new Beetle will include a panoramic roof, which is 80pc larger than the previous model, keyless access, and BI-XENON headlights and LED daytime running lights.

The new Beetle will be launched in the European marketplace in October/November 2011, while it will launch in North America in September/October 2011.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic