Volkswagen about to sign off new car
21 July 2008

Autocar has learned that Volkswagen is about to sign off a new version of the Beetle, with the project going to the company’s management board for final design approval.

The new Beetle will, like the current model, use shared Golf components. Company insiders insist that it will stand apart from the current car and will definitely position the driver ahead of the roof curve – one common criticism of the current car is that it’s styling appears to put the front occupants in the back seat.

The current Beetle is still based on the mechanical platform of the mk4 Volkswagen Golf – the European model in the corporate line-up to use this component set. Despite its age, sales of the current version have been doing well recently, apparently helped by increasing interest in other retro-styled models like the new Mini and Fiat 500.

VW clearly believes it can make a business case for another version – which could be with us as early as 2010.

Steve Cropley

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Beetle

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
7

21 July 2008

I must say I am surprised that VW is continuing with the new Beetle. Here is South Africa their sales are pathetic (one or two a month) as opposed to the MINI which continues to sell strongly. I have a feeling that the new FIAT 500 will also attract people away from this rather ungainly and impractical car.

Whilst on the subject, how could BMW build the MINI Clubman with the 'suicide' door on the right? How stupid for markets such as the UK, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, who drive on the left. Who in his/her right mind would allow the children to exit the car on the same side as the traffic? Strange!

21 July 2008

Are you the real Kelly Holmes then or what?

Why don't you just run everywhere?

22 July 2008

I bet it'll be a disappointment, like the current model. Why not go radical, make it RWD and Rear engined, like the original.

22 July 2008

Why not stop fobbing us off with yet more Golf-chassised crap that only appeals to middle class women of a certain age who want us to believe that they have a Bohemian side to them. Car with a bloody vase. FFS.

22 July 2008

[quote James Read]Why not stop fobbing us off with yet more Golf-chassised crap that only appeals to middle class women of a certain age who want us to believe that they have a Bohemian side to them. Car with a bloody vase. [/quote]

I see quite a lot of Beetles around and, while it is not the best resolved design in the world, quite a lot of the people who drive them (including a perhaps surprising number of men) seem to be smiling while they are sitting and motoring along in a usually sublimely unaggressive manner. Maybe that is the point of having a car with a vase.

Anyway, certainly can't see that it is any worse a Golf derived exercise than a TT plus, of course, were it not for platform sharing neither car would exist and there would simply be more bread and butter Golfs on the roads which would make the world a duller place.

23 July 2008

[quote James Read] You will note that the smiling men you see driving Bettles do not have anything in their vases. This is because they are gay men who have chosen another receptacle for the flowers.[/quote]

Only gay men drive new Beetles? Interesting thought process there James. I'm not even going to go into what you think gay men do with flowers.

I had an original 1302S when I was a much younger man and it was the simultaneously the worst car in history and the one I loved the most, even to this day. I went sideways up a motorway slip road once- scary to say the least and I was always running out of petrol because the fuel gauge was broken. I could reel off a list of potentially fatal flaws with the car but, at the end of the day, the exhaust note alone was enough to make me forget about all of the bad stuff. No other car has ever had that effect on me.

For all that, I would have loved to get a new Beetle as a second car but I never did. It always seemed like a rather cynical, corporate marketing exercise that had no actual connection to the original car. Sounds like a similar story for the new Mini and the new 500, except for the fact that both those cars are fantastic to drive, which negates the cynicism entirely. The new Beetle was never good to drive, it was never particularly easy to use and it didn't reward you for your sacrifice by being a great drive either.

I hate to be negative about it, but- I think the new Beetle concept is inherently impotent all the while it relies solely on an aesthetic appeal to get it's point across. A rear engined rear wheel drive pastiche would be significantly more authentic an experience but who wants to go sideways up motorway sliproads? There has to be some substance behind the new one, some weightloss for sure, some serious rethinking about the root concept and a value for money element that is distinctly missing from the entire VW brand.

Perhaps that's all it is? Perhaps if it was £6000 I'd have got one long ago?

23 July 2008

[quote James Read] You will note that the smiling men you see driving Bettles do not have anything in their vases. This is because they are gay men who have chosen another receptacle for the flowers.[/quote]

What a constructive comment that is! Not a sweeping generalising in the slightest

I've driven my old boss' beetle convertible. Its smooth and comfortable, but thats it. Its slow for a 2.0, isnt that economical, doesnt handle too well, zero rear view, and the smallest boot opening in the world i am sure. But for some that doesnt matter as its what they like. If it was fun ti drive I could see the appeal, but it isnt

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