The order books of the new Volkswagen Beetle have been opened. Deliveries in the UK will start in spring 2012. Two engines will be available at the launch, including a 1.2-litre TSI 105 PS coupled to a seven-speed DSG transmission and a 1.4-litre 160 PS TSI with a six-speed manual gearbox. There will be three trim levels -- Beetle, Design and Sport – that will be available. The 1.2-litre in Beetle or Design trim has a starting price of £16,490 (RRP OTR). But the 1.4-litre in Design or Sport trim is priced from £19,470.
In 2012, the lineup will be joined by three other engines: a 1.6-litre TDI BlueMotion Technology 105 PS, 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS and 2.0-litre TSI 200 PS. There’s an option of a six-speed manual gearbox for the 1.2-litre TSI model. It comes with high specification levels.
The standard equipment for the Beetle includes air conditioning, remote central locking, an RCD 310 CD system with DAB radio and rear Isofix seat preparation.
A set of 17-inch alloy wheels to the mid-level Design trim is offered in two styles. It also comes with Bluetooth telephone preparation with MDI (multi-device interface) iPod connectivity, front fog lights, an alarm, an RCD 510 DAB CD/radio, multifunction leather-wrapped steering wheel and body-colored door and dashboard panels.
The top-of-the-line Sport specification offers 18-inch alloys in two styles. In addition, it is equipped with cruise control, tinted glass, sports seats, parking sensors, gloss black door mirrors, dashboard and door panel and 2Zone electronic climate control. Consumers can choose from a broad variety of optional items like Keyless Access, satellite navigation systems, a panoramic sunroof and bi-xenon headlights.
VW Beetle is one of the most iconic automotive designs in the world. Up there with the iPhone, Ray Bans, Coke Bottles and Pringles, it is one of the most recognisable cars in the world, thanks in part to the movie the Italian Job. So if you were to redesign it, how would you go about it? Well first you would ensure you understand what it is about the product everyone knows and loves and second what do you know about the brand?
It was Volkswagen's Chief Designer Walter de Silva and Klaus Bischoff mission to do exactly that and then design a new Beetle without compromising the parts everyone loved best.
Under Bischoff's lead, the team set about designing the new Beetle. First off, the designers got together to go over the original’s exterior and see how they could bring that more up-to-date. With many of the team being themselves owners of Beetles, they brought a lot to the table when it came to improvements and how to keep it aesthetically similar. This is how it came to be that the new Beetle is clearly a car of today, shaped by yesterday.
This is even more evident in the final models. When compared with previous iterations, it is apparent when examining the roof for example, the lines running from the roof to the rear of the vehicle are identical.
Every part was remade. In fact, the new Beetle is a much more aggressive machine, it looks bigger but remains a compact where it counts. Klaus Bischoff said that the new Beetle is a sporty, bolder vehicle with clean lines and a wider stance. This aggressive new look is down to a longer front bonnet, lowered profile and the steeper incline of the windscreen.
Whereas the old Beetle was defined by a series of circles from the headlamps to the wings and the domed roof, the new Beetle feels like a breath of fresh air. The roof is lower and more in line with the Ragster concept car which was unveiled in 2005. Overall it is obvious the new Beetle is an exceptional piece of engineering which is more in tune with today’s modern car lovers.