Due on sale next year; much-improved dynamics; 210bhp range-topper
19 March 2010

A second generation of Volkswagen’s reborn Beetle will be launched next year with more focus on dynamics and less on retro styling.

To be previewed as a concept at the Los Angeles motor show in November, the production Beetle will go on sale in the UK in May 2011. A cabriolet will follow about a year later.

As with today’s Beetle, the car will be assembled at VW’s Puebla plant in Mexico, alongside the next Jetta. The two cars share their front-drive underpinnings and some driveline combinations.

This gives the Beetle a reworked chassis with wider tracks and a longer wheelbase than today’s model. Insiders are confident it will better the current Beetle’s dynamics, with a more compliant ride.

Suspension is MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam at the rear. However, the 210bhp 2.0-litre range-topper will have a multi-link rear to improve handling.

We’ve yet to see how VW’s design team has chosen to update the Beetle, but sources close to design boss Klaus Bischoff indicate that the 2005 Ragster concept provides hints.

Describing the new car’s design, one VW insider said, “It is more contoured, with additional structuring and defined feature lines used to help to break up the simple surfacing and unadorned character of the current model.”

The new Beetle will have a similar roofline to the Ragster’s. “The screen angles are less extreme and the roof structure is less rounded than it is at the moment,” said our source.

But much of the design will continue to draw heavily on the original Beetle, with rounded headlights and tail-lamps, separate wings over each wheel and a high waistline.

Volkswagen has also developed a much wider range of exterior options for the Beetle. “We’ve recognised the need to provide buyers with the opportunity to individualise their cars,” said our source. “This is especially important on the Beetle.”

In response to criticism of the Beetle’s packaging - particularly the depth of the dashboard and the lack of rear space - VW has thoroughly reworked the interior. The wider tracks and longer wheelbase increase space, but a lower roof reduces head room. Boot capacity will rise, to a nominal 250 litres.

Engines will include a 105bhp 1.2, a 160bhp 1.4 and a 210bhp 2.0 litre. A US-bound 170bhp 2.5-litre five-cylinder is not destined for Europe. Diesels will include the new 105bhp 1.6 and a 140bhp 2.0 litre.

A hybrid is also planned, with a similar drivetrain to that of the Jetta CC from this year’s Detroit show: a 150bhp turbocharged/supercharged 1.4 with a 27bhp electric motor.

Our Verdict

The Volkswagen Beetle is only the third all-new model since the original launched in 1938. It is based on the Mk6 Golf, but the base car is far better

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Comments
35

19 March 2010

How long before they crush all the MkII's and use them to colour smarties?

(Cochineal)

I hope this is good. It looks like a dung beetle.

Back to FWD Sad

19 March 2010

Interestingly you failed to mention where this rubbish will be "assembled"....at Volkswagen's plant in Puebla Mexico

19 March 2010

If I was VW I would just continue selling the current Beetle but with less equipment, their 1.2 engine, and maybe 2-tone paint schemes, for a cheap price like £8k, I bet they would sell like hot cakes. Im sure it would be protitable at that price as there would be no development cost, just the ongoing cost of raw materials.

19 March 2010

[quote roverfan1984]If I was VW I would just continue selling the current Beetle but with less equipment, their 1.2 engine, and maybe 2-tone paint schemes, for a cheap price like £8k[/quote]

Maybe, but would you buy one? Were either this Beetle or the "Mini" to spontaneously combust, I would make for the gents. Having relieved myself, I would probably then see how little of the £8k I could spend on the Autotrader site. Given the general paucity of excitement in most manufacturers current offerings, I don't think that people not buying new cars can wholly attributed to the credit crunch.

19 March 2010

[quote judah777]Interestingly you failed to mention where this rubbish will be "assembled"....at Volkswagen's plant in Puebla Mexico[/quote]

yeah - they hid it well in the 'As with today’s Beetle, the car will be assembled at VW’s Puebla plant in Mexico, alongside the next Jetta. The two cars share their front-drive underpinnings and some driveline combinations.' sentence.

19 March 2010

The new beetle has been a joke of a car. And always will be. It only sells because there are idiots out there that know nothing about cars and think they are cool.

19 March 2010

[quote inthebin]The new beetle has been a joke of a car. And always will be. It only sells because there are idiots out there that know nothing about cars and think they are cool.[/quote] i couldnt have said it better myself there are no features about this car that make it worth buying infact i'm surprised vw have not scrapped the whole idea

19 March 2010

I'm not usually a fan of retro cars, but I like this. Its a really good piece of design, with good proportions, a square stance, and some chunky details. I particularly like the swages along the flanks, and the low-rider roof look. I look forward to seeing a few on the road. It will make a change from the bland econoboxes and executive wannabes out there. A Golf GTi engine would be good to lift it's image a little though.

19 March 2010

[quote noluddite]I'm not usually a fan of retro cars, but I like this. Its a really good piece of design, with good proportions, a square stance, and some chunky details. I particularly like the swages along the flanks, and the low-rider roof look. I look forward to seeing a few on the road. It will make a change from the bland econoboxes and executive wannabes out there. A Golf GTi engine would be good to lift it's image a little though.[/quote]

agreed. Looks great. The usual chimps are out flinging their faeces - so it's bound to be a runaway success. All that's missing so far is some Clarkson-like slime-deweller to say anyone who buys it must be gayer than Graham Norton and the convertible version will make anyone in the rear look like a Nazi dictator.

19 March 2010

Generally I hate retro design, but this one looks terrific.

VW would be well advised to employ the services of Autocar's artist. I'd be surprised if the official version looks half as good...

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