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Bigger (better?) Beetle revealed

2011-04-18 15:16

BIGGER, BOLDER DESIGN: They have binned the flower pot in the cabin but at least adults can sit in the back. Fair compromise.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer VW
Model Beetle
Engine 1.2, 1.4, 1.6, 2.0
Power 77-, 77-, 118-, 147kW
Torque 250-, 240-, 280Nm
Shanghai - Germany’s most-loved car of all time is back.

VW’s third-generation Beetle has been revealed ahead of its Shanghai auto show debut and it is a substantially larger two-door than its predecessor. And it's heading for right-hand drive markets soon, 73-years after it first debuted...

Walter de Silva’s design team have crafted a car 152mm longer, 84mm wider yet with a 12mm lower roofline.

Crucially these new proportions have addressed one of the Beetle’s packaging issues, its lack of rear headroom, by extending the roof’s surfacing to meet the windscreen at a less rakish angle. The previous model's dashboard mounted flower pot feature has been binned, but at least two adults can now sit in the back without having the hunch forward.

The new Beetle’s aesthetic is an evolution of the 1998 reincarnation of the fabled nameplate, with a less bulbous rear and VW family familiar lower-fascia grille detailing being the most pronounced styling changes.

Configured as a four-seater, the new Beetle boasts greatly enhanced boot capacity at 310-litres, an increase of 101-litres.

VW says it will market three trim levels – Beetle (obviously, Design and Sport. Optional extras will range from SatNav systems to a panoramic sunroof and various LED illumination packages.

Gti mode in the mix?

Four engines have been selected for use in the new Beetle, three petrol units and a turbodiesel. Frugally (or environmentally) minded buyers can option the 77kW 1.6-litre BlueMotion  turbodiesel, capable of returning 4.3litres/100km.

The petrol options start at 1.2-litres, with the 77kW TSI, then upgrade to a 118kW twin-charged 1.4 TSI (available locally in the Scirocco) before headlining with a two-litre TSI engine in 147kW trim.

VW is at this stage unclear whether the two-litre Beetle’s engine is the previous generation Golf5 GTI’s EA113-series unit (to which its output figures would appear to correlate) or a detuned version of the VW Group’s Golf6 GTI EA888 engine. Whatever the case, the Beetle Sport will boast the Golf6 GTI’s XDS electronic front differential lock.

Expect more details to be revealed as the Shanghai auto show opens on April 21.

Right-hand drive markets are expected to receive the new Beetle early in 2012. The new Beetle will arrive in South Africa in the second half of 2012.


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