Volkswagen presents a new generation of its automotive classic, the redesigned 2012 Beetle.
The original, also affectionately known as the Bug, was sold in the United States from 1949 to 1979. A redesigned version, dubbed the New Beetle, has been available in this country since 1998. The 2012 Beetle is its successor.
The most noticeable difference perhaps, is a glasshouse/roof section that’s all been moved towards the rear of the car – so the newcomer looks a little less ‘toytown’ than its predecessor which didn’t know whether it was coming or going.
The car is also 3.3 inches wider and sits 0.5 of an inch lower than the one it replaces, adding a stronger stance and more premium look. The capacity of the car’s boot has increased from 209- to 310 litres.
Inside, the new Beetle is available with three levels of trim (Beetle, Design and Sport), as well as options that were previously unavailable to Beetle buyers, including satnav, a panoramic sunroof and LED daytime running lights.
Cabin-oriented features include a choice of sat-navs (the first time navigation has been available on a Beetle), a premium sound system developed with guitar and amplifier manufacturer Fender, keyless access, and a panoramic glass roof that’s 80 per cent larger than the item offered on the previous model.
In the U.S. the base model will pack the same 170 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine as the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta, and when matched with a five-speed manual should return a fuel economy of 22/29 mpg city/highway.
Transmission choices will include a 5-speed manual or optional 6-speed automatic on 2.5L models. Volkswagen’s acclaimed DSG® 6-speed dual-clutch transmission will be offered on the TDI Clean Diesel and 2.0L TSI turbocharged gasoline models, while a 6-speed manual will come standard.
A 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque TDI turbodiesel 2.0-liter mill is also offered, returning up to 29/40 mpg city/highway fuel economy.
The Beetle 2.0L TSI is the sportiest model offered. With 200 hp and 207 lb.-ft of torque, power delivery will remain smooth and direct across the rpm range. The four cylinder turbo engine is estimated to provide 30 mpg highway fuel economy.