All New VW Beetle Unveiled

18 April 2011 at 14:28

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 4,278 mm in length (+152 mm), 1,808 mm in width (+84 mm) and 1,486 in height (-12 mm).  The track width front and rear, as well as the wheelbase at 2,537 mm, 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.

VW Beetle 2011

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.

VW Beetle Interior

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

NEW VW Beetle

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.

When the original was launched in 1938, it was known simply as ‘the Volkswagen’, quickly acquiring a raft of nicknames from across the world.  Whatever the name, its popularity is not in question, with 21.5 million sold in the past 73 years.

New Volkswagen Beetle


Name: Bazzy

Comment: Not really breaking any ground with that design... I was expecting something a little more exciting for a car being released in 2012

Name: EcoForecourt

Comment: Hey Bazzy! Albeit not a radical design we think it's a lot better looking than the discontinued Beetle, that thing has a dashboard you could land a plane on!

Name: Bazzy

Comment: HAHA so true! I guess I was expecting a Beetle that would reflect the old styling more. Plus they have the Rabbit and Golf, why did they need to make it so big?

Name: dave

Comment: that is a sweet looking car.....atleast it looks like the original ...unlike the old one

Name: EcoForecourt

Comment: Yeah we particularly like that it takes a lot more inspiration from the original, the classic is super recognizable and people warm to it's adorable character! This will undoubtedly sell well regardless if us lads don't warm to it - lets face it the last Beetle came with a flower!!

Name: StyleGuru

Comment: is it a good or bad thing that i think its looking more like a 911?

Name: EcoForecourt

Comment: @StyleGuru Well it can't be a bad thing! Though if anything is probably takes a little styling from the 80's Porsche's!

Name: Madan

Comment: Beauuuuuutiful! And as always, verrrrrrryyyyy cute.

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