New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Can VW re-ignite Beetlemania?

2011-10-06 12:51

NEW BEETLE: Volkswagen new Beetle will make reach our shores later in 2012.

It’s been more than six decades since the first Beetle (aka Bug) rolled off the Volkswagen production line in 1938. It was an instant hit among first-time car buyers the Beetle is one of the most successful vehicles with 21million sold globally and 290 000 (first generation) models sold in South Africa.

Unfortunately despite a “modern” incarnation produced in the late 1990's, Beetlemania has waned over the years.

Now it seems Volkswagen’s hopes to reignite some life into the ageing city car with its second generation model showcased at the Johannesburg International Motor Show.

The new Beetle will be offered in two spec levels (Design and Sport) with two engine options; a 1.2 and 1.4 TSI.


Designwise it seems VW has gone for evolution over revolution as the new model borrows heavily from its predecessor. Noticeable changes are its lowered and substantially wider profile along with a longer bonnet. The new model is 1808mm wide (84mm wider), 1486mm high (12mm lower) and 4278mm long (152mm longer). The windscreen is shifted back and has a much less of an incline. Overall it looks rather sporty, shedding its “cute appeal” in favour of a more assertive presence.

SPORTY BUG: The new Beetle loses its cute charm in favour of more sporty appeal with its new design.

The Beetle will be powered by two TSI engines; a 1.2 TSI 77kW and 1.4 TSI 118kW.  The 118kW unit will have the benefit of dual-clutch transmission. 


Inside the new Beetle features a sporty interior most noticeable on the carbon-look facia. The centre console is a hat tip to the “dash pad” design of the first Beetle and retro elements feature throughout such as the “Beetle box” in the form of an extra glovebox. The steering wheel features painted accents in the spokes which differ depending on the equipment line.

The Sport variant offers a carbon fibre panel.The boot has luggage capacity of 310-litres and 905-litres with the standard split rear seats folded down.

The 21st century Beetle will be launched in South Africa in the second quarter of 2012.

Read more reports about the 2011 Johannesburg International Motor Show.

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