18 April 2011 ~ 1 Comment

New Volkswagen Beetle unveiled at events in Berlin, New York and Shanghai

After seemingly endless teasers and prototype mule shots appearing on websites around the world, Volkswagen finally pulled the covers from the new 2012 Beetle (note that it’s not ‘New Beetle’ this time around) today with simultaneous unveils in Berlin, New York and Shanghai. Still using design cues from the original air-cooled model first launched 73 years ago, the Mk 3 Beetle combines fuel-efficient engines and more masculine looks. About time, too; seeing a now outgoing car this evening really does make the latest regeneration look something special. Gone are the round rear lamps – replaced with units which blend into the hatchback shut line – and the effeminate lines. Due in the UK ‘early in 2012’, the latest Beetle has a much lower roofline, wider stance, and combines the latest sharp Volkswagen look within its curved form. The full Volkswagen UK press release and picture gallery follows.

New generation Beetle revealed at Shanghai show
Volkswagen has unveiled the latest generation Beetle in Shanghai on the eve of the city’s motor show, marking a new era in this iconic car’s history. The latest generation moves away from design of the New Beetle of 1998 and instead draws on cues from the original and Beetle Ragster concept shown in Detroit in 2005. As such it’s longer, wider and lower, giving a more masculine and dynamic appearance.

The Beetle now measures 4278mm in length (+152mm), 1808mm in width (+84mm) and 1486mm in height (-12mm). The track width front and rear, as well as the wheelbase at 2537mm, are also increased. Overseen by Walter de Silva (Volkswagen Group) and Klaus Bischoff (Volkswagen Brand), with Marc Lichte the team leader for exterior design, the car’s new proportions mean the roof extends back further, the windscreen is shifted back and the rear section is now more akin to that of the original Beetle. The boot capacity is a practical 310 litres, up from 209 litres in the 1998 model. The Beetle has four seats, with a split-fold rear seat for added versatility.

Inside the cabin, the Beetle’s designers created a modern, practical and distinctive appearance with easy to identify and ergonomic controls. Certain features, such as the glovebox and colour accent panels hark back to the original.

Three trim levels will be available – Beetle, Design and Sport – and each will be endowed with its own individual character and features. A wide range of innovative optional equipment will also be available, ranging from Keyless Access through satellite navigation systems and a panoramic sunroof to bi-xenon headlights and LED daytime running lights – all of which are available for the first time on a Beetle.

In the UK, a choice of four engines will be offered: three petrol – a 1.2-litre TSI 105PS, a 1.4-litre TSI 160PS and a 2.0-litre TSI 200PS; and one diesel – a 1.6-litre 105PS with BlueMotion Technology. Thanks to the addition of Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems the Beetle 1.6-litre 105PS is estimated to have a combined fuel consumption of 65.7 mpg and carbon dioxide emissions of 112g/km.

As well as being economical and environmentally sound, the Beetle is also built to be one of the safest cars on the road thanks not only to features such as standard ESP and six airbags but also a laser-welded and galvanised body structure which has one of the highest torsional rigidity values in the segment at 26,000 Nm/˚. In addition the range-topping engine, the 2.0-litre 200PS, will feature standard XDS electronic differential lock as fitted to the Golf GTI.

The new car will be available to order in the UK in the summer, with first cars arriving in showrooms early in 2012. More details will be available closer to launch.

[Source: Volkswagen UK]

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