The all-new VW Beetle, due to launch at next year’s Detroit motor show, will be a "radical design", according to company sources.

Sources have told Autocar that VW hasn’t gone down the Mini route by just tweaking the car’s styling.

See's artist's impression of the next VW Beetle

The Beetle’s designers have made every effort to be daring, and to produce a completely fresh, modern take on the classic VW.

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.

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.

The new Beetle is expected to go on sale in the UK in May 2011. A cabriolet will follow about a year later.

Read the first drive of the current VW Beetle 1.6 Luna

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