What is it
The all-new Volkswagen Beetle – as first revealed in simultaneous presentations at the Shanghai and New York motor shows back in April.
The three door hatchback is planned to arrive in the UK in early 2012 as a replacement for today’s outdated 14 year old model. Pricing is yet to be announced, but expect a moderate increase to accompany increased levels of standard equipment.
With a bold new exterior design, larger dimensions, extensively reworked interior, greater space, more contemporary underpinnings and a range of more powerful engines – including a top-of-the-line 197bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre, Volkswagen hopes to attract a greater number of male buyers – at least that’s the message it is spreading ahead of the start of sales.
What’s it like?
From an exterior design standpoint the new Beetle impresses. From the very first glance, you’re aware more time and thought has gone into perfecting its appearance than with its predecessor.
Step inside and you’re confronted by an unusually high dashboard that has been styled to replicate that of the original Beetle – complete with an old fashioned glovebox compartment in the facia.
We drove the 197bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol model, equipped with an optional six-speed DSG (dual shift) gearbox. It’s essentially the same driveline used by the sixth-generation Golf GTi. Not a bad basis, then.