Starting this October, the third generation VW Beetle will go on sale in the U.S. It will then arrive next in other markets throughout the world. VW said that the new 2012 Beetle will be exported to China, where it expects to achieve record sales.
VW executives don’t believe that the latest Beetle could ever come close to what the first version, which came out in the 1960s, had achieved. However, VW hopes that this entry level vehicle will boost the demand for the other models in the lineup.
VV anticipates that the model will help in giving the brand more presence in China and in gaining momentum in the rivalry with General Motors. Other automakers have decided to follow VW’s strategy. For instance, Fiat is working on the 500 series similar to VW’s approach.
The Detroit Bureau reported that the 2012 Beetle will be offered in “posh" cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Hong Kong beginning later this year or early next year. It’s notable that more than 22 million Beetles have been sold across the globe but it had never before been marketed in China.
A VW official said that in China, the Beetle will be marketed as a unique car with an uncommon personality and a distinctive fashion sense. The Beetle had been in production in Mexico for many decades and had been exported to both sides of the US. This means that the facility’s options will be expanded with the move to China.
What do Apple, Coke, Ray-Ban, and Volkswagen have in common? These companies are just a few of the many that have what may be called as iconic product designs. For Volkswagen, it is the Beetle. The question then is how does one go about reinventing a well-recognized design? The solution is simple as all that is needed is to understand both the brand and the product. This is the same concept that Design Chief Klaus Bischoff of Volkswagen Brand and Design Chief Walter de Silva of Volkswagen Group used in designing the new Beetle. The objective they therefore set was to design a new original. While it was indeed a challenge, it also excited the design team.
The initial task of the design went to the Bischoff-led team who saw this undertaking as a challenge and inspiration. This team’s main goal was to focus on the dynamic proportions while making sure that the original Beetle profile was more developed compared to the 1998 version. The result is more than instantly recognizable. When the new Beetle and the first model are put together then looked at on its side with a light shining above the roof, the lines that are on the rear section are almost the same. The new model shows more muscle, is more dynamic, and bolder. What this means is that almost all parts have ben remade.
In fact, when compared to the 1998 version, everything is indeed new. Aside from being more athletic, the new model is cleaner and has more self-confidence, shares Bischoff. He adds by saying that this new model is wider in addition to having a lower profile and an incline that is steeper. Bischoff relates that even the windscreen on the front has been remade as it is now further back, and its front bonnet, when compared to the first model, is longer.
All of this gives the new Beetle that new dynamics, he says. Even the three semi-circles, which are the wings on the front and the rear plus the roof on top of it, continue to define the new model, it has managed at the same to be free of this particular geometry. Take the profile of the roof, aside from being lower, it appears to continue to the same one that was seen in the Ragster, a hot rod that is based on the new model and first shown as a concept car during the 2005 auto show in Detroit.
Without a doubt, this new model is truly more masculine, bolder, and more dynamic. As if to further prove this qualities are its dimensions which show that it is longer by 152 mm at 4,278 mm, wider by 84 mm at 1,808 mm, but lower by as much as 12 mm with height at 1,486 mm. Its longer length means that it was possible to extend the roof even further and thus allowing the front windscreen to be shifted backwards.
This also made it possible for the rear part to be able to follow the curve of the original model. For this new model though, the main focus is now on its C-pillar. In addition to the change in proportion, the team in-charge of development also made sure that the wheelbase and the track width would be increased. Combining it all is the reason why the new model has a stronger look with a more muscular tension.
There is however one interesting thing about the team that designed and developed the new model. Some of the members actually have their very own Beetles. In fact, the Beetle has become the craze when it comes to Volkswagen’s younger designers. This is one of the major factors in coming up with the 2011 Beetle’s final design at its Wolfsburg facility. The 2011 Beetle is a car that is apt for the present times with a design that pays homage to the brand’s automotive beginnings.