Currently reading: Next VW Beetle - new pics
VW says its new Beetle will have more exciting styling than these spy pics suggest

Volkswagen’s new Beetle will have significantly more exciting styling than this heavily disguised prototype suggests, according to inside sources.

Due on sale in the UK late next year, the new Beetle sits on a longer wheelbase than today’s car to free up more rear cabin space.

See the latest spy pics of the new VW Beetle

It also gets new styling that’s less cartoon-like than the late 1990s remake. The car scooped here is six months from production and the upper half of the body is undisguised. Giving it a sportier look are a more swept-back windscreen and flatter roofline, plus a more curvaceous rear window and hatch. The key front and rear shape and details, however, are hidden under disguise mouldings taken from today’s car.

Although the nose of the new car takes its inspiration from the original, the execution of the headlights, grille and detailing are in much higher-quality materials and with a higher standard of workmanship than the cute and simple look penned by J Mays, then at VW’s California studio, and now Ford design chief.

The same goes for the rear end, which makes a closer genetic link to the original, in a similar way that the new Mini links with the old Mini.

Read more about the new VW Beetle

This Beetle will also break new technical ground for VW in offering a choice of two rear suspensions. The top-end 197bhp 2.0-litre Beetle will have a multi-link axle borrowed from the Jetta, whereas diesel and less powerful petrol units will employ a cheaper twist beam.

VW can offer this choice because the Beetle will be built in Mexico on the same production line as the new Jetta, which is also engineered with both cheap and expensive suspension systems.

VW is hoping that a more maturely styled and engineered Beetle will appeal to more male buyers and reinvigorate sales in the UK, which have dropped from a peak of 9000 in 2001 to around 2200 last year.

The cabriolet, expected in the UK in late 2012, will boost sales. Currently, it contributes to around half of all Beetle sales.

Julian Rendell

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disco.stu 18 October 2010

Re: Next VW Beetle - new pics

Looks bigger and heavier, unfortunately.

The mid-90s 'Concept One' that VW originally unveiled was based on the Polo, and was quite a cute and well-proportioned thing. By the time it got to production as the New Beetle, it had swollen up onto the Golf Mk 4 platform and become much less interesting.

It was always a car which sold purely on its styling appeal. For exactly the same price (if not less), you could have a Golf Mk 5 with a far better chassis and a much more practical shape. But New Beetle owners always seemed to really love them anyway. I have never met a higher percentage of people who would give their car a name as New Beetle owners.

5w30 18 October 2010

Re: Next VW Beetle - new pics

My brother is a huge beetle fan and bought one of the first to come out. after realising it was terrible he dumped it in my house and stuck to his old skool stuff. I always wanted to channel the body and chop the roof thinking that it would look better and it did. Low and behold VW have done it now!!!

n50pap 15 October 2010

Re: Next VW Beetle - new pics

This is like every other VW. It's putting on weight and getting larger. All the model ranges are suffering and they slot in a new range at the bottom so that it can start all over again.

My Beetle was a complete dog. Too heavy, hugely impractical [all bodywork and no room inside] and, in that regard, was exactly the same as the original Beetle. They do tend to charm you, however, but they are not a practical choice for everyday motoring because they're a compromise. Not big enough inside, not particularly easy to drive and very expensive to run. This one will have its fan club, but some will be bought by people who regret their decision very quickly. Thankfully, this time I won't be one of them