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Volkswagen unveils new, macho Beetle

The Local · 19 Apr 2011, 12:36

Published: 19 Apr 2011 12:36 GMT+02:00

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The 2012 Beetle “breaks free of the geometry of the previous model” and aims to be more sporty and macho, the Wolfsburg-based carmaker said in a statement released on Monday evening.

“The Beetle is now characterised by a clean, self-confident and dominant sportiness,” chief designer Klaus Bischoff said. “The car not only has a lower profile; it is also substantially wider, the front bonnet is longer, the front windscreen is shifted further back and has a much steeper incline. All of this creates a new dynamism.”

Click here for photos of the new Beetle.

At the launch in New York, he repeatedly emphasized how “masculine” it was compared with the last Beetle, the New York Times reported.

The latest version was launched simultaneously in Berlin, Shanghai and New York. It will hit the market in North America in September/October, in Europe in October/November, in Asia in February and in South America in late 2012 or early 2013.

The original prototype, first made in 1938, eventually became the longest-running and most-manufactured basic car design in history. Volkswagen made more than 21 million of the original. It was called the Volkswagen type 1 but because of its shape quickly became known as the Beetle in Germany.

It became the icon of economy cars in Europe. Ferdinand Porsche kickstarted the original Volkswagen (or people’s car) starting in 1933 on the orders of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler who wanted a basic, cheap car for German families. Erwin Komenda, Porsche’s chief designer, took over the details of the Beetle’s design. Producing of the car did not actually start until after World War II.

An updated version of the Beetle was then released in 1998. The new design is quite different, however, with a lower, sportier look. It is 8.4 centimetres wider, 1.2 centimetres lower and 15.2 centimetres longer.

It will be available with a choice of three engines: a 170-horsepower, 2.5-litre petrol five-cylinder engine, a 140-hp 2.0-litre four-cylinder TDI clean diesel engine and a 200-hp 2.0-litre four-cylinder TSI turbocharged petrol engine. Its top speed will be 225 kilometres per hour.

Story continues below…

It is also the most fuel efficient Beetle, according to Volkswagen, with the diesel model rated at 29 miles per gallon in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. In the European measurement, it takes as little as 4.3 litres to drive 100 kilometres.

Classic features such as the round headlights, flared wings and characteristic bonnet shape remain. It also has a newly designed rear spoiler that helps the car “aggressively maintain contact with the road,” Volkswagen said.

The Local/djw

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Your comments about this article

13:16 April 19, 2011 by iseedaftpeople
"Macho"?! Still looks as wimpy to me as the New Beetle MK1.

Adequate car for the wife to go boutique shopping on the high street or take the lapdog to the dog salon, but manly it is not. Giving it a potent engine range does not change that, if it is really going to look like in the picture.
13:39 April 19, 2011 by PawD
The previous version looks much cuter!
13:42 April 19, 2011 by minga
"It is also the most fuel efficient Beetle, according to Volkswagen, with the diesel model rated at 29 miles per gallon in the city and 40 mpg on the highway."

- Dear Local,

Stick to one standard. What happened to the metric system for this part of the report? Overlooked during C&P?
13:50 April 19, 2011 by trash head
The manly beetle is called Golf.
14:32 April 19, 2011 by msbeautifool
The headlights dont look macho to me. They are so... not appealing at all.
15:36 April 19, 2011 by fatherknowsbest
I like the imperial standard, the metric system is so boring.
16:23 April 19, 2011 by PearlandPeach
this picture has no crease on the door - the picure in the London Daily Mail does have a crease, slanting down front to back. that looks great. The straight crease looks terrible.
17:35 April 19, 2011 by gabrielen
I would buy this car in a heartbeat, if i could find a model actually made in Germany. I live in the US, and our Beetles are made in Mexico. And you can tell. VW has a horrible reputation here in the US and the dealers are even worse. Too bad. I love the new beetle, i think it's beautiful. Too bad we can't buy a German car made in Germany. Sad
17:59 April 19, 2011 by The-ex-pat
A new Beetle, you mean a golf with a body kit.
18:54 April 19, 2011 by whpmgr
OK, so we know they know men hate this car, so they tout it as Macho, and more manly. I guess a transexual female could be more manly than the normal verison but it is far from really being manly.

Next, gabrielen, I live in Los Angeles adn VW is highly sought and has a great reputation. I don't see many beatles, but maybe it is because, as you suggest, they are made in Mexico, by people that do a job no Americans want to do, build the feminine Beatle.

the CC, the Passat are both great manly cars. The Kaefer, well, it had its moments in the 70's but since then, and the 1380 engine being gone...who cares?
19:16 April 19, 2011 by gabrielen
Whpmgr, i don't see too many Beetles here either. (DC area) My son has a VW, now i can't remember which model, but not the Beetle. This car has been slowly falling apart since he got it. One problem after the other. The dealers in this area are arrogant and don't want to fix anything. I don't want americans building my car either actually! If i want a german car, i would expect it to be built in germany. (the good old days) My toyota was built in Kentucky. So i can't win. But, my toyota has never had a problem in the 6 years i have owned it. So the germans, in handing over their production to a country thousands of miles away and with less interest in the reputation of the car, have ruined the reputations of some of their cars.
20:15 April 19, 2011 by niene64
I like this Beetle in a diffrent color. I would love to have one, but i agree the ones u buy in the staates are made in Mexico. Even if i bought one from Germany , it would be hard to get parts for and the dealers charge u an arm and a Leg. I checked prices 2 years ago when i bought a new car , because i am German thats the first thing i looked for VW and Audi but they are outrages with there prices, and the services for those cars are sucks dealers only want to sell them, after that they want nothing to do with you or the car. I would of liked to buy a passat but i ended up with a saturn Outlook and i am very happy with it .
22:09 April 19, 2011 by olog-hai
It can't be a Beetle unless it follows Ferdinand P.'s design with a boxer engine in the rear and rear wheel drive. Add the fuel tank in the front and the battery under the rear seat and you're much closer. The "wasserboxer" should have made a big comeback in a "new Beetle", and the price should have been far more reasonable...
22:11 April 19, 2011 by whpmgr
gabrielen: OK, you are right about one thing. I bought my A-4, a $42000 dollar car and the Audi/VW/BMX/Porsche (believe it or not)- The nasty Name is McKenna Audi/BMW/VW/Porsche/ Dealership was so bad I quit going to them. I only go to them if i absolutely have to.

One thing is sure that the dealerships believe they are the workers of miracles and have overthought their importance in the world. Only because of them I will probably never buy another VW/AUDi. I understand your problem and relate to that extent.
22:13 April 19, 2011 by zeddriver
A macho beetle. I believe that's an oxymoron.

I'm from the old school. If the engine isn't in the back of the car. It ain't a beetle. VW should rename it the GG. As in Gay Golf.
22:27 April 19, 2011 by whpmgr
Gay Golf? I like that, it would sell definitely in Los Angeles/Hollywood/San Francisco/////
01:21 April 20, 2011 by Gretl
All the beetles are in Clarksville, TN. My daughter regrets starting a game of Slug Bug with me because I always win.
13:15 April 20, 2011 by wenddiver
Consider the US market, how Macho will this thing look in a Parking Lot full of Ford Mustang GTs, Chevy Cammaros, Dodge Challengers, Ford Raptor Trucks, and the other vehicles that designers were obviously thinking about large predators and transformer monsters when they built them.
10:02 April 21, 2011 by Universalismus
VW forgot to market the first one with "macho" to sell more. Now, retouch, emphazise "macho" Lets see what happens.

Great report, however it would be good to stick to metric or imperial.

Liberia, Myanmar and the largest country of all U.S.A. are the last remaining non-metric countries so...

Deutsche Autobahn is still running on kmph last I was on it.
23:11 April 21, 2011 by electric38
Where are the economical electrics? Much better to use solar to charge a vehicle battery than to keep polluting our air and feeding the nuclear and oil companies....

VW was a leader in the compact car industry. It's time for them to do the same with the electrics.

Do a web search on the Ford Focus solar assisted robotics plant. Industry can lower costs dramatically by using a cleaner power source.

Blowing up gasoline inside a motor to create power is so inefficient (stupid -not Macho). Ruining the health of our grandchildren is also stupid -not Macho!
13:37 April 25, 2011 by Katfre
The reason the USA has MPH is if they had KMPH every nut over their would drive 100 MPH instead of 100 KMPH.
07:13 April 26, 2011 by Lex

lol... so macho...

tbh I think it looks like a tall Porsche Carrera from the side...

18:20 April 27, 2011 by Judo
Well reading the article i see this "Erwin Komenda, Porsche¦#39;s chief designer, took over the details of the Beetle¦#39;s design." idk if this is from the old beetle during the war, but it seems like the passed the beetle off to Porsches design center again beacuse it looks like a ver squashed early model Porsche 911.
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