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.