At this year’s SuperBowl, Volkswagen offered us a funny and interesting advertising of the all-new Beetle. Although we can see just the profile of the car by the end of the video, we must say that the little black bug made us laugh a little. What is more interesting regarding the new car, is that it is possible to see it at the 2011 New York Auto Show in April, at least according to our Volkswagen source.
As you may know already, the new car will come with a new design, inspired by the Volkswagen Ragster Concept and it is part of Vw’s plan to become world’s largest car manufacturer by 2018. Regarding the engines of the new car, we do expect to see a powerful 125 kW / 170 PS five-cylinder petrol engine capable to deliver a fuel consumption of over 31 mpg.
We also expect a fuel-efficient Clean Diesel (TDI) with 102 kW / 140 PS, capable to offer a fuel consumption of over 43 mpg. The all-new 2012 Volkswagen Beetle will also offer some of the features present on other Vw models, such as ABS with braking assistant, Hill Climb Assist (with manual transmission and DSG) and six airbags.
The Beetle is considered as one of the most recognized car designs worldwide. It shares this reputation with a number of other products that include, among others, Ray Ban Aviator, iPhone, and the Coke bottle. The question that is typically asked is therefore how to reinvent a design that has become independent and so recognizable. The short answer is that one would need to understand the product, and importantly, the brand.
Both Volkswagen Design Chief Walter de Silva and Klaus Bischoff from the Volkswagen Brand understand the importance of this and this is why the goal set for the Beetle was to "Design a new original!"
The team was thrilled at the challenge and started their work under the guidance of Bischoff. Indeed, the team treated the challenge of having to design a new Beetle as an inspiration. In addition, the designers agreed that they had to develop the profile of the original Beetle to be more comparable to the 1998 Beetle. The team also made sure to put high priority on the dynamic proportions. It is interesting to note that some of the team members drove their very own air-cooled Beetle.
This model even became a cult car among Volkswagen’s younger designers. It is because of this that the final design of this 2011 Beetle came to being at Wolfsburg, a car that pays tribute to the automotive seed of the whole corporate group. The new model is clearly unmistakable with the old version. When placed in the room together, shining a light on their roofs, and then looking at them from its side, the lines on the rear portions of the first Beetle and the new model are almost identical.
According to the team, almost every part was remade. When compared to the 1998 model, nothing remained like on the old car. Klaus Bischoff explains that the new Beetle displays a dominant sportiness and self-confidence. It not only has a lower profile but is wider as well. The front bonnet has been made longer while the front windscreen shows a steeper incline and has been moved further back, he adds. This results in the new version displaying new dynamics, Bischoff continues.
The New Beetle has long been defined with its three semi-circles, on the front wing, the domed roof, and the rear wing. However for the new model, it does not utilize this same geometry. The roof profile is lower and can be viewed as an extension of the Ragster concept that was first revealed in 2005 at Detroit. The Ragster was a hot rod that was founded on the New Beetle. For the latest model however, it is more masculine, more dynamic and bolder.
These descriptions are in fact confirmed by the dimensions. In terms of length, it is 152 mm longer at 4,278 mm. It is also wider by 84 mm at 1,808 mm, and lower by 12 mm at 1,486 mm. Clearly these are new proportions. Since it has been made longer, it allowed the roof to be extended even further and even the front windscreen to be shifted back. The longer length also meant that it was now possible to follow the original Beetle’s contour.
For the new model, the focal point is now at its C-pillar. The exterior was not the only thing revised as the development team even increased the wheelbase and the track width. This results in the new VW Beetle showing off a powerful appearance and a muscular tension.