Volkswagen apparently expects much from its new Beetle that will arrive in the fall. The carmaker forecasts that this model will sell up to 50,000 to 60,000 units annually in the U.S. Compared to sales of its outgoing model in recent years that fell to 15,000 units a year, this represents a huge improvement. However, this prediction is still lower than the record set 1.5 years after the revised model was launched of 83,000 units sold.
Mark Barnes, boss of VW North America, said that VW believes that the new model can “recapture plenty of sales.” VW is in the process of expanding in the U.S. and is preparing to locally produce the Passat at its new factory in the country.
VW expects the Beetle to enhance its image, similar to how its image got a boost in 1998 as the New Beetle was initially launched. The appeal is expected to spread further with a broader range of three engines: a 2.5-liter five-cylinder, a 2.0-liter TDi and a 2.0T.
VW removed the dashboard-mounted vase but included interior-design features such as a body-colored dashboard and an upward-hinging glovebox door (reminiscent of the original).
Fans would also be glad to know that a soft-top will arrive soon after launch in summer 2012. Its delay is remarkably shorter than what was experienced by the outgoing cabrio.
There are several designs that are recognized all over the world. Among these are the Ray Ban Aviator, iPhone, Coke bottle and of course, the Beetle. How is any company able to create such an iconic design? The answer is as simple as this. It is essential to have a deeper understanding of the brand and the product; then it just works. Walter de Silva (Group), design chief of Volkswagen and Klaus Bischoff (Volkswagen brand) know both by heart and they used this as an objective for creating the Beetle “design a new original”.
The team started to work under the leadership of Bischoff. Designing a new VW Beetle was as inspiring as it is challenging. Designers aim to develop the original profile to be more similar to the 2011 model than to the 1998 new Beetle. They also highly prioritized its very dynamic proportions. What makes this more interesting is the fact that some of the team members are owners themselves of air-cooled Beetles. Also, it has a cult following among young designers working at Volkswagen. This is the way the final design came to be at Wolfsburg – a new car and at the same time, a design tribute to the seed of a whole corporate automotive group. Also, it was indeed recognizable. If the first Beetle was placed in the same room together with the new Beetle, with light shining over their roofs and viewing them for the sides, it is easy to see that the lines on their rear are almost the same.
All Parts Have Been Remade
The new Beetle was designed to be bolder, more masculine and more dynamic. When compared to the 1998 New Beetle, nothing that was seen on the old car stayed. Now, the 2011 Beetle has a clean, self-confident and dominantly sporty look. Not only does it have a lower profile, it is considerably wider, has a longer front bonnet, its front windscreen is moved further backward and has a steeper incline. All these create a new dynamism, according to Klaus Bischoff. Though three semi-circles such as the domed roof, front wing and rear wing, define the New Beetle, the new model does not have the same geometry. In fact, its roof profile is distinctly lower and can be thought of as a carry-over of the Ragster concept car of 2005 in Detroit - sort of a hot rod built on the New Beetle.
Figures verify this: The new car’s dimensions are: 4,278 mm length (152 mm longer) x 1,808 mm width (84 mm wider) x 1,486 mm height (12 mm lower). This has led to totally new proportions. The increase in length suggests that the roof could be lengthened, the front windscreen could be moved backward while the rear could follow the outline of the original Beetle. The C-pillar is the new focal point. The development team increased the wheelbase and track widths of the car, giving the VV Beetle a more powerful look and with muscular tension.
A New DNA Typical of Volkswagen and Beetle
The styling of the 2011 VW follows the design of Volkswagen even with its individuality.
Klaus Bischoff and Walter de Silva created the DNA. It conveys itself in the horizontal image given by the front air inlet, front bumper, the precise line in between the C-pillar and A-pillar, straight lines of bonnet edges as well as the rear lights’ styling.