By next year, we will witness the launching of the second generation of Volkswagen's reborn Beetle. This time, the focus will be on dynamics and there will be less emphasis on retro styling. The concept car will be unveiled at this November's Los Angeles Auto Show while the production Beetle will go on sale in the UK in May 2011
About a year later, a cabriolet version will follow. The new Beetle will be produced alongside the Jetta at VW's Puebla plant in Mexico, which is where the current Beetle is also being assembled. The front-drive underpinnings and some driveline combinations are carried over to the new Beetle.
These give the new car a reworked chassis with wider tracks and a longer wheelbase when compared to the current model. Insider sources are saying that as a result, the new car will have improved dynamics as well as a more compliant ride. Suspension consists of MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam at the rear.
But to improve handling, the 2.0-liter top-of-the-range model (which delivers 210bhp) will have a multi-link rear. We'd all want to get our hands on some images to see how the Beetle was updated but to date, there are none available. For now, we'll just have to be contented with sources close to design boss Klaus Bischoff who say that there are clues within the 2005 Ragster concept.
A VW insider said that the new car has a more contoured design and it has added structuring and defined feature lines that help to break up the simple surfacing and unadorned character of the current model.The new Beetle's roofline will be similar to the Ragster's. The source specified that the screen angles are less extreme and the roof structure is less rounded than the current version.
But we can expect that the design will be heavily inspired by the original Beetle. It still has the same rounded headlights and tail-lamps, separate wings over each wheel and a high waistline. What comes as a pleasant surprise is Volkswagen's recognition of the customers´ needs to customize their cars. With that in mind, VW has come up with a much wider range of exterior options for the Beetle.
What are the most easy-to-recognize designs in the whole world? Let’s take a look at a few of them: Ray Ban Aviator, Coke bottle, Beetle, iPhone. This begs the question -- how can one reimagine a design that is so independent and eye-catching? There is only one answer to this: It is important to understand the product's relationship with the brand; then it just works! Walter de Silva, Volkswagen Design Chief (Group) and Volkswagen Brand's Klaus Bischoff realize this and had set out to fulfill a goal for the Beetle: create a new original.
Challenge is exciting. The team started its work under the guidance of Bischoff. The challenge of creating a new Volkswagen Beetle was thrilling. The designers were aware that they wanted to come up with a new Beetle profile which was better than the 1998 New Beetle. They also prioritized better dynamic proportions. A fascinating factor was that majority of the team members were actually owners of air-cooled Beetles. It has also become a fraternity vehicle among younger car designers at Volkswagen. And that is how the 2011 Beetle's final design was made in Wolfsburg - a vehicle of the present as well as a style tribute to the car seed of a whole corporate group. And what is undeniable is that if one were to compare the first Beetle to the latest Beetle side by side - shining light above the roofs and looking at them on the side - one can notice that the lines placed on the rear are almost the same.
No standing still: "We remade every part."
More daring, more manly, more dynamic. Comparing it to the 1998 New Beetle gives this observation: nothing was kept like it was on the old model. Klaus Bischoff said that the Beetle is now seen as a neat, self-confident, bold sports vehicle. The auto does not only have a lower stance; it is also significantly broader, the front end is longer, the front windscreen is pulled back and it has a steeper incline. All of this builds a new dynamic aura. The New Beetle was identified by three semi-circles (domed roof above it, rear wing, front wing). The new design doesn’t have this shape. The roof profile now runs especially lower and can be dubbed a continuity of the Ragster concept car showcased in Detroit in 2005 - a variant of the hot rod that stems from the New Beetle. The new Beetle is much more daring, more athletic, and more dynamic.