There were various debates at the time of the Volkswagen
Beetle, then Mini
, revival about the various merits of the two retro designs. Questions were asked how you could update a model like the Beetle that was just a modern lookalike of a classic car from the past. Since then, of course, we have had others, like the new Fiat 500.
Well, for Mini, the new, new Mini was a subtle update of the new, old Mini. But, with cars like the Countryman, Mini are developing the Mini into a range of cars.
For those who questioned how Volkswagen would update the new Beetle, they have their answer. This is the new, new Beetle and – like the Mini – it is a fairly subtle update that keeps the retro looks of the original.
Unveiling the new car at the Shanghai Motor Show, Volkswagen was at pains to suggest an evolution in design, saying that the new car “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”.
What is clear is that it has grown longer, wider and lower. Interestingly, from a marketing point of view Volkswagen seem to be trying to move away from the predominantly female market, saying the new design gives the Beetle “a more masculine and dynamic appearance”.
Three trim levels will be available – Beetle, Design and Sport – with their own individual character and features. In the UK,there will be a choice of four engines. Three petrol engines – a 1.2-litre TSI 105 PS, a 1.4-litre TSI 160 PS and a 2.0-litre TSI 200 PS – and one 1.6-litre 105 PS BlueMotion diesel. Thanks to the addition of Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems the Beetle Bluemotion is expected to have a combined fuel consumption of 65.7 mpg and carbon dioxide emissions of 112 g/km.
The new Beetle will be available to order in the UK in the summer, with first cars arriving in showrooms early in 2012.